“Fight the good fight”(1 Timothy chapter 6, verse 12), the good book says. “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuit since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Timothy chapter 2, verse 4) Paul exhorts.
The Bible is littered with war metaphors.
Our spiritual walk a battle, we ourselves, soldiers.
Yet, God doesn’t mean for us to take a spear and fight our enemies. There are other instances where we fight. We fight with the word of God. Just like Jesus did in the desert. (Deuteronomy, his chosen blade.)
We also fight with worship.
2 Chronicles 20 tells the story of King Jehoshaphat defeating Moab and Ammon. He receives news that “a vast army is coming against (him) from the other side of the Dead Sea.” (verse 2) Fitting of a good king, he inquired of the Lord and proclaimed a fast.
God replied that the battle is not yours, but mine.
Jehoshaphat then “appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendour of his holiness”, then as they began to worship, “the Lord set ambushes against men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.”(verse 21)
As the men sang, the Lord defeated their enemies.
Linked down below is a short clip from a John Piper sermon. “Singing is a means of grace" says Piper. It is not just a passive activity, but it brings forth the activity of God.
I remember going to a conference that was a ninety minute journey away. I was really anxious. Before the drive I thought to myself, I have ninety minutes to spare, what’s the best way I can spend it?
I felt that if I were to elect to pray, I would end up spending ninety minutes stirring in anxiety. Instead, I chose to worship.
A few times I wanted to stop, but I kept going. I fought my battle with singing. When I got to the conference, I felt really full and refreshed and ended up having a great time.
I fought my anxiety with worship and the Lord delivered me from my fear. A small victory, but it meant a lot to me personally.
So, worship is a weapon, worship is a means of grace. What then should we do about it?
One thing to consider is the memorisation of worship hooks.
There are many benefits of memorising the word of God, memorising worship hooks is equally profitable. When we have songs memorised, we put arrows in a quiver, we ready our shield for spiritual warfare.
Remembering songs sometimes comes naturally and we don’t have to think about it. Yet, I feel my point still stands because memorising different worship hooks, and doing so intentionally, places it in the forefront of our mind.
Enabling us to follow the command “Rejoice always.” (1 Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 16)
Whenever a battle comes along, no matter the size, we can break out in a practice that ushers in the grace of God. We can sing. Praise. Worship. Imagine if we did this to the extent that we would develop worship reflexes.
That when a testing moment comes, a song reflexively would pop into our mind.
We wouldn’t need to rely on CD’s, speakers, phones, we would praise in an instant. Psalm chapter 34, verse 1 would start to come to life “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall always be on my lips.” (Psalm chapter 34, verse 1)
A song I really love at the moment is Comes and Goes by Allie Paige. The hook goes like so:
“Oh, I believe, that peace is a person,
and loves not a feeling,
that comes and goes,
you’re holding my heart,
you know where its broken,
you’re holding the pieces,
you’re making me whole.”
The first time I heard it, I straight away fell in love with the first two lines.
Peace is a person! In my times of insecurity, I need the personhood of God, not the abstract concept of peace. Love is not just a feeling. How easy it is to fall into the worlds view of love. But God’s love is covenant. God’s love is fact, unavoidable and constant.
This spiritual walk is no less than war. And we fight this war with the word of God and with worship. Worship gives rise to God fighting our battles.
In light of this, how could we neglect to keep praise on our lips. If the times become bleak, let our praise get louder.
For the Lord Almighty is due singing and reverence.
His character is beautiful. How great the splendour of his holiness.
John Piper – Sermon excerpt
Allie Paige – Comes and Goes
Roden Meares enjoys playing basketball, reading comics and going to the gym. He has a passion for evangelising and helping others in their faith through writing.
Roden’s previous articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/roden-meares.html