Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Exciting Heaven and Invading Hell…the Power of Praise

I was in conversation with a worship leader at a conference a while back about what type of music we use here at Meadow Park. The question posed to me was “How many Praise songs and how many Hymns do we use in our services and how do we keep everyone happy with how we put it all together?” I know what he meant in that questioning and I explained our philosophy about balancing our services with music that reflects our rich heritage and music that speaks God’s Truth to our culture today. The goal should always be “to God be the Glory” and not just what makes everyone happy. I thought about that question more and asked him, “Isn’t every song we sing a song of Praise?” Every Hymn, Psalm, Spiritual song and chorus that we use in our worship service in some way praises God for the victory that is in Him.

“Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name." Psalm 66:1-4

In 2nd Chronicles 2 King Jehoshaphat sent musicians and singers out ahead of his army as they were going in to battle. Are you kidding me? The King has this great army ready for battle and he sends the worship band in first? The King’s great battle strategy is to have the band sing some songs first on the front line and then send his troops...who have all the weapons by the way...behind them? What kind of battle strategy is that and how do the musicians protect themselves with their voices or instruments? I feel sorry for the piccolo player! That’s exactly what happened though. In verse 20-21 it says:

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever." As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 2nd Chronicles 2:21

When we come together as the Body of Christ each week, we offer praise to God even in the midst of a Spiritual battle that is all around us! Our offering of praise is neither fast nor slow, old or new, joyful or sad, acapella or instrumental, traditional or contemporary. Our offering of Praise is a victory cry! It’s not even the music offered that gives us victory. It is the very presence of God Himself that reminds us that the enemy has been defeated.

When we come together to worship each week, we must think way beyond notes, forms, styles or techniques and focus on the Way, the Truth and the Life…Jesus …no matter what you and I are facing in battle. I know many of have you are right in the midst of spiritual battles right now…our family included. Satan is the strongest when he can sense confusion, wanting to give up, surrender and even discord and disunity in the ranks! The answer is in the arms of God! That’s the power of Praise!

Darlene Zschech, songwriter and author says that “Thanksgiving and praise paves the way for us to go in to the awesome Throne room of the King of Kings! There is tremendous power in bringing an offering of thanksgiving to God. Praise invades Hell and excites Heaven!”

In Christ alone my hope is found. He is my Light my strength my song
This Cornerstone this solid ground

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm…
No pow'r of hell no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand
'Til He returns or calls me home here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand

(Paul Getty In Christ Alone CCLI 3350395)

Let’s get ready to “excite heaven and invade hell” with our praises each time we worship together!

Blessings- Ric

1 comment:

Betsy Cradic said...

Amen, Brother! :) Great thoughts and inspiration.