Prayer, Praise and Spiritual Warfare

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

We all face trials and battles in life- perhaps in our job, our family life, battles against temptation, against thoughts of worry and depression, battles for mental or physical health, as well as spiritual battles for another person or to move forward spiritually ourselves. Whatever fight we face, the Bible reveals the key strategey to experience a victory. 

Jehoshaphat shows us God's way to victory in 2Chronicles 20:1-30.

 

1. ADMIT YOUR WEAKNESS and LIMITATIONS. 

O our God, will You not judge them (the enemy)? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us, nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.(v12) 

In the pace of the problem, don't be macho, but be humble and turn to God for His Help. Look to the All-Wise and All-Powerful One. Jehoshaphat knew they were no match for the enemy, so he turned to God in prayer. When you have problems how do you respond-do you look to self or turn to God for help? You can either fight your battles your way, in your own strength, or turn to God and fight it His way, trusting in His power. 

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6) 

Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Ephes 6:12)

 

2. REALISE THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD 

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel...and he said: 

Listen..thus says the Lord to you: Do not be afraid nor dismayed, because of this great multitude (the opposition), 

for THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, but GOD'S. (v15)

 

The Lord is mighty warrior in battle and He is with you (Psalm 24:8). When you turn it over to Him, and trust Him and fight it His way, it's no longer your battle but His battle! It is His battle and His Victory. 

David used the same phrase for his fight with Goliath: 

The battle belongs to the Lord. (1Sam 17:47) 

Goliath was much bigger than David. But David's faith was in the God Who is Greater than all. David showed his faith by declaring the victory in advance and giving God the praise for it. Then he attacked the problem, rather than waiting for it in fear. As we go against our Goliath we must declare that our faith is not in ourself but in God. 

 

Say: The battle belongs to the Lord. I submit to You, Lord Jesus, as my Commander in Chief and I will follow your instructions. Yours is the Victory. 

 

In Praise we magnify the NAME of the Lord, lifting up His AUTHORITY over the battle -it is declaring that 'the BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD'. When Jehoshaphat did this, God gave him His instruction and strategy to defeat the enemy.

 

3. POSITION YOURSELF ON CHRIST'S VICTORY. 

You will not need to fight in this battle. POSITION yourselves, STAND still and SEE the salvation of the Lord. (v17a) 

Take your stand on the finished work of Christ and already see yourself victorious through Christ. 

I am more than a conqueror through Christ. I am an overcomer for Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. Thanks be to God who gives me the victory through my Lord Jesus Christ. 

As far as demons are concerned we don't have to try and defeat them ourselves, because Jesus already has done that. 

We stand in His victory and praise Him. 

We don't struggle against satan's attacks, trials and pressures in our own strength but by faith position ourselves in Christ's victory. (Eph 6:12)

 

4. FEAR NOT but PREPARE TO ATTACK THE PROBLEM 

Don't fear or be dismayed, tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you. (v17b) 

 

He himself has said I will never leave....so we may boldly say: 

The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do unto me? (Heb 13:5,6).

 

The Battle is the Lord's so as we go out against the problem, He goes with us and fights for us. This gives us confidence and dissipates all fear. Don't fear, only believe: Trust in the Lord and you will be established,

believe in his prophets and you will have success (victory) (v20)

 

5. WORSHIP. 

Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground 

and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah BOWED before the Lord, WORSHIPING the Lord. Then the Levites stood up to PRAISE the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high. (v18,19) 

Worship is the attitude of complete surrender to God and His will. 

