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You’re More Than A Label – Overcoming The Lies Lurking Within

If I were to ask you to label yourself in one word, what would it be?

Would the label be defined by the profession you chose? Clothes you wear? Maybe the college you attended? Or, would it be based on the behavior of your children? The status of your home?

There was a time in my life when I would have labeled myself as “trash” – used up, unwanted, tossed out, and worthless.

Perhaps, like me, the labels you “wear” are labels not so easily removed. Branded in your heart and engraved on the walls of your mind lay these unspeakable names. Names and labels you were called or even assumed, either by your actions or the actions of others.

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Soon enough, we begin believing the lie that these are the “ingredients” we’re made of. They become the thoughts we think and the beliefs we carry. Seeping deep into the patterns of our lives, we allow these labels to define us, change us, and place limits on us.

So focused on who we aren’t, we forget Whose we are. We become stuck in this desert between who we are and who He created us to be.

We see the enemy attempting this play in the desert of Matthew 4. Having just been baptized, Jesus was entering His God created purpose – reconciling the world to God.

Along comes the temper with his lofty accusations, “If you’re the Son of God … “

From this story, we see four things:

1. Only your Creator can declare who you are. “And a voice came from heaven saying, This is my Son …”  Matthew 3:17

  • Before Jesus entered temptation, the Father had already established His identity -His Son, whom the Father loved and was well pleased with.
  • For those who He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:29 
    • Satan’s lie says what you do determines who you are.
    • God’s truth declared who you were before you were born; therefore, the enemy has no authority to relabel you.

 

2. The enemy is trying to steal (make you doubt) your identity. If you are the Son of God … ” Matthew 4:3

  • Before the beginning of mankind, Satan has been trying to steal God’s identity. “I will be like the Most High (Isaiah 14:14). So why wouldn’t he approach God’s children, who are made in His image, the same way? After all, if he can steal your identity, he can steal your destiny.
  • John 1:1 says Jesus was the Word from the beginning of time. As a fallen angel, who worshiped before the throne of God, Satan knew Jesus was the Son of God and yet he attempted to cause doubt. He does the same thing with us.
    • Satan’s lie questions “Who are you??”
    • God’s truth delares Whose you are!

God

3. The enemy knows what triggers you, calculating exactly when to pull the trigger. ” … tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:3

  • By telling Jesus to turn the stones into bread, Satan was essentially saying “If you’re the Son of God, PROVE IT!” 
  • Jesus, weakened by a very real physical need, was tempted by Satan to prove His name. He knows your weaknesses, propensities, and needs and is patiently waiting to expose and use them.
    • Satan’s lie says your worth is based on your significance and the opinion of others, so PROVE IT.
    • God’s truth declares true significance is only found in Jesus Christ. Nothing can separate you from the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of God found in Christ. It was proven on the cross!

4. Only one response is needed. Jesus answered, “It is written … “

  • Anchored in His identity, Jesus never defended the question of being the Son of God. He only addressed the lies the enemy spewed. When you know the truth, it sets you free.
  • We have one weapon that divides between God’s truth and the enemy’s lie – the Word of God.
    • Satan’s lie says you have to defend yourself, no one else will.
    • God’s truth declares I am your defense!

Children of God, it’s time to rip off those labels, stop feasting on the enemy’s lies, and move forward in our true identity as heirs of the Kingdom. To become so grounded in our identity as His beloveds that, when the enemy questions, “If you’re the son/daughter of God … ” we immediately respond, in true Jesus fashion, with “It is written … “

Join me over the next two weeks as we discuss the names and labels others have placed on us, overcoming the lies with God’s truth. Each week, you will receive a fresh set of True Name Cards so be sure to sign up for my newsletter and check your inbox next week!

But before we go, I’d love to hear from you. What are some labels you wear, names others have called you?

Blessings!
Esther | Chosen & Cherished

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How To Create A Prayer Journal – Free Christian Printables And Giveaway

Have you ever struggled through prayer? Found yourself lost on your to-do list? Perhaps, felt a little guilty because you know you need to pray, but your focus runs away like a mouse in a maze? 

You’re not alone! For years, I struggled in this area until I created my prayer journal (actually, it’s more like a prayer binder).

As I mentioned in last week’s post on ‘Prayer: Steering Wheel or Spare Tire‘, I became a mom at a very young age – sixteen to be exact. Gasp, I know!! 

