Or have you become so engrossed in the difficulty ahead of you that you have forgotten to praise God? I think we have all been in that spot at some time in our lives. It is easy to look primarily at the hardship at hand and forget “with the high praises of God in our mouths and a two edged sword in our hand” the victory is attained.
We choose to lift up our voices and offer our sacrifice of praise but should our hearts fail us for words, we have the Bible in hand, our two edged sword we speak and sing from. We are to copy the examples of the men and women of faith found within those precious pages. When a life of peace seems lost, we must be steadfast and faithful in practicing praise. Praise carries us to a higher dimension.
The Lord gives us a wonderful visual in 2Chronicles 20:1-24 as He shines the focus upon the Tribe of Judah. I loved this portion of Scripture in my early years of learning to walk with Jesus. The words created a picture of achieving victory I have never been able to forget. Sometimes, yes, I have forgotten to practice the example given…
“As they went out before the army, saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.”
Judah means “Praise”. In real life, this tribe of men marched out before the army. Visible to the enemy. Heard by the enemy as they lifted up their voices and sang praises to their God. In verse 24 “and when Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked at the multitude (enemy), and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to earth, and none had escaped!”
God had done a mighty work on their behalf, all because they were obedient and chose to sing praise to the wonder working God of Israel. He has not changed and is our wonder working God doing miracles in our lives too if we would choose to lift up our voices and sing praises to Him.
The voices of the Tribe of Judah were as one. Their voices rang out, loud and unfalteringly, “Give thanks.”
“Give thanks”. We give thanks for a meal set before us, for things we already have, for things we can see.
Judah gave thanks for something they could see only with the eyes of faith! Their eyes were set on the victory achieved already in the spirit.
I remember several years ago when I drove school bus on the prairies where winters can be very cold and snowy. I read some winter driving tips on the weather network and the advice went something like this:
“Look ahead to where you want to go. Do not focus on the hill or curve right in front of you. Keep your gaze directed ahead while being aware of the immediate concerns around the vehicle.”
(I read this after I spun out one snowy winter morning, landing precariously beside the ditch on the other side of the road facing the opposite direction. Thankfully, I was on the way to my first pick up and was able to drive on without further incident.)
This is the same lesson the Tribe of Judah were marching and singing to and it is a lesson each one of us can apply to our lives.
We cannot cope, nor can we achieve victory if we allow the enemy to overrun us with grief, fear and unsettled emotions, even though they are common, natural feelings when facing unpleasant life situations.
The band of men named Praise, were facing an enemy. They did not faint and lose heart. They did not cave in to fear. They did not frantically call their neighbor and ask for prayer (I appreciate my brothers and sisters who have interceded for us!)
What did they do that we can learn from today? 2Chronicles 20: 3-4 holds a key. “Then Jehosophat feared, and set himself determinedly, as his vital need, to seek the Lord; he proclaimed a fast in all of Judah. And Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord, even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord, yearning for Him with all their desire.”
Men heard and obeyed the voice of the Lord. Are you setting yourself in a place where you are recognizing the sound of the Lord?
Have you learned His voice so you can obey His directions? The Lord has specific routes for each one of us; our walks are unique along the Highway of Holiness. Each test, each difficulty we encounter is part of God’s plan to grow us up into the Body of Christ so we become mature sons and daughters of the King, lacking nothing.
We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Call to mind the lessons you have received and heard, continually lay them to heart and obey them. Have a heart quick to repent, quickly forgive and receive forgiveness. Lift up your voice and praise God for the victory He attained for you by the finished work on the Cross, through the shed blood of Jesus.
Look ahead – see with your eyes of faith, lift up holy hands and praise the Lord.
Praise, is a vital key to victory. It is a tip that we must do more with than just put in our pocket. We must spend it. Spend ourselves as we offer our sacrifices of praise to God.
As you practice these tips to victory, my heart would be blessed if you would comment and share your victories. We can encourage and strengthen one another as we share the good things the Lord is doing on our behalf.
I stand with you brother and sister and lift my voice in one accord with yours in heartfelt praise to Almighty Father.