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 adverse 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.
You 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 are 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.
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.
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, which 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.
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 lots 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 …
Praise Opens The Door For Others To Be Saved
Others are watching your response to life; both believers and non-believers 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
Create 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). The playlist was big for me.
Read through the Psalms; read them out loud. They’re filled with powerful declarations and adorations of our Deliverer.
Journal what you’re thankful for in your life. 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.”
Satan is a defeated foe, with a crushed head. There is no power in him, nor are there any means available to him to reach and unseat the Victor of Calvary now seated at the right hand of the Father. It is not for us to fight for victory. Our fight is from victory; and from this vantage point, empowered with Christ’s might, and completely enclosed in the whole armor of God, the power of evil are compelled to back off as we resist them. -Arthur Mathews.
God does not need you to defeat the devil because Jesus has already done that. He has given us the victory banner to wave above our heads. But we are required to do our part.
Every time God gave the Israelites land, they were required to do something. Whether it was the physical act of engaging in war, or blowing trumpets, smashing clay pots, or simply walk into the battle, they had to believe God had already delivered them. Whatever area, they had to submit to God’s plan and walk out in faith.
God has given land to all of us.
For some of you, this may be land you are to take possession of, whether it’s winning souls at work, praying for a future spouse, or something He has laid on your heart. Others are already occupying land but, like the Israelites, you have to defend it because the enemy will try to invade. Perhaps it’s a rocky marriage, a wayward child, or a friend who’s falling apart.
So as victorious Christians, what are we responsible for? What is God asking us to do in either possessing or defending our land?
In James 4:7-8, we read Submit yourselves, then, to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.
In this one sentence, we have the battle plan. God is a God of order, and that includes the order in which things are written.
SUBMIT to God, RESIST the devil, he will FLEE.
Until we fully submit to God and turn our eyes to Him, we cannot resist the enemy’s army.
Submit – abide in His presence; agree with His ways; bend our desires and “rights”, and surrender our outcome to Him before we can…
Resist – withstand the enemy’s darts of deception; oppose his doubtful blows; refuse his lies, and fight his schemes.
The word “submit” is used in military terms to mean “to arrange troop divisions in a military fashion under the command of a leader.” Friends, we have to organize our lives in a military fashion under our Commander in Chief. When we do, we receive the direction, support, and strength of heaven’s army. God’s ultimate goal in allowing us to go through trials is to make us like Christ.
As we approach Easter Sunday, what a fitting time to discuss His obedience, His submission. EVERYTHING Jesus did, everything He said, pointed back to the Father. In John 5:19, Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
Saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42 Then, the angels came and strengthened Him. You see, when we submit, when we say not my will but yours, He strengthens us. He gives us the strength we need to face the next step. At that moment, Jesus his will on the cross. Obedience hung on display for the world to see AND receive.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8
How do we worship in spirit and submit as Jesus did?
The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Romans 8:6-7
Spirit-controlled mind = life and peace
Flesh controlled mind = hostile to God, which cannot submit to God
I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present SUBMIT your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
Be sober-minded; be watchful. 1 Peter 5:8
How do we become sober-minded, Spirit Controlled?
By taking every thought captive to obey Christ
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
Our thoughts must become obedient to Christ! In doing so, you are not giving the devil a foothold.
Identify the land you need to possess or defend. What does that look like?
Are there areas you have not fully submitted to the Father?
Do you see the enemy gaining a foothold in any of these areas?
Because we serve the Commander in Chief, we have the direction and strength we need to possess or defend our land. Spend some time talking to the Father about those areas. Journal your thoughts.
I’d love to hear from you! If you need prayer, leave a comment. We are here to encourage one another!
At the beginning of this year, I spent time setting what I like to call “Godly Goals”. Now, these are not your standard New Year’s resolutions but rather goals, BIG & BOLD goals focused on drawing near to Him. One of these goals was to surrender my calendar to His will. You see, in the past, I have been guilty of planning without much of His input. I’ve planned work weeks, outings, vacations, parties, and more with little to no input from Him. In doing so, I’ve said yes to things I should have said no to; I’ve said no to things I should have said yes to. Before you know it, my calendar is full with no margin for His divine appointments. This year, I was determined to change that. This year, I am praying Psalm 90:17 over my calendar and for yours as well.
– 2 FRONT AND BACK COVER OPTIONS
– UNDATED YEAR-AT-A-GLANCE
– YEARLY GOAL SHEET WITH SPACE FOR YOUR YEARLY BIBLE VERSE
– GOAL INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE
– INDIVIDUAL GOAL WORKSHEET: WRITE THE STEPS, ASSIGN A VERSE TO PRAY OVER THE GOAL, AND ASSIGN A COMPLETION DATE
– MONTH-AT-A-GLANCE: UNDATED MONTHLY VIEW WITH PLACE FOR WORKABLE GOALS AND NOTES
-PRAYER LIST: WRITE YOUR PRAYERS, CHECK THEM OFF AND DATE THEM WHEN ANSWERED
– SERMON NOTES: SECTION FOR WEEKLY APPLICATION IS PERFECT FOR ACTIONABLE ITEMS. TRANSFER TO YOUR WEEKLY GOALS, NOTES, OR PRIORITIES TO BE REMINDED DAILY.
