Worship Defeats Enemies
When there’s a battle going on in your life what do you do? I mean when you’re going through one of those knock out drag out seasons of your life where some of the most stable things seem to be coming apart at the seems, where do you turn? We live in an economy where over 900g jobs have been lost in the last year. What do you do and where do you go as you look ahead? We live in a world where the answers, to battles like that are at a premium. Its big business in this country to come up with the answer to some of the worlds biggest issues, before they happen. Stuff from how to end the war in Iraq to what to do about the homelessness being created by sub-prime loans and the downfall associated.
Bigger than that, what do you do when you are faced with the battle left in your life because of a relationship gone bad? Here’s the sad reality often times instead of dealing with our battles our battles deal with us.
We’ll get hooked on and desire all kinds of stuff so we won’t have to deal with the sensitive issues in our life. What was once just a sensitive issue, left unresolved, that issue has become a battle of monumental proportions.
All the while God is saying, “If you would just worship me… I would take care of that for you.”
We’re going to be in the book of Chronicles this morning that historical book that mirrors both Samuels and both 1st and 2nd Kings with a bit more detail. Think of it like this:
The work of the Holy Spirit in giving the Word of God is to give a great expanse of truth, to cover a great deal of territory, then come back and select certain sections which He wants to expound on or get us to expound on in detail.
It’s as if the Spirit of God takes out a telescope, looks out over the landscape of our lives, then takes a particular portion of it and puts it under the microscope and shows it to us in detail. That’s what’s happening in 2 Chronicles detail and emphasis are added to things which He considers important.
I know you’ve been in a series on “What it means to Worship” so what I’d like to do, by the Spirit of God who gives life, is take a microscope look at 2 Chronicles asking: Not “What worship can do for you.” But, “what you can do with worship”. Today we’ll be in the 20th chapter of 2nd Chronicles.
In the previous chapter king Jehoshaphat was out fighting someone else’s battle while his own people were back in Jerusalem being neglected. Upon his return the king was met by Jehu the seer, who offers him some gentle correction. A seer was simply somebody who could see, they were commissioned by God to see into peoples lives. Much like your pastor looks at you, with eyes from above. Jehu says to the King, “Why are you helping the wicked and loving those who help the Lord?” “Why are you bringing trouble on yourself from the Lord?”
The king, one of only 5 godly kings who served in Judah, listened and went out into all the land instituting reform. Jehoshaphat was leading a revival of sorts saying, “Let the fear of the Lord be upon you” as he appointed priests to judge the people in matters pertaining to the Lord. The king brought his people back to the Lord & then the battle ensues.
Please read chapter 19 & 20 in its entirety it’ll give you a full picture of what’s about to happen. Quickly the seer, pastor Jehu and his word comes to light for the King which brings us to our reading today.
READ. vv.13-15 PRAY
I’d like to preach today from this premise:
Worship Prompts God to come to the aid of His People
King Jehoshaphat has a literal battle he’s faced with.
This godly King of Judah shows us what the godly do when they are faced with a battle of any sort; You may be battling from within with a sickness afflicted by disease, from a handicap, suffering from depression or depleted funds whatever the case may be in a battle you have two opposing forces you and the enemy.
Jehoshaphat has just defeated an enemy only to arrive home to find out that there’s another enemy approaching. I love his reaction cause we can all relate its says in v.3 that “he was afraid” some Bibles say he was “alarmed”. That’s exactly what a battle on the horizon of our lives does it scares us. It’s that thing we weren’t expecting would come up, not now, especially after we’ve just come off of a great victory just gotten that big promotion just came into an unexpected windfall of money when all of a sudden, now this. But watch what the King does in his fear, the end of the verse tells us he calls a fast for all Judah.
That’s one tell tale sign that folk are going through something big they fast. You don’t fast for small things you fast when the battle is coming. The vast army is coming. Now fasting is not just about giving up food; it is an attitude of repentance, of obedience and of humility before God. You ever wonder why some stuff happens in your life and then you think maybe this was because I was spending time with the enemy now God has sent the enemy to spend time with…its time to humble ourselves before the Lord.
