Our Spiritual Soldier Series continues as we prepare ourselves for spiritual warfare through these battlefield trainings. We have just discussed how the Holy Spirit helps us in spiritual battles. And now we will turn to the power of worship.
Many Christians do not realize the power of worship in spiritual warfare. Some of the postures and practices of worship can be of great help in the spiritual realm. I have found one of the best ways to fight my battles is through worship, and so did Israel. Let’s dive in!
- Shouting for Victory
Israel used shouting for several occasions. Most often they shouted for joy during worship, or because of God’s grace toward them. Shouting in worship could also be done on the battlefield. The most notable shout on the battlefield mixed with worship to the Lord happened to bring the walls of Jericho down (Joshua 6:1-21).
As we will discuss later, the trumpet (shofar) accompanied shouts of victory in worship. Joshua instructed the people to walk around the walls of Jericho as they praised the Lord with shouts of victory (Joshua 6:5).
Israel fought in the most unusual way. The priests carried the Ark of the Covenant right behind the soldiers (Joshua 6:8-9). Then the rear guard followed the priests. Praise was the main weapon of the Israelites. Carrying the Ark of the Covenant was the equivalent of the Lord’s presence in the battle.
The Lord is the divine worrier in the battle belongs to Him. This symbolism showed that the Lord won the victory for the Israelites. Even today the Lord fights our battles and His victories are our victories.
Praise and worship in the military setting reminded the Israelites that the Lord fights for them. Using praise and worship at the beginning of your spiritual battle sets the stage for demons to flee. It brings the presence of the Lord to the forefront.
Shouting is used throughout the Old Testament in many ways related to battles. People shouted the war cry in the midst of battle to frighten the enemy (1 Samuel 17:20, 52; 2 Chronicles 13:15; 32:18; Ezekiel 21:22; Amos 1:14).
Shouting for deliverance (Psalm 32:7) and shouting in triumph (Psalm 33:3; 47:5; 60:8; 108:9) happened at the end of a victory in battle. The victory shout proclaimed victory over Israel’s enemies (Isaiah 22:5; 31:4; 42:13; Jeremiah 31:7; 50:15; 51:14).
Shouting was a powerful weapon of worship to the Lord for His victory over the enemy. I have been in worship services were spiritual battles were being fought and the people rose up with the shout of victory against the enemy. Don’t neglect the ability to shout in victory during worship.
- Clapping against Enemies
Clapping your hands in worship is not only proclaiming the joy of the people. It also can be used in spiritual warfare. People in the Old Testament clapped their hands against evil and against their enemies (Psalm 47:1; Ezekiel 6:11; 21:14; Nahum 3:19).
Clapping your hands in spiritual warfare and in worship puts the enemy on notice. Our God is greater than the enemy. He cannot face us in spiritual battle when he realizes we know he’s already defeated.
When we clap our hands we show the joy of the Lord because the battle is already won. Our divine warrior has already destroyed the enemy and sent him scattering. Clap your hands to show the enemy who’s boss. Our Lord has won the victory and we join in that victory.
- Praising the Lord
The enemy hates to hear the saints praise the Lord. When the dark of night in our trial seems to be winning we know that the light is coming. It’s always darkest before the dawn. But in these dark moments when we praise the Lord we invite the light of victory to come into our situation.
Paul and Silas were in prison when they began to praise the Lord (Acts 18:25-26). Through praising the Lord their deliverance came. Instead of choosing to wallow in pity because they were in prison they knew that they could not be contained.
They chose to praise the Lord in the midst of their suffering and darkness. And look what happened! The Lord set them free from their prison and gave them the victory over the enemies of the gospel. We must choose to praise the Lord and worship Him in the darkest moments.
When you are weak, then you are strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). Praise and worship are a choice. We must see the spiritual realm with discernment. When we feel we have lost the battle we must remember that the Lord is always victorious.
Elijah’s servant only saw the battle in the physical realm and thought for sure they were defeated. Only after Elijah prayed for his eyes to be opened to the spiritual realm did he see God’s angels arrayed for battle and much more than the physical enemies around them (2 Kings 6:15-19).
When we see the spiritual battle in our war and see Jesus always victorious, even in the darkest of times and the hardest of trials, we must choose to praise the Lord for the victory even before we see it happen in the natural. Worship helps us to focus on God and see Him greater than the mountain of our trial.
- Declaring God’s Greatness
Throughout the Bible saints have declared God’s greatness over their enemies. Declarations of the truth of our situation in spiritual battle remind the enemy that God is the victorious divine worrier. So many times David declared God’s goodness to him in the midst of his trials in battle.