Needless to say, my college days were very different than most. With a young daughter, there were times I had to miss class for one reason or another. Some professors completely understood, fully willing to offer makeup work.

But then … there was him. No makeup work. No excuses!

You had to be present to receive follow-up instructions to a current project, or directions for the next assignment.

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I have to admit, at the time, I thought it was a bit harsh, but now I see a valuable lesson interwoven. This professor knew he had a syllabus and a limited time with his students. Lessons to be taught, assignments to be given, and test to gauge our comprehension.

Sure, he could have given the make-up assignment with an overall brief backstory, but I would have missed the details. And, how many of you know details matter? Details bring life to stories and get you from point A to point B. His attendance requirement, while it seemed restrictive, was actually setting me up for success.

In Psalm 90:12, the Word says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

You see, we have the only true Professor. And when we realize our days are numbered, that life on this earth is temporary, and time is our most precious resource, then, and only then, do we fully understand that every day is an assignment.

Every day is a call for prayer.

A call to sit with our Professor, listen to His instructions, and receive those details that bring our stories to life. When you and I are not present, we don’t hear the instructions for current or future assignments. We miss out on the syllabus of our lives. The one our Creator thought about and planned long ago, written just for us.

Friends, when we are underwhelmed in our prayer life, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with life. No direction. Lost. Exhausted.

how-to-set-up-a-prayer-journal

That why I am so excited to share my journal with you along with some free printables for you to use.

It’s broken into sections: Praise, Selfie, My Loves, Prayer List, He Speaks, Bible Studies, and Verses.

Praise: Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and courts with praise. Psalm 100:4

  • List of His names (free printable): Because so much of His character is revealed through His names, I start off by acknowledging the power of His name. For example, “Father, you are the Author and Perfector of my life. Thank you that I can trust you to write my life’s story better than I ever could. I surrender my ‘pen’ to you.”
  • Song Lyrics: If a song stands out, I’ll write down the lyrics. I also listen to a worship song before praying to wash away the surroundings and align my heart.

Selfie: Search me, Lord, and reveal any unconfessed sin. Psalm 139:23-24

  • Here, I ask the Father to forgive me for anything I’ve done, to cleanse my feet so I can walk in His righteousness, and purify my heart and the words that flow from it.
  • Other areas I pray over are my work, compassion for His lost children, His direction for my life, for Him to establish the work of my hands and any areas in need of holy attention. Find specific scripture relating to your life and pray them.

My Loves: Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5-6

  • Virtues like boldness, joy, patience, etc. I pray for myself as well as my family.
  • I have subsections for each family member (and some extended members) where I list specific areas of prayer. Each day of the week is assigned a different area specific to the individual, including related scripture to pray over them. These will be specific to the area of prayer your family member(s) need, but I’ve included a free printable to help you get started.

free-christian-printable-for-prayer-journal, areas of prayer

Prayer List: With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints … Ephesians 6:18

  • Here I keep a prayer list for others. When the prayer has been answered, I note the date. Looking back at God’s faithfulness gives us hope for the future situations.

He Speaks: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

  • Once I pray over the above areas, I sit in silence with anticipation. Being still doesn’t always come easy but, with practice, you will find yourself looking forward to this quiet time. When He speaks, AND HE WILL, this is where I journal my time with the Father (printable included). What did He say? Did He bring someone to mind? Has He placed something on your heart? Write it all down and date it. Looking back over the last few years, I am amazed at some of the things I’ve written, which only came from Him.

Bible Verse: Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. Proverbs 6:21-22

  • I keep a list of verses I would like to memorize. As a family, we try to memorize a new verse every week, which is normally pulled from this list. It’s always growing!

Bible Study: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

  • As I read through scripture, I keep notes of important verses, people, and anything else the Lord applies His “holy highlighter” to. I’ve included a free printable for this as well. Yay for freebies!
  • This section also includes a study on a certain topic or person.

free-prayer-journal-printable

Well, that’s it! The one tool that completely changed my life. Because I’m so passionate about it and believe in the power of prayer, I’d love to give a free journal away – set up and ready to go! Just leave a comment below. The winner will be announced next Friday, May 19th. Sign up for the newsletter and you’ll receive the Bible Study Notes, Areas of Prayer, Names of God, and Journal-page instantly.

I pray God invades your heart this week as you commit to drawing near to Him in prayer!

Until next week, blessings!!