No Authority Get Fast
There’s a story about 2 police officers who went into a local bar to see if they were serving alcohol past the legal time. Well sure enough as they entered seeing the drinks on the bar they headed straight to the rear of the establishment to speak with the proprietor. As they did this they had to push past about 30-40 people mostly men. When they got to the back the 2 officers turned around, behind them had gathered throngs of men with the look of trouble. Completely surround by fighting men it was apparent that if they tried to clear the bar they would be met with a painful fate.
Although the police had the power and authority they didn’t have enough for a battle of this proportion. They had to humble themselves enough to realize that they couldn’t handle the situation on their own. When you fast and pray, that is exactly what you are doing. You are acknowledging that you don’t have the power or authority for this battle but the one on high does. When you don’t inquire of the Lord pride fully you are saying, “I got it” so you get the worst of it. Fasting admits that you can’t handle this “army” on your own.
You are asking God to release the power of heaven, because, “He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world”.
King Jehoshaphat realizes that this battle is too big for him. He may have even realized that he had acted sinfully upon hearing from Jehu the seer.
Prayer Prepares us for Worship v.5-11
(prayer is not the thing to do it’s the thing that prepares)
- It contains the character of God
- It recalls what He has done in the past v.7-9
- It displays the hope, love and faithfulness of God is in us v.12a
- It rightly asks that righteousness be restored for His glory through us, “the generation of the upright will be blessed…” Ps. 112:2
Prayer prepares us to worship by reminding us who God is what He has done and that God loves His own. Prayer displays the Christians most lethal weapons faith, hope and Love and the greatest of these is love and God loves it when we appeal to his love, for us, in prayer.
Faced w/Big problems on the horizon? Seek the Lord first like Jehoshaphat in prayer and make sure it contains right things that reflect the true nature of God.
Prayer prepares us for worship but listen to this:
Trust Positions us for Worship v.12b-13,
Have you ever known a man who readily admitted he didn’t know what to do? You rarely do because every man wants you to know that he has what it takes. Pick the occasion it doesn’t matter we want to be known as men who know what to do. See we have a flaw in our makeup that says, “I know I aint all that but I don’t want you to know” (my wife still doesn’t know)
The real issue here is we don’t want to admit that there are uncertainties in life that leave us fearful. If we will admit that we don’t know then the next step is to trust someone who does.
We won’t truly be worshippers of God until we trust Him with the things that have left us uncertain, dumbfounded and confused for years. Until we trust Him totally with the things that have us avoiding certain subjects in our life claiming, “That’s just a really sensitive subject we just don’t talk about” until we bring that thing to God, we aren’t trusting Him.
v.12b, Jehoshaphat’s prayer ends with, “we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us…we don’t know what to do…”
- God wants us in that place, where there’s no other option but Him. Too often we go to Him as a last resort, that’s begging not worship
- We don’t get here oft till we’ve exhausted other options
- How many opportunities have you been given only to settle?
- True worship happens when we worship Him in Spirit and in the truth of His Word v.14
- Jahaziel was used to being in the assembly of true worshippers: father, grandfather, greatgrand etc., were all priests
- v.16-17 trusting in the word is so important because He doesn’t solve problems the way we would expect, Isaiah 55:8, “…my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways…”
- The Battle is not…but they will be climbing & you will find them. You will not have to fight…but, you will have to take up a position and you will have to stand firm, go out to face them
- Your oppressive boss isn’t going to die tomorrow but He’ll move on your behalf if you’ll TRUST, the circumstances in your relationship will remain until you face me with the despair of your past.
- God’s answer will require us to trust Him
- You’ll know you’re in a place of worship when you’re bowed down before the almighty v.18
The sport I played for fifteen years has a position of power…
Jehoshaphat won the battle with his face down, low in worship.
This aspect of worship is very meaningful to the African American community because it changed a nation.
- We witnessed this way of dealing with the enemy on a march to Selma, on the steps of the statehouse in Montgomery, Ala. & in sit-ins in diners across the Deep South.
- Didn’t have to fight because their leader believed in worship
- Enemy came to perpetrate hate and the marchers went to their knees, they used billy clubs or dogs but the freedom marchers used worship and went low as hey cried out in worship.