 

These physical positions represent an attitude of heart of offering ones body as a living sacrifice unto obedience (Rom 12:1) "(First) Submit yourselves to God. (Then) Resist the devil (the enemy), and he will flee from you" (James 4:7) This is important in the Battle against Sickness. Often those who came to Jesus for healing worshipped at his feet. (Matthew 8:2) Surrendering themselves and their bodies made them fully receptive to God's Healing Power, which then flowed into their flesh and made them whole. (Praying in tongues is an effective way to surrender your tongue to God as an act of worship)

 

6. ATTACK THE PROBLEM WITH PRAISE. 

So they rose early in the morning.. and Jehoshaphat appointed those who should SING to the Lord and PRAISE the Beauty of Holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: PRAISE THE LORD. FOR HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER. (v20,21) 

Their positive attitude is shown in rising early. The Praisers (the choir) went in front of the army. This is God's strategy for victory-to attack the problem with Praise. When under attack we should march forward praising God for the victory rather than retreating in fear. This was a March of Faith. Imagine what would have happened if God had not intervened! They were to demonstrate their faith by praise. 

 

You can do this at home - rise up early and march into the day saying: Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever. 

As you go forth with praise, God marches with you for: 

He is enthroned (as King) on the praises of His people. (Ps 22:3) 

Because God is with you, you have nothing to fear. As you praise Him, He goes before you and fights for you, and gives you the breakthrough 

- for the battle belongs to the Lord. As a result the enemy will be scattered (Ps 68:1) - he flees because God comes on the scene!

 

Going into battle in your own way and your own strength is to say: the battle belongs to me, which invites failure because God will not fight for you. Going into battle with praise is fighting under the Lord's banner, submitting to His way of warring and trusting in Him for victory. 

It is saying: The battle belongs to the Lord. Giving the battle to God and submitting to Him will bring success, because He wll fight for you.

 

The key to winning your battle is PRAISE. 

 

Psalm 8 is about Praise and its effects. 

O Lord, our God, how excellent is your Name in all the earth. (v1) 

Praise is declaring the excellency of God's Name (character) 

Out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants you have ordained (established) PRAISE (strength), because of your enemies that You might silence the enemy and the avenger.(v1,2) 

Praise is God's ordained method to stop satan's work in every christian's life (that even a spiritual baby can use) How do you silence mental torment?-by praise! It's the way out of depression and bondage.

 

Firstly, praise strengthens us (for by it we enter God's presence where there is fullness of joy and the joy of the Lord is our strength, as we praise God, His anointing is released in us- Ps 100:4, 16:11, Neh 8:10) 

Secondly, it silences the enemy and destroys his work. 

This is God's ordained method to do this.

 

God silences satan in our life as we lift up the Name of Jesus and declare God's Word (His written judgements on satan) Let the High Praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand (the Word), to execute vengeance (on satan), to bind their kings (demons) with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgement written (in the Word): this honour have all His saints. Praise ye the Lord" (Psalm 149:6-9). 

 

 As we magnify the Lord, not only does the problem get smaller in our mind, as the Lord gets bigger, but also the demonic powers behind it are confused and their power broken. Christ's Victory and Judgement upon satan was accomplished on the cross; was written in His Word and is now in the Name of Jesus. When we lift up the Name in praise, using the sword of the Word to declare Christ's victory and satan's defeat, then these written judgements are executed on satan and he is bound.

 

When problems or satan or trials come and speak to you saying: 

You are a defeated failure - you might as well give up, you are not strong enough to win.

 

Then we answer: Yes but I am not alone. The Battle is not mine-the Battle belongs to the Lord. He has already overcome you and I will praise Him and His victory will soon be manifested in me, for his faithful love to me endures for ever.

 

God's way to victory is to go out against the problem with PRAISE.

 

Jehoshaphat appointed men to SING to the Lord and PRAISE the beauty of holiness, and they went out before the army saying: 

PRAISE THE LORD.  For His Mercy endures forever. (v20,21)

 

This is the chorus of Psalm 136 which is probably the complete version of what they sang and has the rhythm of a marching song with the leaders singing the verse and the rest responding with the chorus: 

For His mercy endures forever:

 

O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good

-for His mercy endures forever 

O give thanks unto the God of gods-for His mercy endures forever 

O give thanks unto the Lord of lords-for His mercy endures forever 

To Him who alone does great wonders-for His mercy endures forever 

To Him that by wisdom made the heavens-for His mercy endures forever... (v1-5)