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[…] Each week, it’s my pleasure to select one writer from the link-up to showcase on my blog for the entire week. I’m excited to announce this week’s Featured Fresh Find is Esther Dorotik over at Chosen and Cherished! […]

Waging War – Prayer: Steering Wheel or Spare Tire

Years ago, as a young single mom, I had this old clunker of a car. Every time I turned around something was wrong with this metal on wheels. With the flip of a coin, it decided whether it would get me to my destination or leave me stranded, sometimes in the middle of the street.

On one occasion, the power steering went out. Now, if you’ve ever driven a car without power steering you know exactly what I mean when I say, it’s like steering a boat on dirt. You had to prepare in advance for each turn and painfully yank on the wheel. Gone were the days of last minute turns. Might as well go up one street and double back around!

Prayer is like the power steering pump for a believer. Prayer pumps the power into the steering and navigation of our lives. Without it, well, let’s just say life doesn’t come easy. Quick turns in our lives and unknown detours become overwhelming to maneuver. We end up having to do many “double backs”, wasting the precious time God has given us. Prayer makes “driving” this life manageable.

Corrie Ten Boom once asked, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”

So which one is it? In your life, does prayer guide your every turn, steering you around detours or do you only use it when the “tire” of your life is blown and flat?


PRAYER OPENS MY SPIRITUAL EYES TO SEE THINGS I CAN’T SEE ON MY OWN. – LYSA TERKEURST


What if I told you your prayers could move mountains. That the very struggle you’re facing, that issue you find yourself in has to submit to the authority of Jesus.

Now, let me ask you this. Who’s prayer do you think get answered? Is it your pastor? Or perhaps your friend who opens her mouth and out roll these beautiful eloquent prayers?

Perhaps like me, you’ve prayed for big, life-altering prayers (and firmly believed) only to have them answered in a completely different way leaving you wondering if your prayers even matter.

I’m going to let you in on a little (BIG) secret. Your prayers matter to the Father! Your prayers have authority over the enemy. They influence the darkness, call forth miracles, move mountains, and prevail over stony, rocky hearts.

According to James 5:16, the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Because of the blood of the Lamb, you are righteous. It doesn’t matter what you have or have not done, OR if you FEEL righteous. Your righteousness is not based on you, but Him. So, my friend, you are righteous and YOUR prayers have the power to move mountains and the effectiveness to pray heaven on earth.

Today we’re going to talk about these two choices: the choice to use prayer as the steering wheel of your life or to only use it when you absolutely need to.Prayer of righteous, powerful and effective, waging war, armor of God, Jesus in the garden, bible study on prayer, Scripture on prayer

Steering Wheel Jesus

Trust

Who you run to first says a lot about whom you trust, whether it’s news of a baby or news of a layoff. The person you call first is usually your closest relationship; the one you can joyfully celebrate with, or draw strength from when you’re weak.

For Jesus, in all things, He ran to the Father. Jesus was often found retreating to quiet places, early in the morning to draw near His Father. It’s no surprise that during His hardest time, he ran and fell at the Father’s feet.

In each account of Jesus agonizing in the garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, & Luke 22:39-46), we read of Him being open, raw, and vulnerable before the Father. Don’t be afraid to pour out your heart and soul to the Father as often as you need.

In fact, I’m going to say the bigger the issue, the more frequently you need to draw from His strength. Jesus went back three times and prayed more earnestly according to Luke. So, pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16).


Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2


Jesus trusted His Father’s will. He acknowledged that everything was possible for God but not everything was passable, or permissible. Jesus knew God created all of mankind and therefore there was nothing too difficult for Him (Jeremiah 32:27). Yet, He also knew and trusted His Father’s will was best.

Many times, when we’re struggling through scenarios, we desperately want to know the outcome and how we can change the current situation, but there is protection in not knowing. When we pray and draw strength from Him, leaving the outcome to Him, we find shelter and protection under His mighty wing.

Imagine knowing you were about to face the most painful death, that not only would your Father turn His face away but also your friends would run and desert you. That the weight of the world’s sin – past, present, and future – would be laid upon your back. Jesus didn’t surrender his life for himself. He surrendered his life to do His Father’s will and because of His profound love for you and me.

Sometimes our deepest surrender reaps the greatest rewards. Not just for ourselves but for others.

So trust the Father, run to Him, pour out your heart and soul to Him, draw strength from Him, surrender your impossible for His passable.