- Black Panthers used a bullet and got no change, true worshippers used non-violence and got protection from the gov’t
- Dr. King went in prayer with hymns & now I can sit on the bus and eat wherever I want
- Because Men with their wives (v.3 tells us) and their children and little ones stood before the Lord, prepared to worship
- If worship changed the laws of this NATION then God can take care of the enemy in your life too if you’ll just get prepared get in position to see His deliverance.
We know that the kings’ faith was real when he makes a very impractical tactical move. v.21 Trusting in the Lord often times looks anything but practical. It only makes sense to the people you are in worship with I love that the Bible says he consulted with the people.
They were on one accord. They were in agreement together. It didn’t matter what the odds were they were heavens men on earth with heavens eyes awaiting heavens judgment on their enemy, its time to worship, put the priests in front of the soldiers.
· Instead of putting on your armor known as your own strength put on your robe of worship so that your worship of the almighty displays the glory of the Lord in your battles. Prepare for it trust Him for it and expect Him to move on His people’s behalf
· Last week the angels praised Him saying HOLY…this week the singers at the head of the army worshipped him saying, “Give Thanks…” and God hadn’t even fought the battle yet
· (Ravens run out of the tunnel saying, Holy & Thanks, w/Pastor)
Jehoshaphat marched up & faced his enemy as they climbed toward them. He had no idea how God would deliver him but he believed because he was positioned to worship. Years before Joshua marched around formidable Jericho knowing only that God would deliver them into his hands. The walls collapsed when the people shouted in worship they were in a position to do so in the Spirit and truth found in His Word.
- What “Jericho” do you need collapsed? What enemy do you need defeated? Have problems arised in your life because there’s an absence of worship?
Now Prepared and Positioned to Worship God gives us Reason to Praise Him
- Our Enemies are Defeated when we Worship v.22-24. All they saw when they got there were corpses. That vast army was destroyed while Jehoshaphat was on his face before the Lord. They never even set eyes on them to lift a finger.
- You get home today you set in your heart that you will prepare to worship Him before you march towards the problems on the horizons that you won’t have to fight against!
- Worship brings God’s blessings v.25. God knows what we need we need not ask just worship and see. Make sure that you trust Him with your life so that He will continue to bless your life.
Don’t ever think faithlessly that because things look hopeless that you are helpless you are Gods people and when you worship, things that are against His people are against God. Romans 8:31 tells asks, “…if God is for us who can be against us?” Friends God is for you and he’s giving you an opportunity today to get into worship so He can get into those who are against you!
- Who here today is seeking the answer to their problems? God wants to come to your aid if you’ll just see that He is the answer for a much bigger problem.
It’s the problem of unresolved sin in your life. That’s the reason there’s a hole in your life because there is a separation between you and God that Jesus has come reestablish.
You belong to him so won’t you come down this aisle and receive Him into your heart this morning.
You may need a group of people who are assembled sincerely and humbly before the Lord to lock are with you.
Here’s what I want you to know. Here’s what I want you to do.
Seek the Lord. As soon as you see big problems on the horizon, not later but at the moment it’s revealed to you, seek Him through prayer. There’s no better way to seek Him than through prayer that rightly contains the character of God and His promises. Who He is and what He has done is found in His word, seek Him there before you do anything else. What does that mean? It means to do what Jehoshaphat and all of Judah did. They remembered who God is (v. 6), what He did in the past (v. 7) and what He said He would do in the future (vv. 8–9). It means to trust Him and keep your eyes on Him by faith (v. 12). He gives us eyes to see when we set our eyes to seek Him in His Word.
Worship the Lord. The battle was won by the singers, standing in the most dangerous place of all—between two armies. The singers also had the best view of the glorious victory God was going to win for them. God’s greatest victories in your life will occur when you take a position of worship and stand in the face of your enemy while you are face down in worship. Here’s what I want you to do: don’t take a “back seat” to your enemy anymore. Worship the Lord cry out to Him know that you have no power is there is nothing else for you to do, that’s the position that allows God to crush the walls of your “Jericho”.
Worship Him before worship Him during and worship Him after the blessing of the Lord is upon us. God can work his victory in the lives of people who praise Him.
It’s not what your worship can do for you it’s what your worship will do to your enemies.