God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit by:
• Bible• Prayer• Circumstances• Worship• And the Church To reveal Himself, His Purposes, and His ways.
Worship creates an atmosphere in which God can speak to us. Worship is difficult to define. It is more about Who God is rather than what He does for us. True worship comes from deep within us; it is precious and awesome, and it is our attempt to verbalize how we feel about God. It is a powerful outpouring of our hearts toward the Lord and it represents a depth of love, gratitude, and devotion that we find difficult to put into words. Human language is not rich enough to describe everything that true worship is. In fact, worship is so personal and intimate that maybe we should not even attempt to limit or define it with our words.
Worship is much more than just singing songs. In fact, true worship is first and foremost a condition of heart and a state of mind. We can be worshipping passionately without singing a single note. Worship is born in our hearts; it fills our thoughts and then it is expressed through our mouths and through our bodies. If our hearts are filled with awe for God, we may want to sing, dance, clap, or lift up our hands in worship. We may also be reverently silent and still before God. We may desire to give offerings or offer other forms of outward expression of love for God. But any of these actions done without a right heart are simply formalism and meaningless to God.
Worship can be used as a Sword of the Spirit because we focus on hearing and reading the Word of God (Graphe) while developing your relationship with Christ so the Holy Spirit can convict you through the message (Logos) and empower God in your life through the Utterance (Rhema).
14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
2 Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,
2 Samuel 23:1-2
1 Now these are the last words of David.Thus says David the son of Jesse;Thus says the man raised up on high,The anointed of the God of Jacob,And the sweet psalmist of Israel:2 "The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me,And His word was on my tongue.
6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
2 Corinthians 3:18
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
5 Sing to the LORD,For He has done excellent things;This is known in all the earth.
15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
In Psalm 29:1-2, David says, “Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.” Worship is the act of ascribing worth to God, regardless of circumstances or environment.
18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high.
20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” 21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should 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.”
22 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.
Then something different happens. While everyone is bowed down low on their faces before the Lord, a group of people stand up. And together they begin to praise the Lord. Verse 19: “And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.” Was this a spontaneous eruption of the song from a few free spirits? Who were these people?
Turn with me back to 1 Chronicles 6:31. Here the writer is listing the families of the tribe of Levi:
These are the men whom David put in charge of the service of song in the house of the Lord, after the ark rested there. They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem; and they performed their service in due order. These are the men who served and their sons. Of the sons of the Kohathites. . . .”
And then the descendants of Kohath the son of Levi are given. In other words, this group who stood up to praise the Lord in 2 Chronicles 20:19 is not merely a group of charismatic free spirits. They are the Choir of Israel. They are the group who ever since the time of David had been appointed to do the ministry of the song in Israel. So they stood up while everybody else was bowed before God and they led the people and helped the people praise the Lord for his promised victory.
Singers in the Frontlines of Battle
After this great time of worship in response to God’s word, the people make ready to meet the enemy. They rise early the next morning and head out into the wilderness. And as they go, Jehoshaphat commands them to trust God’s promise. Verse 20: “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.”
Then Jehoshaphat appoints his frontline troops. But the frontline troops are not charioteers or swordsmen. They are singers. Jehoshaphat aims to conquer with a choir. God had said that the battle was his to fight. So what better way for Israel to meet the enemy than with songs of victory in the front ranks.
Verse 21: “And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy array, as they went before the army, and say, ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.’” When God tells us that the battle is his and that the victory is sure, the way we should meet the enemy is with songs of thanks.
And I think that the writer of this book wants to make it clear that, even though the victory belongs to God, the human means through which God gives victory is the ministry of the choir. For it says in verse 22, “And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.” First Moab and Ammon turned against Mount Seir. Then they turn against each other. When it’s all over the defeat is so great it takes three days for Jehoshaphat and his people to carry away the spoil.
Warfare and Worship Through Singing
From this story I would draw out the following exhortation: spiritual worship and spiritual warfare should be carried out with singing. In verse 19 when all the people fell down to worship, the choir stood up to sing. And in verse 21 when the people went out to meet the enemy, the choir went before them with songs of victory.
“Spiritual worship and spiritual warfare should be carried out with singing.”
And even more than that, I think that the writer wants us to learn from verse 22 that the enemies of God are thrown into confusion by the songs of God’s people. Or to put it another way, God has appointed the use of spiritual songs as an effective weapon against his archenemy Satan.