So far in our WOOW series, we’ve looked at Prayer and the Word of God separately as weapons of warfare. Today, we’ll be talking about a WOOW Combo – i.e. combining the two weapons of Prayer and the Word in our ongoing fight against the enemy of our souls.
In Acts 4, we see the fledgling church threatened by the religious leaders responsible for orchestrating Jesus’ crucifixion. Just when they thought they’d put the Messiah out of commission, He resurrected and His disciples sprang up filled with the Holy Spirit and a renewed zeal to share the gospel. After Peter’s sermon led to 3,000 converts, and then God used him and John to heal a 40 yr old lame beggar at the Temple, the chief priests had them seized and arrested.
Furious that the irrepressible duo used this opportunity to preach Jesus yet again, the religious leaders gave them a stern warning to cease and desist and then let them go. After all, they couldn’t risk the ire of the crowd by bringing direct harm to them.
Upon their release, Peter and John went back to the other disciples and reported all that had happened. Even though the chief priests were treading lightly, they still posed a risk to the believers and the church. So what did the disciples do? They prayed. What did they pray? The word of God (Acts 4:24-26). And “after they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31)
Halleluyah! This WOOW Combo resulted in a physical manifestation of God’s glory descending, with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to boot. Nothing in the Bible is there by accident…if the disciples prayed the Word and got those spectacular results, we should be doing and expecting the same.
Now, let’s go and get our Word Prayer Combo on!
What can we say about the Word of God as a weapon of warfare that God hasn’t already inspired? Here are a few references to the Word in the Word:
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1)
- Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away (Matthew 24:35)
- “Isnot My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29)
- For the word of God isliving and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)
- So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thingfor which I sent it (Isaiah 55:11)
WOOW!! God’s word is alive and powerful, like a fire and a hammer that breaks rocks/mountains of obstruction!! It is sharper than any two-edged sword and never returns void, but always accomplishes what God pleases!! His word will remain after heaven and earth; Jesus IS the word who speaks into existence – Halleluyah!
How can any stronghold or errant imagination or principality withstand the FIRE of the Word???
Thank you, Lord for this awesome weapon you have given us; may we ever decree and confess its power in Jesus Name!
I prophesy the breath of God over ever dry bone in our lives – in our careers and finances, and decree that they stand up, a strong and mighty army! I declare that the Lord is a shield for us, our glory and the lifter of our head. The Lord will light our lamp and enlighten our darkness. By Him we can run against a troop and leap over a wall. The Lord is our light and our salvation; we shall not fear. The Lord is the strength of our lives; we shall not be afraid. As the wicked come against us, they stumble and fall. Our faces look to him and are radiant; we are not ashamed. The Lord delivers us out of all affliction; He guards our bones, not one of them is broken. The Lord is our refuge and our fortress. The scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to us. Our help comes from the Lord. All those who were incensed against us shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing. We shall seek them and not find them. The Lord will contend with those who contend with us. Whoever assembles against us shall fall for our sake; no weapon formed against us shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against us in judgement we shall condemn. We shall arise and shine, for our light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon us. He has given us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Out of our bellies shall flow rivers of living water. Instead of shame we will have double honor; instead of confusion, we shall rejoice in our portion. The Lord will open for us the windows of heaven and pour out for us such blessing that there will not be enough room to receive it. And He shall rebuke the devourer for our sakes, so that he will not destroy our fruit and the vine shall not fail to bear fruit for us. The Lord will restore to us the years that the locust has eaten from us, and the glory of our latter shall be greater than the former. We will not fight in the battle, but we shall stand still and see His salvation, and every Egyptian we see today, we shall see no more again forever in Jesus Mighty Name – Amen!
Just as it is difficult to truly thank God without praising Him for all that He is and does, it is nearly impossible to truly praise God without worshipping Him. I know what you’re thinking – ‘aren’t praise and worship the same thing? After all, we often refer to Praise and Worship as a single activity.’ Well, yes and no. Yes because I believe true praise ultimately results in worship, which means they are inseparable (and hence the joint reference). And No, because while Praise is a verbal expression of adoration, Worship is a physical one.
In the book Secrets of a Prayer Warrior, Bible teacher Derek Prince wrote, “Worship is not singing hymns or choruses; worship has to do with attitude. Most of the words translated ‘worship’ in the [Bible] describe primarily an attitude of the body. Thanksgiving and praise are vocal; worship is the attitude (or position of the body) in which we come.” Prince’s definition of worship tallies with Revelation 4:9-10’s description of worship in heaven, as well as ancient practices in which a noble person was worshiped or adored through kneeling, kissing or lifting/waving of hands.
Upon receiving the promise of God’s intervention in the battle, Jehoshaphat worshipped by bowing his face to the ground, along with all of Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 20:18). This act of adoration in response to the promise no doubt stimulated God’s decisive victory over their enemies (vv 22-23).
Worship is a response to the presence of God via a physical expression of our total awe of God’s majesty and acknowledgment of His omnipotence. If worship could curry the favor of earthly rulers, imagine what it can do for us in sight of the God of all creation.
So we have the trifecta of Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship, which invite God’s presence and give Him the reins to move unhindered in our lives. I don’t know about you, but I’d sure like to see what an unhindered move of God in my life looks like.
