The Shepherd of Hope blog is here to serve you, to help you know Jesus better and to find hope in Him. This blog relies on the Spirit of God using the word of God to build people of God. All material has been prayerfully submitted for your encouragement and spiritual edification. Your questions and comments are welcome.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Worship – Our Weapon

“Now when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon and Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated”

– 2 Chronicles 20:22


We are in a war.

Nationally the push to rewrite history and eliminate any vestige of Christianity as a ground for defining morality is at a zenith. You may disagree that the founders of this nation were Christian. But it would be hard to contend that Christianity hasn’t had a profound influence on this nation in her times of greatness. All of this is being sacrificed for a convoluted worldview that sees America as simply another nation in the world rather than an exceptional nation blessed by God. America, this worldview contends, is imperialistic. America has become great at the expense of the weak. America is unjust and oppressive. America must be brought down a peg and Christians with it if they get in the way.

First, prayer, then God’s word and any traces of the holy were removed from our educational institutions. (Don’t want to pollute the young populace.) Then mores of common decency were rejected and the floodgates of free love and sex opened wide. Now the family fabric of our nation is in the process of being dissolved to such a degree that it ceases to mean anything. Men can marry men. Women can marry women. Soon to follow adults will marry children (or at least the age of consent will be removed). There will be allowances for a man to have many wives and for equalities’ sake, a woman to have many husbands. Eventually a time will come when humans can marry animals or inanimate objects. All of this will likely be presented as human rights issues. It will come under the banner of freedom and anti-discrimination. It will be enforced with the patrolling gunboats of political correctness. It will be promoted to the disgrace of a once great nation by a  government that has degenerated to legislate licentiousness. We are in the midst of what is in reality an antichristian political utilitarian anarchy of lawlessness. If it feels good legislate it; hedonism in the highest. Pass laws to protect sin. Remove laws that uphold righteousness. Government was ordained by God in His Word, but this government has long left God and His Word out of its equation.

On the other hand government intrusions are at an all-time high. National crises have been seized upon to implement an unprecedented pervasive and proliferating system of citizen oversight and control. They know where you are, when you’re there, all the time. The government has taken control of the medical system. They determine if you are deserving of treatment. The masses are being purposefully addicted to the drug of dependency on government. The spirit of entitlement sucks people into the system. They promise cost effectiveness and deliver individual dependency and national bankruptcy. The Internal Revenue Service has become a political weapon. The police force has been armored and equipped like an army. I’m all for protection and preparation against terrorism, but it does appear lately that some of this anti-terrorism strategy is conveniently aimed at and used on the citizenry.

All of this is painful and scary to see for many. But the pharmaceutical industry has the solution. Take a pill. Take a pill for anything and everything. Evangelist psychobabblers spreading the good news of wellness will keep people seduced in a reduced state of apoplexy. Keep the patient under anesthesia until their organs are removed. Hey, they’re doing head transplants now you know. (I’m not kidding.[1]) What we see is a national head transplant. Without the Head, how much longer can this go on?

Internationally there is the cancer of ISIS (ISIL) terrorism metastasizing from the bowels of Islam over the body of the earth. The cells of this cancer feed on “infidels.” They are committed to a war of elimination by decapitation. They brag and boast of their cutthroat crimes in the media. It is a fanatically depraved demonically inspired leprosy which feeds on itself as well as others. Our nation is not exempt from this cancer. Shortsightedly and foolishly our leaders are actually purposefully lowering our border guard. They look the other way allowing for the infiltration of those who would do us harm. All of this fueled by a lust for the votes of illegal immigrants and packaged in disregard of citizenship. It’s all to sustain political power. Their self-promoting miscalculations are proving dangerous for their constituency.

Already we have seen a decapitation by one infected with the ISIS plague. An innocent secretary was stabbed and then beheaded all as an act of vengeance upon those who would not convert to Islam. The Islamic executioner had been fired from his job for his disruptive verbal attacks on his co-workers. This blatant attack by an ISIS sympathizer was of course dismissed as a simple work place homicidal disturbance. We must be politically correct; don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers (that’s too big a block of voters to alienate!); even if vast proportion of them are out to annihilate us! And really, aren’t you surprised you haven’t heard that the ACLU is taking the offenders case because he was discriminated against?