 

To Him who smote Egypt in their firstborn-for His mercy endures forever 

And brought out Israel from among them-for His mercy endures forever 

With a strong hand and an outstretched arm-for His mercy endures forever 

To Him who divided the Red Sea into parts-for His mercy endures forever 

And made Israel to pass through the midst of it-for His mercy endures forever 

But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea-for His mercy endures forever. (v10-15) 

  

To Him Who led his people through the Wilderness-for His mercy endures forever 

To Him Who slew great and famous kings-for His mercy endures forever 

Sihon, king of the Amorites and Og of Bashan-for His mercy endures forever 

and gave their land for an inheritance to Israel His servant- forHis mercy endures forever 

Who remembered us in our low estate-for His mercy endures forever 

And has redeemed us from our enemies-for His mercy endures forever 

Who gives food to all flesh-for His mercy endures forever 

O give thanks to the God of heaven-for His mercy endures forever (v16-26)

 

The theme is God's MERCY-a word that means Covenant-Faithfulness and Loving-Kindness that He shows to His people despite their failings and weaknesses.

 

Each verse gives an example of His Mercy (Faithfulness) to Israel 

From Creation. (v1-9), 

From Redemption from slavery in Egypt. (v10-15), and 

From the Victories He gave them in possessing the Promised Land. (v16-26)

 

The verse gives thanks for this mercy, then comes the chorus: 

for His mercy (faithfulness) endures forever which praises God for His unchanging faithful character. Each testimony of God's mercy is but a manifestation of who He is.

 

This Psalm is an example for us. 

We can march round our room proclaiming: His mercy endures forever

 

Give thanks for each of the blessings and provisions of God's wonderful Creation, followed each time by the chorus: For His mercy endures forever.

 

Then give thanks for your redemption by the Blood of Jesus and deliverance from the power of sin and satan (Egypt and Pharaoh) through the New Birth

 

Then give thanks for the victories in your Christian life: 

(1)  For guidance in the wilderness of hard times, 

(2)  For breakthroughs and deliverances as God helped you to overcome the enemy and possess more of your promised land (God's promises) 

(3)  For Promotions and God lifting us up into a higher life. 

(4)  For Answers to prayer for basic needs for finance and healing (food for the flesh). 

(5)  For God's empowering you to minister to others, 

so that through you, satan's power over them was broken.

 

It's so important to REMEMBER what God has done for us. 

Our faith that God will bring us through the present battle can only be as strong as our confidence in His Faithfulness. What God did for us in the past is evidence of His Faithful and Loving Character. Giving thanks for what God has done is a launching-pad for praising His Faithfulness. 

I give You thanks for (.....)-for Your faithfulness endures forever

 

His Faithful-Love is shown by all He has done in the past 

and the fact that it 'endures forever' means He hasn't changed 

and He will also bring me through the present problem as I trust Him. 

The same God Who brought Israel through the Red Sea, Who delivered the 3 boys from the fiery furnace, Who raised Jesus up from the grave, is with me now and will deliver me in this trial! If God did so much for us in the past will He not help us now and give us the victory? God gives us the victory in this situation too-for His mercy endures forever! 

 

So as they marched out thanking God for all His past demonstrations of mercy, they were also declaring their faith that He had not changed and would give them victory that day also. 

They were proclaiming that the power of their faithful God was present with them to give them success.

 

We also proclaim: Thanks be to God who gives me the victory through my Lord Jesus Christ. (1Cor 15:57, also Rom 8:37,2Cor 2:14)

 

As we give thanks for PAST blessings and praise His unchanging Power and Loving-Faithfulness, our faith grows stronger that He will  give us the victory in the PRESENT conflict. Israel's faith in God to give them the victory was based on His faithfulness which He'd proved to them again and again. 

 

We also know God's love and faithfulness: 

from creation 

from our salvation, 

from the stories in the Bible, 

from testimonies of Christians 

and from the times God has intervened in our lives. 

