The answers to our prayers don’t always come right away. It’s easy to grow weary or afraid while we wait for change! If allowed, the pain of waiting for what we hope for in the future can prevent us from enjoying the Lord’s presence today. That is exactly what Satan wants! He knows that when we continue to worship God, regardless of the outcome of our prayers, spiritual strongholds will fall.
For years, I had a wounded relationship with a dear friend. There was a mutual misunderstanding and broken communication. I tried everything to bridge the gap, but all that remained was the painful loss of a precious friendship. Late one night I awoke from a deep sleep. I was in pain and began to cry out to the Lord for restoration of the damaged relationship. However the more I prayed, the more upset I became! I later realized that my prayers were flowing from fear rather than faith.
Doesn’t she know she is wrong? I pondered. When I wake up in the morning, I am going to text her and tell her, in love, that she needs to reconcile with God and with me.
At that point, I was so worried and frustrated that I thought only of myself. Fortunately, in the midst of my turmoil, I was able to hear the Holy Spirit speak to my heart: “What if you took all this time and energy you just wasted fretting and worshiped Me?”
Taken aback, I suddenly realized that because my heart was full of fear, trusting God was the furthest thing from my mind. So I found my iPod in the dark and turned on worship music. Before long, I had forgotten my distress and was immersed in the presence of God! Enveloped in His love and peace, I finally fell asleep.
When I awoke in the morning, my headphones were laying on the pillow and I had forgotten what upset me . . . but the Lord hadn’t forgotten. I reached for the phone and, to my amazement, a text message was waiting there for me from the very person I was about to rebuke!
“Hey Jean, you have been on my heart a lot lately. Just wanted you to know that I love you, and I am praying for you. Let’s get together soon.”
While worshiping in the middle of the night, the Lord had shifted something in her heart . . . and more importantly in my heart! I shudder to think what further damage I would have caused had I taken matters into my own hands. Spiritual battles are never won with human strength. Worry and fear only empower the enemy! Strongholds fall by faith, and faith expressed through worship is our greatest weapon against evil.
In Second Chronicles 20, the army of Judah was surrounded by its enemies and facing certain defeat. King Jehoshaphat, however, believed that the Lord would fight and win the battle for them. In faith, he commanded the singers to be sent in front of the army with only the weapon of praise. As they marched forward praising God with loud voices, their enemies fled in confusion and eventually destroyed each other! This is one of many accounts in the Bible where the Lord saved His people as they chose to praise Him first. Walls fell, giants were slain, and armies were routed as men and women demonstrated that the Lord was their strength through their praise. When they put their trust in God, He won the victory for them!
Every day we face new battles and so often we try to fight them ourselves instead of letting God defend us. When faced with a difficult situation, we will find our strength on our knees with hands raised to heaven in worship. Praise confuses the enemy and sends him running because Satan can’t stick around when the Lord is near!
Regardless of where you need transformation in your life, I encourage you to stop fretting about the situation and start praising God in that situation. If you feel overwhelmed by darkness, then turn on His light by worshiping Him! Don’t wait for the victory to be won because the Lord is worthy of our praise regardless of the outcome. As you place Him above your personal desires, He will bring about His desires for you.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15:57)
Father, forgive me for fearing others more than I trust You. Forgive me for focusing on myself rather than worshiping You. In this moment I choose to exalt You above my battles and above my own desires. I trust You to bring your kingdom in Your way and Your time! In Jesus’ name, amen.
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