Monday, February 25, 2013

Warfare Singing

I often lead worship at our church and I love doing it but that's not to say that I always 'feel' like doing it. Sometimes I'm tired or stressed over something which seems so big at the time and I just don't feel like being up there in front of 50-70 people and singing. I usually open with welcoming everyone to the house of the Lord or by saying how good it is to be in the house of the Lord. Those aren't just empty words, they're my warfare words. They're my taking a stand words and telling Satan that we're about to 'have church', we're about to praise the Lord, in His house a place where the enemy is not welcome.

I may have started by not feeling like being there but once I start to sing the most amazing things happen. Suddenly the weight comes off my shoulders. My tiredness is forgotten. I have renewed energy and I am with my Lord. I can feel His presence with me, encouraging me to step out in faith and praise Him. It is an amazing experience as anyone who has ever praised the Lord can tell you. To think that the God of all creation, Who spoke things into being, Who walked on the water, Who brought the dead back to life again should want to spend time with me! That's amazing!

The Word tells us in Psalm 22:3 that God inhabits, or lives in, the praises of His people. We can't truly understand what this verse means until we ask God to prove it and He does every time we praise. This is something good to know, not just for times when we are singing in corporate praise at church but especially when the enemy is plaguing us with thoughts of discouragement and despair; times when we really need to have God's presence with us. When we are feeling attacked on all sides we usually don't feel like singing but it is something that we need to do.

We need to sing when we feel lonely. We need to sing when we are sad. We need to sing whenever we need God to be there with us. We need to sing but not just any song. We need to sing praise songs. Songs about God and His goodness and grace towards us. Songs about His mercy and great love. We need to sing. No, you won't feel like singing at times like those I've mentioned but I can most assuredly promise you that if you do, you will feel God's presence with you. 

If you don't feel His presence with you after one song, don't give up. Keep singing until you do. When Paul and Silas were thrown in prison for preaching the gospel, they sang. They probably didn't feel like it after having been beaten and put in stocks, but they sang nonetheless. The enemy probably had them pretty discouraged but they still  sang songs of praise to God and they kept singing until something happened. 

Acts 16 tells us that around midnight, as they were praying and singing, a mighty earthquake shook the foundations of the prison and caused all the cell doors to fly open! Great things can happen when we don't base our praise on feelings but on obedience to God. We praise because we know He inhabits the praises of His people and where He is there is liberty: freedom from the bondage we are in no matter what that bondage is. 

Satan may have you wrapped up in fear. Sing praises. He may have you discouraged or depressed. Sing praises. He may have you doubting God. Sing praises and sing them until you are freed from the prison he has you in. God lives in your praises. He has said so in His Word. That's why you don't 'feel' like singing when you are facing troubles because Satan knows if you do God will be there with you and he can't harm you any more. God will set you free! So sing!

Determine to be like the psalmist who said: "I will sing to the LORD as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath!" (Psalm 104:33). God bless you and may He inhabit your praises to Him.

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