Prayer of righteous, powerful and effective, waging war, armor of God, Jesus in the garden, devote yourselves to prayer, bible study on prayer, Scripture on prayer

Spare Tire Disciples

Don’t get me wrong, I love the disciples but this is not one of their finer moments.

According to Luke, Jesus was only a stone’s throw away from them. Were they able to hear him crying out to God? See the anguish on His face or the beads of blood dripping down? I can only assume so, after all, they wrote the accounts in Scripture. And yet we find them asleep three times upon Jesus return to them.

Can’t you totally relate? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed only to find myself dosing off or my mind drifting to my “to-do” list.

Why? Why do we fall asleep on the very avenue God gave us to be strengthened so we can do His will in our lives? Jesus says it perfectly, “The spirit is willing but the body is weak.”

That’s why Christ warned them to watch & pray so they wouldn’t fall into temptation. He knew within hours all the disciples would flee, deserting him. He knew Peter would follow Him at a distance and deny even knowing Jesus.

Jesus knows that when we are weak – spiritually, emotionally, and physically – we are susceptible to temptation, left wide open for the enemy. Jesus knows during times of distress we can doubt God’s love for us, drift from His presence, begin to follow Him at a distance, and fall out of His umbrella of protection. He prayed against it!

Before you were born, Jesus was praying for your deliverance from the enemy. Not that you would be removed from the world or necessarily the problem because He said, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

No, His prayer was for God’s protection and deliverance from the enemy.

  • My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. John 17:15

In Mark 14:40, Jesus returned a second time to find them sleeping and scripture says, “They (the disciples) did not know what to say to Him.” Friends, there are no words for falling asleep on Him. No words will ever be able to reason with falling asleep on the “lifeline” of prayer. What a wake-up call! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Jesus to find me sleeping while my loved ones and friends “agonize in the garden”. 


PRAYER MOVES MOUNTAINS. – JESUS  (MATTHEW 17:20)


Where do you run when you’re troubled or need answers? Do you trust the Father’s answer? Are you pouring out your heart to Him? Are you willing to surrender your desires, dreams, and expectations to Him? Do you leave your problems at His feet as often as needed?

So, which one will you choose to be: a steering wheel Jesus or a spare tire disciple?

I pray you allow prayer to guide your decisions, as you make time each day this week to draw near to Him, be led by Him, and draw strength from Him. Join me next week for how my prayer life was completely transformed by one tool: a prayer journal. I’ll be sharing tips and tricks on how to set one up as well as giving one away. 

Blessings soul friends!

Esther | Chosen & Cherished

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[…] I mentioned in last week’s post on ‘Prayer: Steering Wheel or Spare Tire‘, I became a mom at a very young age – sixteen to be exact. Gasp, I […]

Waging War – Part 3 – Sword of God’s Word – Video Blog

Think about the last time you struggled with a battle. Perhaps it was this morning on the way to work, or trying to get your kids out the door.

If you’re anything like me, you can think of some ways you wish you’d responded differently. Maybe it was something you said or the tone in which you said it. Friends, our flesh can only give birth to flesh and spirit gives birth to spirit (John 3:6).

Because the battle we fight is not of this world but rather spiritual, we must use spiritual weapons to wage war. You wouldn’t use a bomb to kill an ant or a toothpick to fight a bear, but this is exactly what we do when we fight our spiritual battles with fleshly weapons.

Satan’s greatest weapon is our ignorance of God’s word. He is banking on you and I not knowing God’s word, realizing the power of God’s word, and/or not using His word.

We must learn to use spiritual weapons to wage this war. And I do mean learn – everything in our fleshly DNA fights against it.

Now, the enemy doesn’t mind you knowing the Word of God because he knows it; but to use it, now that’s a different story. The enemy knows Isaiah 55:11 that says God’s word goes out from His mouth, does not return void or empty and accomplishes everything He desires and achieves the purpose for which I sent it.

No, the enemy knows just how powerful God’s word is so he uses God’s word but twists it – a hint of truth with a dash of lies – so it’s believable. We must learn how to rely on the power, protection, and direction found in His eternal word.

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1.) GOD’S WORD IS ETERNAL AND POWERFUL

These aren’t just words written on a page. They are the very words of God, alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It divides between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and judges the thoughts of the heart that only God can see (Hebrews 4;12)

He spoke the world into motion, the earth and everything in it belongs to the Creator, created by Him and for Him. Just read through Job 38 for powerful illustrations of His work.

