praise

 

 

 

 

 

O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You…And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” -2Chron 20:12, 21 (NKJV)

How is your praise life? Not your prayer life- your praise life. Are you giving God the glory for all of the blessings in your life? Even better question: are you praising Him for the storms? If we read the entire passage in 2Chron 20:1-30 we find king Jehoshaphat and all of Judah facing innumerable odds against their approaching enemies. Sure, the king was frightened- for he knew that man to man they could not win this battle. Jehoshaphat was a righteous man of God and like any strong leader and man of faith, he reacted immediately with wisdom and faith in the Lord.

  1. Upon learning of the approaching threat, the first thing the king did was bring his people together to corporately fast and seek the Lord (v 3,4). This brought together a bond of unity throughout the land and prepared everyone’s heart for what lay ahead. Division causes confusion and is a scare tactic of our enemy. When we are unified with God through our faith in Christ, we secure a foundation that is not easily broken (Ecc 4:12).
  2. He reminded God of His promises. Jehoshaphat didn’t ask for a bail out. He was prepared to do God’s will regardless (v 9), but he also pleaded with God on behalf of the land spoke of God’s promises and faithfulness over Israel. Obviously, God does not need reminding; but it is in these moments of crying out to God that He can do His best work within us and increase our faith. Just like David, Jehoshaphat kept his eyes on God- not his circumstances (v 12).
  3. Praise went forth first. After the Lord spoke through the prophet Jahaziel and assured Judah they would not even have to fight this battle, the king still positioned his “praise team” to go forth first. Why do you think that is? Because praise always overcomes oppression (Isaiah 61:3). Israel’s enemies would defeat themselves and though what was perceived in the natural to be a losing fight- we must always remember that God works in both the natural AND the supernatural. We can’t fight spiritual battles on fleshy terms.

What are you up against today? Are you feeling a lot like Judah- with enemies closing in from all sides? Do the odds seem to be stacked overwhelmingly against you? Well, if that is the case you have reason to celebrate! Please don’t forget that we all have a High Priest that has gone on before us to clear the path to freedom. Our job is to keep our eyes on Him and offer up the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips (Heb 13:15). For that is when God can do His best work.

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. –Romans 8:24-25 (NIV)