While lifting up praise and worship is primarily for the Father's pleasure, there is a benefit for us also. Spiritual power is manifested on behalf of God’s children when we praise Him!
Praise brings the Presence of God and the Presence of God brings the Power of God! The presence of God brings victory over the enemy. Did you know the enemy is more convinced of the power of praise than we are? He has seen what happens when God's people call out to Him in praise and prayer.
How can praise bring spiritual power? When you begin to praise the Lord, you get your eyes off the problems and on the One who is greater than any obstacle. When you begin to declare the greatness and power and authority of the Lord, faith begins to rise in your heart. Faith starts a miracle in motion.
Let's consider King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. A vast army was approaching, leaving the king and his army outnumbered and doomed to defeat. The result? Fear! Thankfully, though they did not know what to do, they knew where to turn. King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast and all the people of the nation came together to seek the Lord. The king led them in prayer, saying "For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you" (v12). Thankfully, God heard them and promised to deliver them: "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s" (v15). Fantastic news: When you are walking by faith and in obedience, nothing can come against you that God cannot handle. Wow!
When they faced the enemy on the field of battle, King Jehoshaphat led the charge with the worship team (v21)! It seems absolutely crazy! Can you imagine the US military sending a worship team into Iraq or North Korea? The first ones to go in are the Marines! Sending the worship team in first seems suicidal! But verse 22 tells us "As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes" against the enemy. Notice the first word: As. Victory didn't happen before or after they began to sing and praise but As. When the Praises went up, the Power came down! It was an absolute rout! Verses 29-30 tell us that Fear came on the enemy and Peace was on King Jehoshaphat and his people.
There are some wonderful lessons to learn from this account.
1. Look to the Lord! v12
Don’t look to the problem you are experiencing. Don’t look to your own abilities or resources.
Look to the Lord and His ability. The battle is not yours. The battle belongs to the Lord!
2. Declare His praises! v18-21
When you praise the Lord, you begin to get a bigger glimpse of Who He is. He grows bigger than your problems and your mountain of adversity begins to shrink. And when you begin to praise the Lord, He takes action. Let your Praise build! When your Praise builds, it builds your Faith.
3. Stand on His Promises! v5-12
According to Ephesians 6, the Word is your sword. Know the Promises! You can’t fight if you don’t have and know your weapon. Don't enter the battle weaponless.
4. Step out in Faith! v22
When you step out in faith, God will meet you. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that He is looking for people with faith. Don't be discouraged. Don't judge only by what you see in the natural. God is working in the supernatural. When you step out in faith, a miracle can begin to happen!
#3 in "Extravagant Worship" series.