Topic: Worship is Warfare
Scripture Text: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
Aim: To help us focus on worshiping God during the battle
God gave me this message in early 2017 after my nervous system crashed in June 2016, that had left me stuttering and walking like a 70 year old cripple. A long-time friend invited me out for coffee at 8am on Christmas break in 2016. She invited me to join her and take a course together (from a training society for hearing God’s voice, and seeing Him at work in our lives, according to God’s Word). This began a huge healing journey in me. She and I and another friend did this together. Part of my crash was over the shock of being told in ministry that I listened too much to the voice of God and prayed too much. (It’s still bizarre typing that out.) So, thankfully, the course set me free confirming my heart’s desire to hear my Shepherd’s voice, …which is never condemning of seeking to hear His voice!
(John 10:27 – “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”)
While in class one day, I received a message from the Lord that continued to be the theme of that season of healing. God spoke it over me again and again. I now have shared it over and over with other prayer warriors.
My focus: Worship is Warfare
When we feel an attack raging and we feel a darkness over us, whether it’s a spirit of overwhelm, anxiety, depression, addiction… when we feel like the enemy is closing in… There is one battle tactic in the Bible that I think we need to use more often. It’s a fun one. Way less stressful. In fact, the enemy runs away!
Turn to 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 NLT and read it aloud. It’s a bizarre story!
Here is the excerpt…
War with Surrounding Nations
After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat. 2 Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea. They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.)
3 Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. 4 So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.
5 Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord. 6 He prayed, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! 7 O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? 8 Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name. 9 They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war,plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’
10 “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them. 11 Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”
13 As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children,14 the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.
15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”
18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.
20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”
21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:
“Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!”
22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. 23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. 24 So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.
25 King Jehoshaphat and his men went out to gather the plunder. They found vast amounts of equipment, clothing, and other valuables—more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all! 26 On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing,[f] which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the Lord there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today.
27 Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies. 28 They marched into Jerusalem to the music of harps, lyres, and trumpets, and they proceeded to the Temple of the Lord.
29 When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them. 30 So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.
Review: (What happened? In your own words, what stands out for you?)
Some things which stand out for me…
-The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel – Levite.
-The King bowed low to the ground
– King Jehosophat put the singers in front of the army.
– confusion over the enemy
– how many days to gather plunder? 3 days! They spent energy gathering the plunder and no energy fighting!
– Name of the Valley?? – Valley of Blessing
– verse 30 – God had given him rest on every side. The kingdom was at peace.
If you’ve ever heard Melissa Helser’s testimony – she suffered from chronic fatigue and the Lord told her to sing her way out of the battle. And out came a flood of music – music that has impacted thousands today – bringing peace and blessing.
(Hear her tell the story: https://youtu.be/0ULDu6M5KQo)
(One of the songs she’s written is: “No longer slaves” – https://youtu.be/f8TkUMJtK5k)
Application Qs: Ask yourself…
- What valley in your life do you want God to turn into the Valley of Blessing?
(Read Isaiah 61:7 – for every shame and dishonor – a double portion of honour!)
- What good things to date, no matter how small, that you can give thanks to God for? That you could turn into a praise song?!
- Do you need to surrender a certain situation to God, with your face to the ground? Recognizing that the battle belongs to the Lord and not to you? He goes ahead of us! God loved you enough to send Jesus to die on the cross for you. That pain in your life, Jesus died for that – to defeat it and turn it into joy! (Isaiah 61)
- verse 30 – God had given him rest on every side. The kingdom was at peace.
- Where in your life do you need rest and peace?
- How is God speaking to you right now? Are there people or situations in your life that come to mind? How is Holy Spirit speaking to you? What is He saying? Take note. If you are hearing comforting and encouraging things even challenging things that are loving – that is God. If it’s blame, shame, guilt, despair – that is not God. Just reject that in Jesus name.
James 4:7-8 CEV: Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he will run from you.8 Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives… Purify your hearts…10 Be humble in the Lord’s presence, and he will honor you.
