Triumph in Warfare through Worship and Praise

16864460_1646982905595667_4454300118292642359_n“Knowing that we are entering a battle of uncharted terrain, worship and praise seems to be our key to victory in days ahead. We have now entered into a season of war. When we began this last millennium, change and conflict accelerated. We find ourselves groping for stability, footing and positioning. The world is changing so quickly that many awaken with anxiety to each new day… The Church is being prepared to enter its most dynamic season of warfare, worship and harvest.

It is time to seek God’s face through worship and praise. The word, “seek” means: “to search, look for, aim at, or to investigate.” Because God desires that we become worship warriors for His Kingdom, our first step is to seek and search for Him with deep passion. When we come to the end of our self and need God desperately, then nothing else is as important as seeking the Lord’s face. God is removing our grip on earthly, temporary treasures, and He is bringing us into a new spiritual dimension and walk with Himself.

Most of us would say, “We have never been this way before.” John Wesley, famous preacher and hymn writer, learned the secret of worship and praise through the testimony of a man who had nothing.

At age twenty-one, John Wesley went to Oxford University. He was raised in a Christian home and was gifted, intelligent, and had good looks. At that time he was stuck-up, proud, and sarcastic. But one night something happened that changed his heart completely. He spoke to a man who had only one coat and lived in low-class living conditions without even a bed. This poor man was unusually happy and filled with gratitude.

Wesley joked about the man’s misfortunes and sarcastically asked, “And what else do you thank and praise God for?” The man smiled and with great meekness replied, “I thank and praise Him that He has given me my life and being, a heart to love Him, and a constant desire to serve Him!” 

Wesley was deeply moved because this man knew the real meaning of true thankfulness. Years later, in 1791 at the age of 88, John Wesley lay on his deathbed. Everyone around him knew that he had learned the lesson of praising and worshipping God in every circumstance, for he was a true worship warrior. Even though in great weakness, Wesley began to sing the hymn “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath.”

When we worship, we come into a supernatural connection with God.

The poor man who so impacted Wesley’s life had discovered a supernatural connection with God. John Wesley did as well. The power in that connection opens doors before us on earth. That connection brings revelation of God’s will and plans, drawing us into a new level of triumph and victory. We come into a place of supernatural transformation. We are drawn out of the ways of this world, and into God’s ways and the pattern for which He created us.

One result of this change is our being comforted in the midst of turmoil by the help of the Holy Spirit. As we worship, we ascend to a new place in prayer, and we begin to see from a heavenly perspective.

Worshipping and praising God opens the door for God’s presence and power on earth. 

Because the spiritual warfare is increasing, the way we live and wage war is changing radically. To live in victory and triumph, God wants us to learn to ascend in worship and then learn to descend in war. What we did yesterday and the way we used to live is no longer adequate for the days we are entering. We must rise up to a new level of spirituality. We must ascend into our Father’s throne room and receive His wisdom. We can no longer depend on our own understanding. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty.

We must have heavenly revelation in order to fight this spiritual war on earth. From a position of worship and praise, we will gain the victory. Let’s look at how we can ascend in worship and then descend in war.

Ascend in Worship and Praise

“When we release a sound of worship, the earth must respond. There is power in lifting our voices in acclamation of the true and living God. We can speak; we can sing; we can shout. Then the expressive power of the hands generates a sound. We can clap, and we can play instruments. We can also lift our hands in worship… We can stand; we can bow; we can dance.

It is time for us to ascend in worship and praise and come boldly to the Father’s throne room. When we do this, we enter into a new realm. The promises of God become realities in our lives, because our faith awakens to a new level. God calls us to go higher and deeper into worship, but how can we do this when there are so many cares in this world? The trials of life consume us, screaming for our attention every day. But we can learn to focus our life in a higher realm of holiness. Here are some practical ways we can ascend in worship:

  • Give God time – The enemy’s strategy is to keep us too busy to seek God. He will put many good things in our path because he knows that when we truly seek God, we move into a new realm of power and his evil works are shattered. Look carefully at your schedule. Prioritize your activities, eliminate the extras, and set aside time to seek God’s face in worship and praise.
  • Abide – Learn to abide in God’s presence at all times. When you are tempted to worry or get distracted, catch yourself, immediately confess this as sin, and go on into worship. Live a disciplined life of worship even when your circumstances are difficult. We don’t realize the weights and oppression that are part of this life. Worship brings us above this world’s cares.
  • Worship and praise God continually – It will not work to worship God occasionally. We must worship Him throughout the day. We can’t let our mind concentrate on the increasing troubles on earth. Jesus has gone to the cross to make His throne open to us. He is seated victoriously in heaven at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:1-3). He delights in our coming to Him with our worship.
  • Use the Word – Mix the praying of the Word with your worship. Read and pray the Word of God throughout the day. Worshipping God with the Word helps immeasurably, giving us a heavenly perspective and keeping us focused on God.
  • Express your heart – God loves passionate worshippers. You may want to be loud or quiet, sing, weep, or shout. Use whatever way helps you to express your heart to God. He is always looking at your heart.

