(This should also tackle the “praise & worship” portion of my More Faith, More Power) post.
Bible reading: 2 Chronicles 20: 1-30
Three kingdoms assembled to battle against Judah. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and the people were exceedingly afraid against the multitude that was coming against them. The king proclaimed a fast throughout all the land, and he and all the people came before the Lord to beg Him for His help and deliverance.
King Jehoshaphat humbled himself before God and admitted to Him that they didn’t have might nor power against the great company that came to battle against them. He did not look elsewhere for help, but declared unto the Lord:
…our eyes are upon thee (part of v. 12)
Then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel and he spoke the words of the Lord:
…Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; FOR THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, BUT GOD’S. (v. 15) …YE SHALL NOT NEED TO FIGHT IN THIS BATTLE. (v. 17)
And so it was, that King Jehoshaphat appointed singers to sing unto the Lord and praise the beauty of holiness. They went before the army singing and praising:
Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth forever! (v. 21, punctuation added)
And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord smote all their enemies by making them fight one another. They were all killed, none escaped.
And so, the Lord delivered the people of Judah and gave them great victory against their enemies – and they didn’t have to fight. They just sought the Lord, humbled themselves before Him, admitted that they could do nothing on their own but that they were completely dependent on His power and might, AND SANG PRAISES TO HIM.
Judah’s complete trust and obedience to the Lord, and hearfelt praise, brought them victory. Faith (More Faith, More Power), obedience (Saul’s Mistake), and praise are the things that are closest to God’s heart. These are the things that endear us to Him, for they are proofs of our love and devotion to Him.
Our praises that come from the depths of our hearts move the hand of God to heal, to deliver, to bless, to answer our earnest prayers. Aside from the story of King Jehoshaphat, there are other stories in the Bible that tell of how the Lord performs miracles when we praise and lift up His name with all that’s within us.
Why is praise [to give glory] so precious to God? Because He is the God of glory and He has created us for this purpose: to praise and give glory to Him.
Even every one that is called by my name: FOR I HAVE CREATED HIM FOR MY GLORY, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. (Isaiah 43:7, emphasis added)
…whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)
Before she came to know the Lord, Sister Carina Panes, a sister-in-Christ, was left by her husband for another woman. For a long time, on her own ways and strength, she did her best to win him back, making herself glamorous and attractive, trying on many things, like new hairdos, fashionable clothes, makeup. But all her efforts were in vain. Her husband didn’t come back to her. (Now, some would think that she should just let him and go on with her life. But, even in these modern times, most Filipinos value and cherish marriage, and would choose to keep it, for they still strongly believe that “what God has put together, let no man put asunder”).
While living with her pain and sorrow, the Lord Jesus Christ found her. Sis. Carina was invited to the worship service of Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry. There, she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and was baptized in water in His name.
Sis. Carina’s life changed. She found unconditional love and comfort in the Lord Jesus. And she loved Him back with all her being, serving Him fervently and faithfully. She embraced the Church’s teachings on holiness. She began to dress modestly, simply.
Her co-teachers mocked her, telling her that she will never win her husband back by the way she looked – so simple, and to them, unattractive. But she has learned to run to the Lord, giving Him all her heartaches. She continued to pray, fast, praise, read the Word, and serve Him.
One day, her husband returned, begging her for her forgiveness. Sis. Carina forgave him and accepted him back. Now, she and her husband serve the Lord together.
The Lord fought her battle and made her triumph.
Are you fighting losing battles in your life? Maybe an illness, heartbreaking problems? The Lord will give us victory when we believe, obey, and praise and worship Him with all our minds, hearts, souls, and might.
Photo #1: A portion of the formation of the Jesus Finest Generation Choir praising the Lord at the Quirino Grandstand, Luneta Park, Manila.