- Where have you doubted God in your life? James calls us to make up our minds and walk away from doubt. Today, if you have doubted – repent. “God, I’m sorry for believing the lie that you are not going to come through for me… for believing the lie that…(fill in the blank.) Forgive me for trying to win this battle on my own strength… instead of falling on my face before you…”
- Or maybe you have surrendered, and today is another opportunity to give Him worship and thanks… to declare to God:… “because you are faithful God, and I am choosing to surrender… I give thanks that you are bringing freedom… that I am on a journey and you are doing a good thing in me in order to experience freedom! Hallelujah!!”
- There are 2 battles – one to get free – and the 2ndto stay free! When the enemy comes again, to tempt us with lies – we simply must …over and over …reject his lies in Jesus name. You are to remind him who you are, and that you are royalty – you belong to Jesus. The mention of Jesus’ name makes him flee.
- I invite you now to bring to the Lord whatever battle, situation, person, …in your life that He invites you to bring to Him.
- Declare to Him, “God this… is yours… I worship you and not the problem by worrying more about it …rather than worshiping you!” (pause)
- And then, give thanks! “Thank you, God for…” and list off the things, God has done for you to date… if you have trouble… ask Him… God, where were you at work in my life… show me where you were battling for me… and then give thanks… I love how the people declared to God who He is and listed off historical reminders of God’s faithfulness… You can do that today…
- Then, very cool thing…. After you have surrendered things and people to God, ask Him – what gift do you want to give me in return…? For every loss/situation in our life that we surrender to Him, God wants to give us a blessing…! Ask Him! (Isaiah 61:7 – Instead of shame and dishonor, you will inherit a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy!)- Let me prime your praise pump with this…
Psalm 100 (TPT) Praise God
100 A poetic song for thanksgiving
1 Lift up a great shout of joy to the Lord!
Go ahead and do it—everyone, everywhere!
2 As you serve him, be glad and worship him.
Sing your way into his presence with joy!
3 And realize what this really means—
we have the privilege of worshiping the Lord our God.
For he is our Creator and we belong to him.
We are the people of his pleasure.[a]
4 You can pass through his open gates with the password of praise.
Come right into his presence with thanksgiving.
Come bring your thank offering to him
and affectionately bless his beautiful name!
5 For the Lord is always good and ready to receive you.
He’s so loving that it will amaze you—
so kind that it will astound you!
And he is famous for his faithfulness toward all.
Everyone knows our God can be trusted,
for he keeps his promises to every generation!
Prayer and Ministry time:
Look in the mirror and declare:
…“you are winning!”
…you are chosen to be a worshiper of the one true King!
…He is crazy about you!
…He invites you to celebrate and be on His winning team!
…He invites you to sing at this party!
…He goes ahead of you in the battle!
…Jesus went ahead and died on the cross for your victory!
My prayer for you:
>I bless you by the power of Holy Spirit with Hope that would lead to perseverance! (pause)
Put your hand on your heart… and another hand open to the Lord…
Open your hearts, minds, and ears to receive this blessing…
Lord, I release hope and perseverance in these warriors. Release their hearts, their mouths to sing your glory!! Lord, strengthen those who were feeling weak – give them your power, your strength! In Jesus’ name.
I bless your spirit to worship who God is – a Good, Good God – who wants to fight our battles to bring freedom, rest, peace and joy! I bless your spirit to be bound to Holy Spirit and all His fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – and all His chosen gifts appointed for you… in order to receive all that your loving Heavenly Father, Creator of the Universe – has for you – in Christ Jesus, your Saviour who set your joy as his goal in order to endure the cross, and in order for you to experience freedom! Amen!!
>Declare aloud:… “I receive that for myself. …I am about to breakthrough! The promises of God for me are : Yes and Amen – I receive that in Jesus’ name!!”
Maybe you need to soak this one in again:
“No longer slaves” – https://youtu.be/f8TkUMJtK5k
Update? My health is awesome. I’m more fit than ever before, and I’m having fun praying with and for people, teaching them to hear God’s voice (sometimes I have clients who have been in church for 30 years and hear the Lord while in my office for the first time!), and seeing them set free from addiction, depression, anxiety, etc… There’s never been a dull moment when I meet with Jesus and a hungry soul in my office seeking to be healed by Him! I come home from work each day praising the Lord!
“Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!”