Despite all of this and much, much more, there is an even greater related age old war that is well underway. All that we see on the surface is fueled by what is going on under the surface. There is a spiritual war raging. There is a light versus darkness, truth versus falsehood, Heaven versus Hell war going on. This war is between God, His angels and His people versus Satan, his demons and sympathizers. It’s an interesting war in that Satan has already been defeated at the cross of Christ (Colossians 2:13-15).
You’d think Satan would give up given the decisiveness of his defeat at the cross. But no, he is a maniacal miscreant dead set on doing evil and deceiving. And he is still somewhat effective at this devilish determination. This is a war that can’t be fought with conventional weapons. This is a battle against unseen principalities and powers and rulers of darkness (Eph. 6:12). Therefore, “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-5).

God has provided us with the best of armor for this battle (Eph. 6:10-18). If we simply put that armor on and stand in the might of the Lord, we can’t lose. With the helmet of salvation our mind is protected. The breastplate of righteousness in Christ guards our heart. With gospel shoes on we can carry the gospel to free others from the enemy’s talons. The shield of faith deflects the fiery arrows of enemy doubt. The sword of the Spirit when swung in love cuts through the enslaving damming lies of demons. The belt of truth holds our armor in place. Yes, our commander has given us the best equipment for the battle.

But I want to speak to you about an oft forgotten and even unrecognized weapon in this battle. It is a weapon that steadies and calms the ranks of God’s army. It is a weapon that when taken up gives God’s forces a steely unbeatable determination. I’m talking about Worship – Our Weapon. Immediately you may be tempted to think, “Worship, you mean singing? We’re in a war and you’re writing about worship?” Yes, my contention is that worship and in particular singing is one of our most potent weapons for the war we’re in. My contention is that instead of saying, “We’re in a war why worship?” we should be responding, “We’re in a war, we better worship!”

Now worship is far more than only singing. In reality our life is to be lived with an attitude of worship. When we live in full surrender to God in light of His grace we are worshipping (cf. Romans 12:1-2). When we live to please God not merely to please people we worship (cf. Colossians 3:17, 23-24). When we do all that we do for the glory of God we are worshipping (1 Cor. 10:31). We are to live lives of worship to God. Worship is more than singing. But singing is an important part of worship. Singing and its harmonies and sounds influence not only those physically in earshot of it, but it influences those in the unseen spiritual battle. If prayer is the long range artillery in our spiritual war, and God’s armor equips the boots on the ground, then worship singing is that communications jamming that brings confusion to the enemies of God. If the enemy is confused and divided, they will soon be defeated. Jesus said, “A house divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25; Mark 3:25; Luke 11:17). Worship to the enemies of God is a loud screeching in their earphones.

God wants to unite people in Christ (Eph. 2:11-22). The only good division is separating from sin. In this sense Jesus came to divide believers from unbelievers in Him (Matthew 10:34). God’s word is to be rightly divided in terms of orderly study and presentation of it (2 Timothy 2:15). God’s word divides us from our sin (Heb. 4:12). When God divides He does so to put things in their proper order and place. God is orderly (1 Cor. 14:33, 40). God divided the sky from the earth and the land from the sea.

God divides to create and beautify. Satan divides to conquer and disqualify. Divide and conquer is one of the oldest if not the oldest military strategies. It is rudimentary military strategy. One of Satan’s greatest strategies against the forces of God is to divide them. He took a third of the angels of heaven with him in his rebellion against God. He will deceive and take a host of God’s creation with him to hell.

An army united is stronger than an army divided. Satan wants to divide God’s army. He seeks to divide and cause chaos. He wants there to be infighting among God’s troops. He too often succeeds in his efforts to divide by pandering to people’s flesh. He encourages using selfishness to create division in the ranks. The carnal Corinthians are a perfect example of this strategy (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10; 3:1-4). Division in the church ranks is a sign of carnality not spirituality. Those who are divisive should be corrected and if they persist, they are to be avoided (Romans 16:17-18; Titus 3:10; Jude 19).

Worship singing has a way of uniting the ranks of God in a holy chorus. When we sing together we are united. But worship singing, while it unites worshipers, has the exact opposite effect on the enemy. Worship singing disrupts and divides the enemy. Worship singing has a positive and negative impact. Worship singing is therefore an extremely effective weapon in God’s arsenal. And that is why Satan does everything he can to corrupt worship singing as well as quench it as much as he can.

Satan doesn’t want you to sing worshipfully. He will do everything he can to keep you from worshipping God in song. And that is why singing is such a touchy subject with people. There are some who don’t think singing is a manly thing to do. Singing is for children. Singing is for the feminine. If you think that way you’ve been deluded. Those ideas are straight from the pit of hell. Consider this: Moses and the children of Israel sang and God helped them defeat an empire. David sang and God helped him slay a giant enemy nine and a half feet tall. Paul and Silas sang and God brought an earthquake to break open their prison doors. Jesus sang and He defeated the devil and suffered successfully for our redemption on the cross. I think it’s time for us to sing and see what God will do for us!