Descend in War

“So if we live on earth but have access to heavenly places through prayer, why is God’s will not always done on earth as it is in heaven? The answer lies in the second heaven where Satan, the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and his demons contest God’s reign and His angels. Satan is the prince of this world (see John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).”

To better understand the immense warfare we face and the incredible power we have in prayer, it helps to carefully consider the following: The first heaven is the earthly realm where we live. When Jesus died on the cross, He broke the power of Satan in this earthly realm. Through His death and resurrection, we can pray into the third heaven where God is seated (Romans 5:1-2). We have access to heavenly places through our prayers.

Satan is the prince of the power of the air (the second heaven) and the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4). He tries to block heaven’s will on earth through a hierarchy of demons that are positioned between us on earth, and God’s throne in the third heaven. Our struggle is against the spiritual forces of evil in the second heaven (Ephesians 6:12). Satan gains legal right to block heaven’s will on earth through rebellion against God, both personally and corporately, through idolatry, immorality, bloodshed, and all other types of sin on earth.

When we worship, we are surrounded by God’s presence. When we are abiding in His presence, God equips us for war. We first ascend in worship, and then we descend in war. But how do we do this? Here are some practical ways you can descend in war.

  • Walk in peace – Hold your ground, and walk in the peace that surpasses all understanding. We need to see and understand the spiritual realm. The natural man’s understanding is ineffective. Walking with God is living a supernatural life.
  • Listen carefully – Listen for God’s strategy. God gives revelation and faith as we worship. God will give you insight into your situation as you take the time to listen to Him on a daily basis.
  • Live expectantly – Believe the Scripture that says God will give you His wisdom and knowledge. Expect God to speak to you personally as you worship Him.
  • Pray through – Learn to pray through the issues God lays on your heart. When we wage war in prayer, we gain more revelation and break the enemy’s power. Our faith begins to grow to a new level.
  • Gain new ground – As we press through resistance to prayer, we take enemy ground and gain revelation for warfare strategies. It’s an ongoing warfare here on earth but we have the ability to overcome the enemy. God will continue to bring us into new places with new insight.
  • Be persistent. Don’t give up. As you gain new ground and receive revelation, you must persist in praying through the challenges by faith.

God’s church has the power to break the strongholds of Satan on earth! We can break through the enemy’s domain in the second heaven, and we can destroy his strategies. This is powerful truth to the worship warrior. We are now being prepared for our finest hours here on earth. Through worship and praise we learn to touch heaven with our prayers and walk in triumph here on earth.

“God is establishing a new authority in His church to break through to the third heaven, gain the heart of God, and carry that revelation back to Earth where we can accomplish His will. As we do, we will change the very atmosphere around us—God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. This is what we pray for every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer!” Quotes and Insight from Chuck Pierce

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)
www.intercessorsarise.org

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How to Overcome the Devil’s Tool of Discouragement 

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“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God” (Psalm 42:11).

Do you ever feel discouraged? We all do at one time or another. We live in a fallen world where we are trying to bring God’s Kingdom to earth through our prayers. Dark feelings can overwhelm us when we are emotionally down, but we need to realize that even the greatest of saints got discouraged. Did you know that famous preachers like Charles Spurgeon and mighty evangelists like Billy Graham got discouraged?

I heard the story that one day the devil was auctioning off his tools. They were highly priced – laziness, pride, hate, envy, and jealousy. One tool was not for sale. One person asked, “Why is that tool not for sale?” Satan whispered, “I can’t afford to get rid of that one. It’s my chief tool – discouragement! I can pry open any heart with that tool, and once I’m inside, I can do anything I want!”

Everyone will encounter the devil’s tool of discouragement, but we can’t live in that dark place. We must learn to resist the devil and trust in God’s deliverance.

John the Baptist faced discouragement while in prison. He was a man of God who was facing doubts in that dark prison cell. He asked Jesus, “’Are you the coming One, or do we look for another?’ Jesus answered and said to his disciples, ‘Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me’” (Matthew 11:2-6).

Certainly John should have known who Jesus was, but there was a great warfare against this forerunner and prophet of God. He had to guard his heart against offense and the inability to understand. But Jesus honored him in his weakest moment and said that there was no one greater than John.