By His spoken word, He makes something from nothing! Only He can take the nothingness of your situation and make it into something powerful and majestic to display His glory. God alone has power over all things, INCLUDING your battles and the enemy who is a created being.

  • The words I have spoken to you — they are full of the Spirit and life” John 6:63

God’s word, spoken through you, has power over lifeless things. The things that seem so grim and beyond repair, God’s word can breathe fresh life into.

If you have free time read through Ezekiel 37. In this power filled story, we see God telling the prophet to speak to the valley of dry bones. “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!” Ezekiel 37:4

  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
  • The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. John 1:14
  • Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35
  • The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8

spiritual warfare, fighting the devil with God

  1. GOD’S WORD IS OUR DEFENSE – IT SHIELDS AND STRENGTHENS

If you look at the list of armor in Ephesians 6, all of it is put on except the sword (God’s word) and the shield of faith. The shield of faith, we’re told, can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16).

How do we put on faith when we’re facing a giant in our lives? Romans 10:17 gives us the key. It declares “Faith comes by hearing, hearing the word of God.Hearing God’s word, builds our faith and becomes the shield to extinguish the enemy’s darts.

Then we have the sword, which is the Word of God. This is the only weapon that defends us AND that we use to fight back, but what good is it if we don’t actually pick it up and use it.

  • As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30

And that’s exactly what His words flawlessly spoken through Jesus did in the desert. Every twisted lie the enemy flung at Jesus was met and cut off with the sword of God’s truth. Spiritual weapons have divine power to demolish the strongholds of your life!

  • For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Cor. 10:3-4
  • You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Psalm 119:114
  • I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5
  • Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5

bible study, devotional, spiritual warfare lesson, learning to fight the devil, God

3.) GOD’S WORD GUIDES AND DIRECTS

Almost two years ago, I lost my younger brother to a tragic incident, followed by the separation of a close family member and my husband’s cancer diagnosis. During this dark time of my life, Psalm 119:105 was my lifeline verse – Thy word is a lamp for my feet and a light unto my path.

At a time when I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, much less where I was headed, His word lit the path for each next step. Through His word, He gave me hope for the next day and strength when all my legs wanted to do was buckle from the weight. So hold onto God’s eternal word.

  • The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130
  • All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:4
  • We don’t live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23


PRESS IN

  1. Search for scripture relating to your struggle (marriage, children, hope, depression, financial, etc.).
  2. The enemy is a created being, not omniscient, so he can’t read your mind. Use Christ’s example in the desert and declare those scriptures out loud to pierce his lies.
  3. Like Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says, bind them on your hands, post them on your doorpost. Write them out on cards, keep them in your car, save them to your phone, put them on your bathroom mirror. Whatever you need to do to fully saturate your mind with God’s truths.

How has God’s word impacted you? Need prayer? Leave me a comment and I will happily join with you in declaring God’s word over your struggle.

Blessings,

Esther | Chosen & Cherished
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[…] We have one weapon that divides between God’s truth and the enemy’s lie – the Word of God. […]

[…] do not live on bread alone but every word that proceeds from God’s mouth, choosing to live on God’s word provides the spiritual nourishment needed for daily life (Matthew 4:4). His spiritual nourishment […]

Waging War – The Battle Cry of Praise – Video Blog – Part 2

Let’s face it when you’re going through trials, struggling through praise is probably the last thing you “feel” like doing. But this one act of sacrificial submission moves mountains of despair. It weeds out complaining and negative thoughts because you can’t praise and complain at the same time.

Friends, praising in the midst of your storm doesn’t mean your problems don’t exist or that the situation you find yourself facing is not real, because they are. Praising means you are choosing to believe more in your God and His ability than in your problems and your inability.

When we praise, we are declaring for all who see that our God is bigger, that He is faithful, and He is more than able to deliver us.

praising God in the storm, battle cry of praise, standing firm against the enemy, weapons of spiritual warfare, unleashing GodYou see, we were created for praise. Scripture is full of God’s adoration and praise.

The heavens declare the glory of God. Psalm 19:1
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6
The people whom I formed for Myself will declare my praise. Isaiah 43:21
All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name. Psalms 66:4
…the mountains break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12
…every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, declares praise to the one who sits on the throne. Revelation 5:13 

So, if we were created for praise, it’s no wonder the enemy tries to stop it because he knows just how powerful the tool of worship is. When we choose to turn our problems into praise, God turns our battles into blessings. Praising God during trials has powerful results. Here, we will focus on four, based on 2 Chronicles 20 and Acts 16.

