Typically after Sunday church services, you can either find me puttering around the farm or, during football season, catching the second half of the Tennessee Titans game. That’s exactly what I was doing this last Sunday, when I received a text message from a beloved coworker in Christ, encouraging me to read Psalm 149 in the Passion Translation. I did, and I want to share with you what stood out to me.
PSALM 149 : 5-9 TPT
5 His godly lovers triumph in the glory of God,
and their joyful praises will rise even while others sleep.
God’s high and holy praises fill their mouths,
for their shouted praises are their weapons of war!
These warring weapons will bring vengeance
on the nations and every resistant power—
to bind kings with chains and rulers with iron shackles.
Praise-filled warriors will enforce
the judgment decreed against their enemies.
This is the honor he gives to all his godly lovers.
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Every one of us is in the middle of a spiritual battle. When you said, “Yes” to Jesus you simultaneously were also saying, “No” to evil. The greatest loser of all time, Satan, knows that his time is short and he is focused on creating as much destruction on this earth as possible, until his time is up. Sometimes, we feel the effect of the enemy's destruction personally in our own lives, just as in war, it causes pain and confusion.
Soldiers in war don’t typically have the luxury to stop and contemplate their next move, while in the heat of battle. Sometimes, when the best battle strategies fall apart, your next choice can literally be the one that makes or breaks you!
Life can be the same at times, despite best laid plans and attempts to keep things neat and orderly. The enemy still finds a way to slip in, to cause mayhem. In the heat of battle, your next choice is always the most important. It’s vital that your next action is not decided by what you see, but what you know!
The U.S. Army, about a decade ago, discovered that it’s almost equally important to train soldiers to be mentally prepared for war, as it is to train them how to shoot their rifles. When you are not mentally prepared for battle, you can't physically execute what you've learned from your training to fight. When fear and anxiety take residence in your mind and heart, it can make the most simple and everyday task feel like learning a new language. Before we understood what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was in this country, we had a term that was coined in World War I, called “Shell Shocked”. Being “Shell Shocked” happened when, new but extremely, brave soldiers rushed the battlefield for the first time. They were frozen in fear and confusion from the sight and carnage of war.
This is what happens in life too. The enemy knows he’s a loser, and you're on the winning side. So, his only hope is to get you to focus on what he is doing and not what you know. Influence is the only weapon the enemy has left in his fight against God’s people. In order to gain that influence, he tries to bombard us with crises and the cares of the world so we forget who our God is and we are left frozen in fear. I’ll be honest sometimes it can be pretty effective until I remember, I have a weapon of mass destruction. It’s in the moment of crisis and attack that we have to resist the temptation to be frozen by what we see, so we can begin to sing and declare what we know. Praise and worship is a nuclear warhead to the enemy. When I praise God in the midst of my pain and defeat, I rip the only weapon the devil had left out of his hands and use it to beat him over the head with. Praising God returns influence over my life, back to where it belongs, and gives authority to God to fight on my behalf.
So have you run out of answers for what you're going through? Are you frozen in fear? Do you feel confused by what you see? Well, you have the “nuclear code” at your fingertips. Just worship God, and watch Him war on your behalf.