Worship That Releases Power
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand. (Psalm 149:6, KJV)
In so many of our western churches, worship can be a very "tame" affair. This really comes home to you when you travel to non-western nations and touch something of the vibrancy and power of their worship. And that’s exactly how we find worship to be in the Bible at times, especially when it is used to enforce God’s victory into difficult (if not impossible!) situations. Whenever people focused on God in worship, there was a breakthrough in the spiritual dimension of life. Hindrances were removed, difficulties overcome, problems resolved and enemies defeated.
Our introductory verse today is deliberately chosen from an older translation to retain the phrase "high praises." There are times in life when "ordinary praise" just won’t do and when we really need to "give it all we’ve got" – in volume, in passion, in faith, in the Spirit – and attain a "higher level" of praise to God that breaks through spiritual barriers. Daniel discovered something of those barriers when fasting for three weeks to seek God’s revelation. At the end of that period, God’s angelic messenger finally broke through, explaining that "the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days" (Daniel 10:13) and saying that it was only when the archangel Michael came to his aid that there had been a breakthrough.
"High praise" is what often helps bring about such breakthroughs. It engages things at a spiritual level, "in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12), the realm where we can’t see unless our eyes are opened. That’s what happened to Elisha’s servant. He couldn’t see what Elisha was seeing; but then Elisha prayed for him and "the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all round Elisha" (2 Kings 6:17). In Psalm 149, the psalmist recognizes that such divine breakthroughs can as easily come through the mouth full of praise as by the hand with a sword.
Today, if you are facing what seem to be insurmountable obstacles, let "the high praises of God" fill your mouth. Give it all you’ve got – and expect a breakthrough!
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. (2 Samuel 22:4)
© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont