This past weekend we went to my home church for the Sunday service. I always feel right at home, and Chris really likes the preacher so we enjoy our visits back. This weekend the sermon seemed particularly fitting, and I was soaking it right up…and elbowing my hubby all at the same time. <You know how that goes right? *wink*>
I can’t get into everything we’re walking through right now, but I can say we are facing some fears, and that my sweet Christopher is definitely struggling with a “spirit of heaviness.” So when the pastor, Dr. Pepper Dill, said his sermon was called “Fears Worst Enemy: Praise” I knew that God was going to have something for us.
I’m going to share the cliff notes with you today, but as I continue to dig into God’s word on what it means to truly praise Him we may just revisit this topic in the future. 🙂
*Fear is one of Satan’s key tools to keep us from faith & action for Christ. It plants seeds of doubt and brings a spirit of heaviness, depression, and despair upon you.
*Praise is adoration of God for who He is and what He has done. It is both physical and verbal. Praise is where God lives (Psalm 22:3)
*The spirit of heaviness and praise cannot live together, because God lives in praise. Praise wards off the spirit of heaviness. (Isaiah 61:1-3)
*Check out 2 Chronicles 20…a vast army was coming against them, so they inquired of the Lord. He told them “‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them….You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you…Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.”
Notice that all God had them do was face the enemy. As they did, they began to praise God, and it was He who defeated their enemies.
Praise is the mechanism that sets the work of God into motion…it is the preface to God’s miraculous work!
So, when I am attacked by fear, when ‘the gorilla is shaking my cage,’ so to speak, giving praise to my Lord with thanksgiving will bring me into His presence. It doesn’t mean He’ll solve my worries in any way, shape, or form I could ever imagine, or even how I would want…but it does mean that He will be with me, and that I will be inviting Him to fight the battle for me.
It really comes down to me getting out of the way so that God can work and receive the glory. When I reframe our struggles in this light I realize that our problems/worries are really just opportunities for God to display who He is and His power. I believe that He can bring good from all situations and I thank Him, thank Him, thank Him that He doesn’t leave me to fight my battles on my own power.
Chris and I have decided to claim the passage from 2 Chronicles…to take hold of it and remember it in times of fear and frustration. Our practical application is praising God together for what we have, for who He is, for how He is working in our lives…and encouraging one another to speak praises each time we face doubt.
It’s not our natural reaction for sure, and our faith could really be tested in the coming days, but we have felt challenged to strengthen our commitment to one another, to the Lord, and to praising Him.
I’ll leave you with this last bit of food for thought…
We are quick to praise God when he sends rain in a drought…but we are quick to forget that He still deserves our praise even if He doesn’t send the rain. He deserves our praise in all situations and all things, whether “good” or “bad.”
It’s in the bad that true “fanhood,” if you will, comes in. Will you praise Him in the drought? Will I?
I pray to God that I will.
KEEP CALM & PRAISE GOD!
P.S. – Wanna read more? Check out Jonah 2:9-10 and Acts 16:25-26…