I don’t relate to most things the way I relate to music. Since I was a child, I have carried a burden of needing to communicate with the Lord through song. It’s a precious gift the Lord has given…an intimacy and desire to know Him and to set those moments to melody. Recently, I have felt a greater urgency to press into Him; to touch the hem of His garment and surround myself with the attributes of His good character.
There is a heaviness in this world, one I have known all too well and that I continue to battle each and every day. To you it may feel like shackles around your feet, or it may look like dishes left undone, withdrawing, or a life filled to the brim with things, both good and bad, that distance the hurt for a while. No matter what it looks like in your life, it is warfare.
We serve a God who is fluent in victory. There are so many stories in the Bible bursting with victory over darkness! As I have felt this shift in my spirit to dig deeper into the language of worship God has portioned for me, I have been drawn to the Bible stories that detail victory through singing.
There are several moments and stories in the Bible that read and sound much like scenes from a movie. We read detailed accounts of dialogue, characters, and settings. One of my favorite stories of victory through singing is the battle between Jehoshaphat and the Moabites in 2 Chronicles.
In 2 Chronicles 20, we see that the people of Moab and Ammon were coming to battle the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah, was full of fear, and proclaimed a fast throughout all of Judah. After crying out to the Lord, the Lord answered by saying, (v17) “You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf…Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”
In the next few verses, we immediately see an atmosphere of worship. Jehoshaphat and all of Judah and Jerusalem fell down worshipping the Lord, while the choir of Israel (made up of the Levites, the Kohathites and the Korahites) rose up “with a very loud voice” worshipping.
Our story continues the next morning as they are entering the battle field.
2 Chronicles 20:21:
“[Jehoshaphat] appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise Him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast loves endures forever.’ And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah.”
Can you imagine our President sending a church choir out in front of the soldiers…the trained fighters? Imagine the faith it took for Jehoshaphat and his people to trust that the Lord would deliver them from the battle without even sending in a single soldier!
Notice that praise came BEFORE the victory…both times. Songs of praise were lifted in the depths of fear, in the midst of prayer, and in the face of the enemy! When we are focused on the darkness, the battle, the fear…we lose sight of the one who is already fully victorious and fully fighting for us! Where we stare, we steer. If we stare too long at the darkness that wages war on our joy, our families, our hearts and our lives, we steer away from the source of our victory!
Our enemy is Satan…and to someone who is focused on the abilities of the enemy, it may look as if the odds are stacked. But we have not been given a spirit of fear, and we have not been left empty handed. The Lord has given us a full arsenal to wage war on what’s battling us. Songs of praise. Songs of victory. Songs of adoration. Songs of deliverance.
For you this may look like a more focused heart during worship on Sunday mornings, or it may look like driving in the car with music turned up loud, singing along and thanking God for all that He has done. I have found that out of an expectant heart comes songs of praise…even before I have seen the miracle.
There are also times where my reluctance is high, and I have to command my soul to praise the Lord. There’s a scene in “The Grinch” right after he has stolen all the gifts and decorations from the Who’s. The Grinch cranes his ear over the mountain to hear the Who’s crying, but instead he hears them singing. “And he did hear a sound rising over the snow. It started in low…then it started to grow.”
There have been many times where my song has “started in low and started to grow,” and the Lord has been faithful to lift my head and hear my song every single time. We serve a faithful, loving Father, who rejoices over our singing, with singing!
Our daily battles aren’t easily won…they take effort. I have found that although we were created to worship, it takes much practice. Thankfully, our weapon does not grow dull with use…it crescendos and echoes, breaking chains, firming our footing and realigning our hope in the One who has made certain our victory!
I encourage you today to sing…off-key, loudly, unafraid.
Lift your eyes, raise your voice and fight your battle.
Women of Warren Writing Team Member