Another example is Elijah the prophet in 1 Kings 18 and 19. He was the good prophet facing a bad king with an evil wife, Jezebel. Elijah was the prophet for the nation in an incredibly intense time amidst evil Jezebel and 450 prophets of Baal. He is best known for challenging the prophets of Baal and inviting the whole nation to a spiritual confrontation where He prayed to God and called down fire from heaven. God answered by fire and Israel knew who was truly powerful. It was a revival moment and a major victory.

When Jezebel heard of the victory, she was filled with anger and vowed to kill Elijah. It was a spiritual attack and great warfare that overwhelmed Elijah. There was a spirit behind Jezebel that wanted to silence God’s prophets in the land and sought to kill Elijah, the prophet. Likewise there is a spirit of discouragement behind the warfare we are right now facing on earth. The warfare against Elijah made him feel so discouraged and hopeless that he wanted to actually die right after such a huge victory. Perhaps he felt totally defeated at that moment when he was emotionally down and depressed.

We also can face moments of deep darkness and discouragement in the midst of spiritual battles, especially in prayer. What are we to do in order to resist those times?

How to Overcome Discouragement in Your Life

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

There are several principles we can apply in our lives in order to overcome the tool of discouragement. The following are six ways to resist and overcome discouragement:

  • Give up the right to understand – Things happen that we do not fully understand. In those moments we must lay down our right to understand, and choose to trust God wholeheartedly. Our faith must come before our understanding. His ways are higher, He is in control, and He will take care of us.“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).

  • Measure success by obedience, not outward success – We often look to numbers and outward achievements, but God sees things differently. Stay focused on obedience to what God has told you to do, and don’t compare yourself with others. God sees your worth and rejoices in it.“‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams'”
    (1 Samuel 15:22).

  • Daily pray God’s Word over your life – Haven’t you noticed when you’re discouraged, how different you feel after God speaks to your heart through His Word? It’s as if a light goes on that dispels the darkness. When we read and pray His Word we can have a living, active dialogue with Him in our heart.“For the word of God is living 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).

  • Choose to be faithfulness – God is faithful and He values faithfulness. Look for His “well done” in your life. Seek to be faithful over a few things and with what is in your hands now. Breakthrough is best stewarded by the faithful.“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord’” (Matthew 25:23).

  • Learn the habit of giving thanks – It is hard to be discouraged with a thankful heart. Remember what God has done for you in the past, and encourage yourself in your history with the Lord. Discouragement is a loss of perspective. He will complete the good work in you.” Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

  • Resist discouragement in the name of Jesus – We are in a spiritual battle, and there is a spirit of discouragement that we can resist in Jesus’ name. Darkness is covering the earth, but there is power in the name of Jesus to resist the devil.
    “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world (1 Peter 5:8-9).

I went through a personal season of discouragement after returning to the U.S. after living overseas on a missionary ship for many years. It was a drastic change from traveling from country to country and experiencing so much excitement in ministry. It was a hard time to say the least. My husband and I were going through an incredible time of counter-culture shock, and we didn’t know how to adapt after living in so many countries overseas. Our home church told us to sit and rest, doing almost nothing. We were in the dark night of the soul which seemed to last for ages. I remember almost climbing the walls because it seemed so endless.

But God had his purposes in that time that I can see more clearly now. I had to give up the right to understand because it was so far higher and deeper than I was. It was certainly a time of obedience without any feelings of success or progress. I had to listen to God’s Word and not my own negative feelings. I had to choose to be faithful in little ways and be thankful for little things. It was a huge trial which makes sense now. I couldn’t do what I do today without that dark night of the soul. It was purposeful and brought me far deeper in my spiritual life. During that time I  learned to be God’s voice in prayer and my convictions deepened. God channeled me into a place that I didn’t know existed.

Maybe you are going through discouragement today. Remember that God is with you and He is good. You are deeply valued by Him, and He has a purpose for your life. There is a battle through discouragement and offense designed to silence the prophetic voice at this time. God is raising up a Church to stand with boldness and speak the voice of the Lord. We must resist the devil’s tool of discouragement in this battle for nations. He will not win and we are not alone. There are many who haven’t bowed the knee to Baal. We can’t expect peace in battle and warfare. We must position our heart in faithful obedience and encouragement in God. He is speaking in this hour and we must speak the truth with boldness.

God wants to use you as His voice and light in this dark world. Will you be His voice to your friends and neighbors? Will you be His voice at your job and in your city? May He break the spirit of discouragement over your life in the name of Jesus and give you great joy in His love. Do not fear or be discouraged. He is with you. Believe and trust God even if you don’t understand everything – Walk in minute-by-minute obedience – Daily pray God’s Word over your life and be faithful in the small things – Prayerfully give thanks and resist discouragement in Jesus’ name. Put your hope in God. He will deliver you.

“‘Look, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the Lord God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged’” (Deuteronomy 1:21).

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)
www.intercessorsarise.org