In the Old Testament there is a historical battle recorded that demonstrates the effectiveness of worship singing. In 2 Chronicles Jehoshaphat was for the most part a good king of the southern kingdom of Judah who implemented righteous reforms (2 Chron. 19). Then a horde of Moabites and Ammonites came up against him (2 Chron. 20:1-2). Both these groups trace their roots to Lot’s incestuous relations with his daughters (Gen. 19:37-38). It was in Moab that Balaam brought God’s people down with a strategy of lust (Number 22 and 25). The cruel Ammonites were into eye-gouging (e.g. 1 Samuel 11:2). They would rip open the pregnant women of their conquered foes (Amos 1:13). They worshipped the god Molech, a fire-god with the face of a calf. The idol of Molech was made of metal. It had outstretched arms and a cut out furnace area in its belly. In the ceremonial worship of Molech the idol was heated until it was red hot and then as an act of worship infants were placed on the red hot arms of the idol. Simultaneously a loud drumbeat would drown out the cries of the burning child as well as the mournful cries of the child’s parents. Satan was written all over Molech. Today’s ISIS terrorists had nothing on this confederacy of cruelty that came up against Jehoshaphat and his people.

 Understandably this was a frightful sight. Good king Jehoshaphat did what any godly person does when faced with a trial. He immediately “set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah” (2 Chronicles 20:3-4). He sought the LORD and brought the people together. A good godly leader will always seek the LORD first and then rally God’s people together. A good godly leader knows God works through united people. The Holy Spirit comes to empower believers united together in “one accord” (e.g. Acts 1:14 and Acts 2).

 Having sought the LORD and having brought God’s people together, Jehoshaphat led a congregational time of prayer. His opening words of prayer recognized that God is sovereign and in control (2 Chronicles 20:5-6). He then remembered how God had delivered His people in the past and had promised to do so again if they sought Him out in times of enemy attack (2 Chronicles 20:7-9; cf. 2 Chronicles 7). Then the godly king laid out the current predicament before His LORD (2 Chronicles 20:10-11). And in the concluding words of His prayer he humbly expressed, “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.” (2 Chronicles 20:12). They were powerless and perplexed but they did know Who to look to; “but our eyes are on You.”

Humbly united before the LORD, God faithfully responded by the Holy Spirit coming upon the Levite Jahaziel. As a relative of  “the sons of Asaph” he very well might have been involved in the worship ministry (2 Chronicles 20:13-14; cf. 1 Chronicles 25). The Holy Spirit will often speak to us through worship. And the word of the Spirit to Jehoshaphat and God’s people was a comforting one. “And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15). The Spirit always brings things into proper focus; proper perspective – the battle is not ours, it is the LORD’s. Even though God had sovereignly determined to allow this predicament, He also had a plan to deal with it. And this plan of God would serve the purpose of teaching God’s people a valuable truth.

 While the battle was the LORD’s it didn’t mean His people would have no part in it. In this particular battle they would need to “position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!” God affirmed, “Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you” (2 Chronicles 20:16-17). We need to be ready to take our positions. We need to step up and step into our place of responsibility. Be ready for how God wants to use you.

Then Jehoshaphat leads his people in humble thanks entering into worship of the LORD. And their worship was no barely heard half-hearted lukewarm singing. It says they “stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with voices loud and high” (2 Chronicles 20:18-19). “Loud and high” my brothers and sisters; “loud and high”! When you worship the LORD can your singing be described as “loud and high”? When you sing, can you be heard? Is your heart in it? These people were aware of God’s deliverance and they expressed their thanks in appropriate singing. Their singing was an expression of their faith. They sang as though their lives were in the balance; because they were! Their worship flowed from the word the Holy Spirit had provided. Their worship was connected to the Spirit. How about you; what does your singing express, worship? Who are you connected to?

There is a connection between the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and worship singing. In the Old Testament Moses was instructed by God to strike the rock and water would come out for the people (Exodus 17). Later he was instructed by God to speak to the rock in order to get more water out of it (Numbers 20). But as the people continued their journey to the Promised Land and moved away from this rock how would they get water? As they moved on and needed more water God instructed Moses, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water” (Numbers 21:16). God had the people come together; He had them unite. Then it states, “Then Israel sang this song: ‘Spring up, O well! All of you sing it” (Numbers 21:17). Then God provided water. Here God’s provision of water is connected with singing.

Jesus attended the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the New Testament (John 7). This was a time of remembering and worshipping God for His provisions in the Wilderness wanderings. Each day during this Feast there was a libation ceremony during which the High Priest would lead a joyous procession of worshipers down to the Pool of Siloam. There he would dip a gold pitcher into the water and fill it. As the pitcher was filled with water they would sing Isaiah 12:2-3 – “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Then the priest would lead the procession back to the Temple where he would pour out the water into a silver basin as a drink offering. As the priest poured out the water Isaiah 44:3 would be sung – “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring.”

On the last great day of the Feast when the water had been poured out, the priest would lift up the empty pitcher as a call for Messiah to come and fill up His people. It was at this point that Jesus, on that final great day of the Feast, “stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38). John is inspired to comment here, “but this he spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:39). This is important.

When Jesus spoke of “rivers of living water” He was connecting the Old Testament type of water in this Feast to being a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The New Testament states clearly “that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4). When Moses struck the rock to get water out of it, it was a typology of Jesus being struck on the cross. When Moses was instructed to speak to the rock, it was a typology that the work of regenerating water of the Spirit had been completed and one only had to speak in faith to it to receive the water. But look what follows, as the pilgrims journeyed on from the place of the rock (the cross) they needed only to sing and the water would flow. “Spring up, O well!” and the water would flow. Water is a type of the Spirit. When we unite in worship singing, the Holy Spirit will flow! At Pentecost the believers were “one accord” (Acts 1:14). There is no specific mention of their worshipping, but gathered together for prayer they very well might have been. Then we see the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit empowering them to serve the Lord. Worship singing creates the environment for the living water of the Holy Spirit to flow. We need the power of the Spirit for the war we are in! Let’s invite the Holy Spirit to come with our singing.

You may be thinking, “Okay Pastor, I’m following you, but is there any other confirming evidence for this?” Yes! Being continually filled with the Spirit is connected to our worship in song. In his inspired letter to the Ephesians Paul writes, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Eph. 5:18-20).

The Spirit filled life, the life of continually being filled with the Holy Spirit, is directly related to “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” When we worship in song it invites the Holy Spirit to come.

Only a fool would go into battle without the authority of their commander’s orders and the equipment provided by the army. With the empowerment of the Holy Spirit we have both. And worshipful singing is the means God uses for the Holy Spirit to be poured out and His soldiers to be empowered for battle. From now on, when you sing in worship, sing with purpose. Worship in song as a call to the Holy Spirit to empower and equip you. Then you’ll be ready for the war.

“So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” (2 Chronicles 20:20). All true worship involves believing in the LORD and His word (“His prophets”). The effective weapon of worship is worship defined and found in the word of God. I’m not speaking of mere music or secular songs. Such things will more likely lead to melancholy or very temporal distraction from your problems. If you want potent and more permanent deliverance from the attacks of demons you will need to worship the LORD in the beauty of His holiness. Only that will lead to prosperity; the fulfillment of God’s will and purposes in your life.

God’s word speaks of the instrumental use of worship to empower and defeat His enemies. When we worship Him it empowers us. When we worship Him as He prescribes; we must worship God the way He ordains us to worship Him. We must worship God “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). “In spirit” means we must be “born again,” regenerated; made spiritually alive.  That happens when we turn from our sin in repentance to God through faith in Jesus Christ as the sole means and basis of God forgiving our sin. By faith we ask for and receive God’s forgiveness for our sins. When we do that the Holy Spirit indwells us giving us a second birth; a spiritual eternal birth (John 3; Titus 3:4-7). Only then can we “know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). You can’t worship God if you don’t know Him or His Son Jesus.

“In truth” means according to God’s word which is the embodiment of truth (John 17:17). When we are spiritually born in Christ we live by Him and for Him. To worship “in truth” means we live by God’s truth in His word. We can’t worship God apart from His truth. True worship, worship that God accepts and looks for, is worship defined by His truth.

Have you ever been down or depressed for no apparent reason? Have you ever been overwhelmed with doubts? Ever felt hateful or all of a sudden angry and vengeful, belligerent? Have you ever felt defeated? Ever sink in despair? Ever been deluged by darkness? Let me tell you something. That is very likely evidence of an enemy attack. Did you ever notice how, you can be feeling some or all those things but when you worship it seems to change you for the better? Ever ask yourself why that is? It’s because when you worship the Lord the enemy can’t stand it. When we worship the enemy breaks off the attack. Worship confuses the enemy. Worship is like a high piercing horn blast in the ears of the demons of darkness.

