Sit and Seek …
Listen and Learn …
Obey and Offer …
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
In the weeks prior we have looked at several steps to abundant living. We've learned that as we sit with God and seek after Him we are satisfied. We know that to experience the extraordinary life God has planned for us we must each have teachable spirits and be listening for the Shepherd's voice. We discovered the importance of obedience and surrender as we offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God.
This week we will see that worship leads us to victory in the battles of life. We will come to understand that the pathway to abundant living is paved with praise and adoration for our marvelous Shepherd, Jesus.
Without a doubt, we will have enemies in life, some big and some small. But God is prepared to conquer our enemies and fill us with the joy of our salvation. I want to look at two Old Testament battles that were fought and won by the Lord and discover two actions we can take to worship God and win the battle.
In this passage as Moses raises his hands to the heavens, he is proclaiming that God alone is in authority. His hands were a declaration of his surrender and complete dependence on God to win the battle. As Moses held the staff of God in his hand and raised it to the heavens, he proclaimed the Lord. What a beautiful picture of worship in the midst of the enemy.
Where are your hands when you are in the thick of battle?
- My hands are busy trying to "do" something myself to defeat the enemy.
- My hands are tied – I'm at my wits end.
- My hands are covering my eyes in fear.
- My hands are covering my ears in frustration.
- My hands are in my pockets as I am trying to buy my way out of the battle.
- My hands are raised to my God who has the power to win the battle for me.
- What did Jehoshaphat do when he discovered that his enemies were coming to make war?
- After he prayed and fasted before all of the people, what did the Lord instruct him to do?
- Who did the battle belong to, according to the Lord?
- Who did the Lord instruct Jehoshaphat to put at the head of the army (vs. 21)?
- What were they to sing?
Did you catch that? Jehoshaphat was instructed by God to send his worshipers to the head of the army! Amazing … praise sparks victory! The Lord began to send ambushes against their enemies and the battle was won, not from fighting, but from praising!
Read this quote from Jack Hayford:
"Praise in God's presence not only evicts the enemy's badgering, but erects a dwelling place for God's power."
Not too long ago I experimented with this very principle. I was having a particularly annoying time. I had lost something and needed it right then, my kids were misbehaving, I was trying to cook dinner and nothing was going as it should! In all honesty, I was about to lose it!
By the grace of God, I remembered reading the quote by Jack Hayford and decided that instead of trying to frantically fix my problems, I would patiently praise God in the midst of them. So, I began telling God out loud who He was. It went something like this:
Lord, You are above all things. You are peace in the midst of my chaos. You are holy and perfect. You are faithful, all-powerful, supreme in authority and completely in control!
You are …
I went on and on until suddenly, I calmed down, gained perspective and actually began to feel joy in my heart. I was worshipping and worship escorted me into the presence of God.
So where are you today? Do you need to SLOW down and worship so you can win the battle? Lift your hands and proclaim Him to be supreme. Praise Him and experience His presence. In doing so, you will begin to see the extraordinary happen in your life time and time again.
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