- Chris Crosby
The Praise Team Goes to Battle
It had been a draining week. It felt like most of the week I was giving and helping and solving everyone else’s problems. I was left feeling like I had nothing more to give.
As I entered Sunday morning worship, I realized why I felt so spent. I had not spent much time in praise and worship throughout the week. Usually I listen to Christian radio and play one of my playlists filled with songs reminding me of the power of God – but not this week. By the time service was over, I was filled and energized again. My problems were back in proportion and God was elevated back to proper position in my life.
Does that ever happen to you? Do you have times where you feel drained with nothing more to give? If so, evaluate your time in praise and worship. When entering a time of praise to our Heavenly Father for who He is, it helps us focus on His majesty and power. When we focus there, our problems return to their normal size. I like to think of it like this…when we are taking a picture, we focus on the main subject and the other items in the picture become blurred. When I focus on a problem, it takes on larger-than-life proportion and I fail to see God in proper perspective. Yet, when I turn my lens to Him and His promises, the situation is viewed from God’s ability to overcome it.
Whenever the subject of praise comes up, I think of the story of Jehoshaphat found in 2 Chronicles 20. The Israelites were facing the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir in battle and in the natural couldn’t win. Yet God gave King Jehoshaphat a battle plan that would baffle any enemy - he sent the praise team out in front. Here is the summary of what happened: “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who could 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.’ 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.” (2 Chronicles 20:21-22) What is so remarkable about this is that Judah did not have to fight at all, yet the entire enemy armies were utterly destroyed. Judah couldn’t take credit for the victory – it could only be God who conquered their enemies. The impact of this victory on Judah was so great, they renamed the place The Valley of Berachah which means The Valley of Praise.
If you are facing something that seems too large for you, praise your Heavenly Father. Focus on who He is. By taking your eyes off the problem and focusing on the solution, faith will rise up and strengthen you. I encourage you to memorize Psalm 100 as a reminder to praise God daily.
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.