25 Oct How to turn your worship into your ‘war’ship to overcome every struggle.
One of my favourite stories from the Old Testament is the story of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, who finds himself facing an overwhelming force. His story teaches us that when we find ourselves in the midst of a battle, God has given us something far more powerful and effective than swords and spears. He gives us the power of a song! Jehoshaphat teaches us how our ‘worship’ can become our ‘warship’.
It’s a long story, a bit long to include here in full, so you can read the full story here in 2 Chronicles 20:1-30, but in summary, Jehoshaphat wakes one day to discover three nations are approaching Jerusalem to attack. They are described as a ‘vast army’ or a ‘multitude’. In other words, this army far out numbered the fighting men at Jehoshaphat’s call.
Jehoshaphat is alarmed! But instead of calling his war cabinet and trying to figure out how to defeat this army, it says he begins to ‘inquire of the Lord’. He begins to pray and declare God’s greatness!
“You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” (2 Chronicles 20:6)
Jehoshaphat puts his faith in God. And God answers saying:
“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15)
Trusting in God, Jehoshaphat leads his people out the very next morning to face the enemy with one clear instruction. He appoints some worshippers to lead the army out and says to them to give praise to God as they march, singing:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” (2 Chronicles 20:21)
What happened next is why, after reading this, I hope you will never sing in church or in your car or in the kitchen at home, the same ever again! Because it says that:
“As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” (2 Chronicles 20:22)
As they worshipped, God went to battle on their behalf.
Their worship became their warship.
Ephesians 6:12 says: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Most of the battles we face are not physical. They are battles in our mind and in our spirit. We are not threatened by an army approaching our house to lay siege and fight us with swords and spears. We are threatened by a world filled with temptations, lies and false teachings that seek to distract us or divide us from our relationship with God.
And we can look at it all and think – how can we possibly win a fight over such an overwhelming force.
Here’s the good news:
“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:56-57)
When we worship God we align our lives with the victory that Jesus Christ has already won for us!
When we worship we de-throne our self and put Jesus firmly on the throne where he belongs.
Worship defeats the addictive power of sin by fixing our eyes on the one who paid the price for our sins, defeating death and overcoming the enemy at the cross.
Worship overturns depression and sickness by reminding us who our creator and healer is!
Worship takes captive every thought and subjects it to the one true King and ruler of all – King Jesus.
If you are struggling with something right now, if you feel like you’re in a battle, then take a few notes from Jehoshaphat.
Firstly, instead of getting busy with your hands, get busy on your knees.
It’s very easy to think we can fix things. We’ve become an increasingly self-reliant, independent culture. But, even if God has given you great capacity to accomplish things. Don’t start with what you can do and instead turn your prayers heavenward and seek God first. Jehoshaphat could have called his war cabinet together and mustered the troops. But he started in prayer.
Prayer changes everything.
Secondly, align your thinking with God’s true nature.
Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, but he knew who was the one true King of Kings. His prayer helped him align his thinking with who he knew God was. When we worship God, we align our thinking with God’s nature. He is our rock and our salvation. He is our fortress in whom we will not be shaken (Psalm 62:6).
Thirdly, lead ourselves into worship.
God doesn’t actually tell Jehoshaphat to send out the worshippers at the head of the army. That was Jehoshaphat’s decision. Worship is not something we should be led into, it’s something we should lead ourselves into. When we come to church on Sunday, our worship shouldn’t be defined by how good the worship team are that day, but how ready we are to worship God. When you wake in the morning, what song is going to define your day, the first song on the radio? Or the first worship song you choose to play on your Spotify account? Don’t let the world lead your thoughts. Lead yourself into the abundant life Jesus has won for us all.
Let’s make worship part of our daily way of life. Let’s keep stopping and letting God be God. Worship slows us down and pulls us in behind what God is doing. Let Him lead, let Him be in control of things for a while. And lift up a song, knowing that your battle belongs to God.
Action Points: What to do next?
1. Go put on some worship and just sing. Don’t wait till tomorrow, or the next live in-person service. Get worshipping! It might even be worth the Spotify or Apple Music subscription so you can have worship music on demand! Turn off Netflix and give Jesus some praise.
2. Learn to pray!! If you really, truly want to change your life, learn how to pray. Prayer is the foundation of our walk with God and is the key to every issue. We have an amazing Bible Study series right now which you would be mad to miss. Join us every other Wednesday to find out how you can approach God’s throne of grace in confidence. Here’s the first episode of our series for those who missed it. For dates and the link to join the next night, visit here.
3. Get out in front. If you feel you are actually called to be part of the team leading the charge, or you just love to sing or play an instrument, become part of our Creative Community and help us create a powerful culture of ‘warship’ within our church. Click here to join.