As we stand on the threshold of 2018, may we thank God for seeing us through 2017 and all that came before; Praise Him for what He has done, is doing and will do and worship Him as an expression of complete and utter reliance on His move in our lives. Then, stand back and be AMAZED at what He will do.
Blessings and Happy New Year!!
Thanksgiving expresses gratitude to God while acknowledging Him as our all in all, which in turn invites His presence to dwell in us. Often following closely on the heels of Thanksgiving is Praise. It is difficult to truly thank God without praising Him for all that He is and does. As we invite His presence with our thanksgiving, our praise prepares room or accommodation for the Most High, which He finds most pleasing as we see in Psalm 22:3, “But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” (NKJV). The KJV says the God inhabits the praises of His people, as in He actually dwells in the accommodation of our praise – WOOW!!!
No wonder the Bible exhorts us multiple times to Praise the Lord! God hears those wonderful declarations of His greatness, awesomeness, power, beauty, majesty, glory, kindness, faithfulness and holiness and He smells a sweet smelling savor that just draws Him in – Halleluyah!
When Moses was instructing the Israelites with God’s commandments and encouraging them to fear the Lord and serve Him, this is what he said about God: “He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.” (Deuteronomy 10:21, NKJV).
As God inhabits our praises, He becomes our praise and begins to manifest those amazing things we’re honoring Him for in our lives – Double WOOW! Do we need victory over the enemy? Praise the King of Glory, the Lord Strong and Mighty, the Lord Mighty in battle, who vanquishes our foes and delivers our souls as birds from the snare of the fowler. Do you need financial breakthrough? Praise JEHOVAH JIREH, the Lord our Provider. How about peace? Praise JEHOVAH SHALOM, and well – you get the picture.
The confession is in our mouth and what an awesome weapon it is. Thank you, Jesus for this awesome privilege. PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2 Chronicles 20:14-24 – The Power of Praise on Display
14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 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. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”
18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high.
20 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.” 21 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.”[c]
22 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.
24 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.
Now that we know there is a spiritual battle being waged over our vessels, and that both internal and external forces come into play, what next? How do we protect ourselves from unseen agents of the enemy whose influence we may not even be conscious of? I’m glad you asked!
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 says “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For 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.” (NKJV). I love that translation, but for plainer speaking, we can also review this principle in the NLT: “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (NLT).
Praise God! Even though we reside in the human realm and may be at the mercy of happenings in the spiritual realm, God has provided us with mighty weapons of warfare; thus we are empowered to wage war on any realm and manifest the victory we have in Christ.
One such weapon is THANKSGIVING. While giving thanks might seem benign at first glance, let us see what God’s word has to say about it.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 50:23 “But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”
WOOW!! Thanksgiving is God’s will for us (walking in His will ensures that we enjoy His favor); it calms our anxieties and brings peace (anyone in need of peace? Want to bring those wandering thoughts that cause fear and stress captive to the obedience of Christ?); it is a sacrifice that truly honors God, and will trigger a revelation of His salvation (who wants to be in this place? I do!). Hmmm…does Thanksgiving still seem so benign?
Thanksgiving requires a posture of mind, heart and soul that is humbled before God and acknowledges Him as our all in all, which in turn invites His presence to dwell in us. No enemy can withstand that. May we cultivate an attitude of gratitude today and always. Now, go forth and be thankful!!
Happy Thanksgiving 😊
Man is a vessel created to show forth the glory of our Creator, by whose breath we live and move and have our being. Seems straightforward, right? So, why is there such evil permeated in man’s society? Surely this is not the outcome of God’s breath!
It isn’t. From the beginning of time, there has been a colossal battle waged between those who would see the manifestation of God’s glory in man, and those who would distort that manifestation. Our very first glimpse of this struggle is in the garden of Eden, where Eve is tantalized by the words, did God really say…? (Gen 3:1) Beware anything or anyone that prompts you to rationalize or question God’s word to you – that is an attempt to corrupt your destiny.
We were created to have perfect fellowship with our Father, but sin separates us from Him. Simply put, sin is a distortion or corruption of God’s perfect purpose.
Man’s nature can be corrupted by both internal and external forces. James 1:14-15 says “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions, and when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” Most of us are familiar with the concept or principle of our internal desires causing us to fall into sin. This is why Jesus advised that we should deal ruthlessly with those things in our lives that entice us to sinful behavior (Matthew 5:29-30).
What most of us are not aware of is that there could be external factors influencing our behavior. These externals are agents of the devil, unclean spirits, principalities and powers, spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). They sound like the stuff of legend, but are only too real. As believers, we would do well to educate ourselves on the insidious influence these unclean beings have on people and the world today.
Have you ever wondered why you did what you just did, or why you can’t seem to stop that thing you hate? When we encounter depravity and degradation in humanity that takes our breath away, we need to look beyond what is seen or can be comprehended by our senses. Conversely, the influence of these invisible beings may not be so obvious – that is why we must pursue knowledge, so that we may not be destroyed for lack of it (Hosea 4:6).
Suggested resources: books and recorded teachings by Derek Prince.