We must learn the art of declaring God’s greatness in the middle of our trials. Declare to the darkness, to your mountain, to your trial that Jesus has already won the victory. It also reminds you that God is greater than your situation.
Start your prayers for God’s deliverance with declarations of God’s greatness. It sets the stage for your prayer requests. When you declare God’s victory over your situation you realize His great power. Your trial shrinks before you.
Don’t use declarations as formulas for victory. Declare to yourself and the enemy the truth of the situation. It puts you in the right mindset and shows the enemy you know who owns the battle. You declare Jesus’ victory and enjoy the victory through Him. You fight from a place of strength.
- Singing in the Spirit
Paul talks about the powerful spiritual weapon of singing in the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-20). He begins by saying we must not get drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Everything that follows this idea is done “in the Spirit.”
We sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in the Spirit. We make melodies to the Lord with our hearts through the Spirit. We give thanks to God the Father in the Spirit. God uses our worship and praise to destroy the works of the enemy.
More specifically, I have often found that singing in the Spirit can include singing in your prayer language. God uses speaking and singing in tongues in powerful ways in the spiritual realm. We praise God in ways we don’t even understand with our mind but the Spirit uses our prayer language to intercede for others in spiritual battles.
Our praise goes before us and breaks down the gates of Hell, setting captives free from the enemy. Some people believe that speaking in tongues is a language the devil cannot understand. If this is so then we speak to God through the Spirit and the devil cannot intercept our messages. It’s possible God can use singing in the Spirit and more powerful ways than we realize.
When you sing in the Spirit and pray in the Spirit with your prayer language the devil cannot stand to know you are praising God. Worship he so desires from human beings is thwarted by our praise to God in the Spirit.
- Raising Your Hands and Head
When we raise our hands to the Lord we usually think of it as a sign of surrender. I sometimes picture myself holding a giant bowl and offering all I have and am to the Lord. But raising your hands can also be used in spiritual battles.
Once in battle the Israelites would be winning the battle as long as Moses’ arms and hands were raised to the Lord, holding his staff (Exodus 17:11-13). There are times during spiritual battles in the heavenly realms as I worship that my hands are raised in the fist of victory.
Raising your hands in victory shows the enemy you know Jesus is winning the battle. We raise our hands to recognize Jesus is the Victor. Even when it doesn’t look like we are winning we know we have the final victory.
I often raise my head when I worship the Lord with other saints. It always reminds me of the passage in the Psalms where the author says, “I lift my eyes up to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord” (Psalm 121:1-2).
When we raise our heads to heaven we acknowledge that Jesus is our Source. He is the one who saves and helps us in battle. Without Him there would be no victory. It is not we who fight in our own resources and abilities. They have been given to us by God.
In speaking of the end times Jesus instructs His disciples to lift up their heads and see their redemption drawing close (Luke 21:28). All of our victory comes from Jesus. We look to Him because He is the one who rescues and leads us. Jesus is our true strength in the midst of battle.
- Musical Instruments
Israel had many musical instruments for different reasons. Most of them were to celebrate God’s victories for them. When they crossed the Red Sea on dry ground and the Egyptians were drowned by the crushing waters they sang a song of victory with tambourines.
While there were several reasons for each musical instrument used the most important one for military engagement was the shofar, or the trumpet. If you have ever heard one you realize why. They are very loud instruments.
Shofars were used to gather the troops, warn the people of impending attack, prepare the people to advance against the enemy, and direct troops on the battlefield. They were the ancient equivalent of flags on the battlefield today.
These powerful ram’s horns were responsible for ordering the battlefield for victory. When we talked about shouting in Joshua earlier you may have noticed that just as prevalent is the shofar. It was not only used for signaling events but also to intimidate the enemy. It’s loud, piercing and earsplitting tones would make anyone think twice about engaging the Israelites in battle.
In the music of the worship service God can use musical instruments in powerful spiritual warfare. I have been in worship services where the rhythmic beat of the drums accompanied by the rest of the instruments made a statement to the enemy that he could not have this holy ground.
Each of these weapons of worship are powerful in the spiritual realm. They break down strongholds and destroy the works of the enemy. God can use our worship as we glorify Him to set the stage for the enemy’s defeat over and over.
When you worship the Lord, think about the power involved in your worship. The enemy hates worship because it opens the doors for God’s blessing and power to go forth in victory. What are some other ways you have seen worship impact the spiritual battlefield?
We have now seen the power of our worship as we take the fight to the enemy. Next we want to look at a battlefield training on the armor of God. We will first summarize the armor together and then look at each individual piece and its contribution to spiritual warfare.