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” (2 Chronicles 20:21). The enemy can’t stand it when God’s people, “praise the beauty of holiness.” What does that mean? It means we praise the beauty of living holy before our Holy God. When we worship God and live in total surrender and love to Him, it is an overpowering weapon. Love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8a). Love is what the Holy Spirit pours into us when He indwells us (Rom. 5:5). Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:37-39). When the enemy knows we know that, well, more often than not they will just let down their weapons, put down their heads, and walk away in defeat. When we praise the beauty of holiness it is very discouraging to our spiritual enemies.

Satan and his hordes are sore losers. When we praise the beauty of holiness not only do they turn in defeat, but they turn on each other. When we worship in song it so defeats the enemy that they are reduced to confused consternation.  And they become so confused that they turn their cruelty on each other. In Jehoshaphat’s predicament it states, “Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. 23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.” (2 Chronicles 20:22-23). While worship brings the true worshiper peace and power, worship brings confusion to the enemy. Lucifer was very possibly the worship leader of heaven at one time (Ezek. 28:11-19). His pride led to his fall (Isaiah 14:12-17). Lucifer perverted worship to exalt himself. When he hears true worship that exalts God Almighty as it should, it is like nails scraped on a chalk board, a deafening sound that hurts his ears and stabs his mind and heart with the truth and judgment of God.

Worship as a weapon can do a thorough work of defeating the enemy. “So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped” (2 Chronicles 20:24). When we worship we submit to God. We “resist the devil” with our worship. And when we do that, he must flee (James 4:7). Worship is a mighty weapon against Lucifer and his fallen angels. When we worship, Satan goes down for the count. The next time you’re tempted to give into the flesh or some ungodly notion, just tap out a worship melody and you’ll tap out the enemy.

Worship will lead you to the Valley of Berachah or Valley of Blessing. You will despoil the enemy and take back from him what is rightfully yours in Christ (2 Chronicles 20:25-26). Worship singing leads to abundant blessing at the expense of the enemy. Worship singing leads to a victorious joyous procession (2 Chronicles 20:27-28). The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Worship leads to a victorious procession to the glory of God! And worship singing impacts unbelievers. It communicates the presence of the Lord and instills the “fear of God,” reverence for God to them (2 Chronicles 20:29). When we worship sing God is enthroned in our hearts. And when we worship like that, it has an impact on those around us.

When we worship in song it soothes us and instills in us a sense of rest and peace in the Lord. After Jehoshaphat’s victory in worship it states, “Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around” (2 Chronicles 20:30). Worship and worship singing leads to peace. The prophet Isaiah echoes this when he is inspired by God to write of a song God would give His people: “In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks. 2 Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in. 3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. 4 Trust in the Lord forever, For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:1-4). Isaiah speaks of bulwarks and a strong city because there are always foes ready to attack. What did God instruct Isaiah to communicate to the people? God gave Isaiah a song to sing and that song of worship in the presence of the Lord would “keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.”  If you want calm when faced with calamity worship the Lord in song.

Finally, we should sing worshipfully in times when we are set to pick up our cross or encounter the enemy in pivotal purpose-fulfilling plans of God. After Jesus had put in place His Table before His disciples and was getting ready to go to Gethsemane and then the cross, it states, “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” (Matthew 26:30). At the most critical redemptively important time in His life Jesus approached the cross worshipping in song. At the cross Satan and all the demons of hell brought their hardest and darkest devilish attack. Jesus warded them all off with a hymn of worship.

When we worship in times of trial it brings us closer to Jesus.  Jesus comes closer to us in our worship. What hymn did our Savior sing with His disciples? We don’t know. Perhaps it was a psalm traditionally sung at Passover (e.g. Psalm 113-118). Perhaps at some point Jesus sang, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The LORD is for me among those who help me; therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me” (Psalm 118:6-7).

 Martin Luther the reformer was known to battle the devil all his life. You can still see at Wartburg Castle an ink stain on the wall of Luther’s study. It was there that he threw an inkwell at the devil. Luther fought oppressive thoughts throughout his life that he attributed to spiritual warfare. But he found a more effective weapon to fight the devil than an inkwell. In the great Reformation hymn A Mighty Fortress is our God written by Luther he conveys the hope we have in Christ when he writes, “And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us.  The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.” What might that “little word” be? In John 19:30 the single Greek word tetelestai is translated “It is finished!” Jesus’ redemptive work is finished and complete. The enemy is finished. Let’s be a constant reminder to him and those who fight with him that he “is finished!” We’re at war. Worship is our weapon. Use it!


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