As we remember and thank Him for the victories and blessings of the past, and praise His greatness, our faith is built and the problem seems small compared to the God Who is with us.

 

God's instruction for our spiritual battles is for us to praise, for as we honour the Lord and build up our faith in Him, the atmosphere is set for God to move in power. As we go through the valley of the shadow of death, we will not fear for He's with us to fight for us and defeat our enemies (Psalm 23) The Battle is not ours but the Lords, if we march under His banner of praise.

 

THE INEVITABLE RESULT OF OBEDIENCE is VICTORY. 

When they began to sing and praise, the Lord sent ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who'd come against Judah and they were defeated. For Ammon and Moab came against the people of Seir to utterly kill and destroy them and when they'd made an end of them, they destroyed one another (v22,23) 

The timing shows that the key to victory was their obedience to move forward in praise. The real victory was the Lord's- it all took place out of their sight. They later saw the manifestation of the spiritual victory as found the opposion defeated and all dead. (v24)

 

God's ways may not make sense to us. We may ask: how will praising God at the start of the day going to help my problem. I don't have time-I must worry more, I must do something! 

But as we obey and PRAISE, God fights for us in the invisible spirit-realm and our eyes will soon see the victory. If we praise Him, then God will release His power for us and confuse, scatter and destroy any opposing forces.

 

THE FRUITS OF VICTORY 

(1) The Spoil speaks of Abundant Life (v25) 

(2) A new spirit of gratitude (v26) 

(3) Joy: the Lord made them rejoice over their enemies (v27,28) 

(4) Peace and rest on every side. 

When you win a battle decisively you're less of a target.  The fear of God comes upon your enemy. Because God fought for you-he will think twice before attacking again.(v29,30)

 

The Rod of Moses in Exodus 17:8-16 also gives us an OBJECT LESSON in spiritual warfare. Victory in spiritual battles comes as we rely upon the Lord to fight on our behalf. While Joshua fought the enemy Moses lifted up the ROD, which represents the NAME or AUTHORITY of God. Lifting up the rod was exalting and praising the Name of the Lord, putting the battle under God's authority. The raised rod signified they were trusting the Lord, acknowledging that the battle was His, that they were looking to Him for victory and the result of doing this was always success.

 

The rod acted as a power conductor. When pointed to heaven God's anointing was released into His people and power was released against the enemy. When the rod came down the result was failure, for they were then fighting their own battle, depending on their mere natural strength. As we lift up the Name of Jesus in praise we will see success in battle.

 

God showed that this battle revealed an eternal principle of victory to be always remembered by revealing one of His Names: 

'Jehovah Nissi'= The Lord is our BANNER, using it to name the place.

 

Banners are held up by armies marching into battle -showing in whose Name they were fighting and whose power they were trusting in for victory. So this Name also means: The Lord is our VICTORY. 

When they fought under the Lord's Banner they had Victory. 

By associating His eternal Name with this battle God was saying it was no 'one-off' but reveals how He gives victory to His people at all times and places, for His Name is Who He is.

 

If we lift up His NAME (His power and authority) in praise, declaring our faith in Him, saying: THE BATTLE and THE VICTORY BELONGS to THE LORD then He manifests Himself to us as our Banner, covering us with His power and protection, and giving us victory.

 

The Lord is saying: If you trust in Me and acknowledge Me as your Banner and Victory, that the battle belongs to Me, then I will manifest My Victory to you.

 

If we fly the Banner of Praise- then the Lord will manifest Himself as our Victory.

 

JOSHUA and JERICHO also reveals the principle of 'the Battle belongs to the Lord'  Jericho stood in the way of their entry into the promised land. In Joshua 5:13-6:5 the Lord gave Joshua the battle plan. After marching around it for a week, in faith they were to blow the trumpets and give shouts of praise and victory. Shout-for the Lord has given you the victory. (6:16).  You know what happened! 

When you come against a walled-city opposing your progress, 

then attack it with shouts of praise and see the falls fall down flat.

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