  1.  Praise Redirects Our Eyes Onto Our Defender And Draws Us Into His Presence

Waiting on God can be hard and trying. We can feel forgotten, unseen. Perhaps, even unheard. We wrestle with thoughts of worst-case scenarios, what if, and if only. In all of this, what we are focusing on is us and our eyes become filled with the death of our situation. But, when we choose to praise him, we are drawn out of “us” and into His presence.

Psalm 100:4 says, “We enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.”

As we begin to thank and praise Him, we are redirecting our eyes off of our finite perspective and drawn into His throne room of presence. In 2 Chronicles 20, we read about Jehoshaphat who is attempting to defend his land again a vast enemy army. In verse 12, he says, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

  • When we face a battle, we must turn our eyes to the one who does know what to do.

Verse 15, “This is what the Lord says to you, Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. So take up your position, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.”

  • Although we are a part of the battle, the battle does not belong to us but rather God. He is fighting for us. Remember, we are not fighting for victory but from victory, which leads us to point 2.

praising God in the storm, battle cry of praise, standing firm against the enemy, weapons of spiritual warfare, unleashing God

  1. Praise Precedes The Victory

Verse 21,  Jehoshaphat had prepared his men to move out, “he appointed men to sing to the Lord and praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”

  • Jehoshaphat didn’t send out his best, strongest warriors.  He sent a “praise team” ahead of the battle. This set the stage for those following, declaring in the spiritual realm what they had yet to see in the physical realm.
  • They praised and gave thanks to the Lord before they won the victory.

Verse 22, we see “As they began to sing and praise,” the Lord sent an ambush into the enemy armies and they turned on each other completely annihilating the each other.

  • The forces of evil cannot stand against the praises of God. Our praises send the enemies darts of confusion back across enemy lines completely annihilating him and setting ablaze his plans to destroy us.
  1. Praise Unleashes His Divine Power

As with the story of Jehoshaphat, praise is not a response to what our physical eyes see, nor is it a response to our situations. Rather, praise is a response to our King and this response releases His power into the atmosphere – piercing through the darkness with His light.

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas had freed a slave girl from an evil spirit, which had allowed her the ability to earn a great deal of money for her owners. Because of this, they were severely flogged, placed in stocks (chained) and thrown into prison.

  • As they sat there in a dirty, stone jail with blood streaming down their backs from open wounds, having done God’s work, wrongly accused, did not receive a trial, severely flogged, chained, and thrown into jail, they had every reason to complain. But as we see in verse 25, they chose a higher route.

“At about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God when suddenly there was such a violent earthquake the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once, all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.”

  • When we choose to praise Him, a divine exchange takes place. We are exchanging pain, wounds, and bondage for healing, deliverance, and His unspeakable joy. The foundations of hell are shaken, dungeon doors fly open and strongholds fall powerless.  Not just for ourselves but for those around us, which leads to our next point…
  1. Praise Opens The Door For Others To Be Saved

Others are watching your response to life; both believers and nonbelievers stand as spectators of your life and your response to it.

It doesn’t mention the other prisoner but we know they were listening (verse 25). What we do know from Scripture (verse 34) is the jailer and his entire family went from death to life because Paul and Silas chose to praise God in the midst of their painful wounds and their unfair situation.

  • The battle you’re facing might not just be about you. Had Paul and Silas not been wrongly accused, this jailer and his family wouldn’t have an encountered Jesus. God has strategically placed people in your sphere to influence for His kingdom.  You are paving the way for others to encounter Jesus.

Now that we understand the life-changing importance of praise, what are ways we can do this?


I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. 2 Samuel 22:4


Some examples of praise in Scripture are:

declaration of thanksgiving (Hebrews 13:15); dancing (Psalm 150:4); singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19-20); clapping (Psalm 47:1); shouting (Psalm 33:3, 95:1-6); lifting hands (Psalm 134:2); musical instruments (Psalm 150); making joyful noise (Psalms 98:4)

Ways that I find helpful are:

  1. Make a worship playlist. Most of us have a phone. I’d say it’s easy, and it probably is, but my little girl had to it for me. You can even assign a profile picture (perhaps the one you’re in the storm with). This was big for me.
  1. Read through the Psalms; read them out loud. They’re filled with powerful declarations and adorations of our Deliverer.
  1. Journal what you’re thankful for. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.”

 

 

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