-JOURNAL PAGE, EACH CONTAINING: THY WORD, BE LIFTED UP, AWAKEN MY HEART
Because we do not live on bread alone, these pages are designed to draw you into daily conversation with our Father without feeling overwhelmed. Choose one or two verses and write them down under Thy Word. You can copy them directly or write them in your own words. Psalm 100:4 says, Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. This form of worship opens the gates of communication and prepares our hearts to hear from the One we draw strength from. The next section, Be Lifted Up, is to do just that; praise and thank Him for who He is and what you learned from the passage of Scripture. Next, Awaken My Heart. What is the Father placing on your heart? What did the verses you read stir? This area is for you to pen your heart; nothing is off topic.
– WEEKLY MEAL PLANNER WITH SHOPPING LIST
– WEEKLY PLANNER WITH DAILY SPACE, PRIORITIES & TO DO SPACE
– DAILY PLANNER PAGES (LEFT & RIGHT) WITH MORNING, AFTERNOON, AND EVENING SECTIONS, PRIORITIES, CONTACTS, NOTES, AND PRAYER/PRAISE SECTION
– TWO QUOTE PAGES
* FOR PERSONAL ONLY *
All digital files may only be used for personal use
Father, may the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us!
As we release our time to Him, we will see His hand moving through ours. We will see Him leading us by ways we have not known, along unfamiliar paths, turning the darkness to light and smoothing out the rough places (Isaiah 42:16).
By the end of each month, my hope is, you will have memorized a new “tool” to add to your tool belt.
His Blessings, Esther Dorotik
Chosen And Cherished
Crushed – He will crush your head. Genesis 3:15 – The God of peace will soon crush Satan under YOUR feet. Romans 16:20 Time is short – He is filled with fury because he knows his time is short. Defeated – Having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing or defeating them by the cross. Colossians 2:15 Overcome – They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings – and with him will be his called, chosen, and faithful followers. Revelation 12:11 Judged/condemned – …because the prince of this world (Satan) now stands condemned. John 16:11 Cast out – …now the prince of this world will be driven out. John 12:31 Rendered powerless – …He too shared in their humanity so that by His death he might destroy him who holds the power of earth – that is, the devil. Hebrews 2:14-15 Eternally punished – And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:10
When He gave the Great Commission, in Matthew 28, He said, “ALL authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore go…”
Jesus has been given all authority, paid for by the cross! All not some, so the enemy has ZERO, NONE! The only authority he has is the authority we give him.
We are given the authority to trample snakes and scorpions and overcome all the power of the enemy…Luke 10:19
The demons believe and shudder. James 2:19
SO WHY DON’T WE? It’s time we overwhelm the enemy’s lies with our belief in God’s truths.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Lord, help us expose the enemy’s lies, his strategies, and plans against us, our families, friends, and your work here on earth. Reveal areas we are weak or vulnerable in so they can be replaced with your covering of strength. Help us to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power that we may overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Open our eyes to see those who are with us are more than those who are with the enemy. Let us see the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around us. Let us rise up like might warriors and realize that, in the name of Jesus, we have Heaven’s army behind us. Give us the realization that we can cause devastation to the enemy’s plans, peel back his lies, and wreck his schemes. Thank you for how deep your love is that we can be called children of God.
In Jesus mighty name, AMEN!
If you’ve missed the last three posts, you can find them below. Our next series will be picking up our spiritual weapons and waging war on the enemy. Blessings!!
Spring brings about the beauty of budding trees, wildflowers outlining even the busiest of streets, and rolling meadows of green grass. Here in North Texas, spring also has an ugly side of disastrous storms.
One such storm occurred two days ago as softball size hail pummeled cars, torpedoed through windows, and pierced roofs. Sirens blazed as winds of great magnitude ripped through trees, snapped trees and peeled off roofs. Such significant devastation wrapped in a relatively short storm.
And while the devastation of this storm will likely take months to recover from, the devastation caused by the enemy’s storms are often irreversible. Storms rip through lives, destroy marriages, and totaling families, ministries, and friendships. So distracted by life, we don’t even see the storms approaching until “hail” (hell) is pelting our lives and the lives of loved ones. Wrecking the very “vehicle” of life He created to carry His life-giving news to others.
It’s imperative we learn to fine-tune our ears to the sirens, warning of impending danger. As Believers, we have the Spirit of God residing in us (1 Corinthians 3:16) and must recognize the wind picking up and clouds stampeding in. The enemy knows the beauty of your “spring” – the budding potential the Father has for you – and works full-time to keep you from it.
How do we fine-tune our ears? By knowing who the D.E.V.I.L. is…
The very definition of crafty says it all: clever at achieving one’s aims by indirect or deceitful methods. The enemy is calculated in his attack, sly in his approach, underhanded in his delivery. You are his mission and he is crafty in achieving it!
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman,
“Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” Genesis 3:1
He twisted God’s word. Eve entertained his question, lost her focus, and opened the door of conversation. Corinthians 11:3 says, …by the serpent’s cunning, minds are led astray from sincere and pure devotion.
ENTICING – schemer, traitor, collaborator
He’s created a game plan to destroy us. A blueprint to fight your purpose, destroy your passion and demolish your peace. He lures people away from God, enticing them to follow their own desires (James 1:13-15). By making your past your future, he keeps you tied to his fear induced schemes.
The devil incites fear in you because he is afraid of you. For he knows, the moment you step into your purpose, ignited by passion, his plans are thwarted. ~ Esther Dorotik
Our invisible enemy is a thief and comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). Hungry for victims, your enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). No compassion, no pity, fed by his disdain for God and His people. He has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they do not see the glory of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4).
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:11-12
In Genesis 3:1, we see he was able to take on the animal form of a serpent. If he showed up on your door with horns and a pitchfork, would you answer? My guess is…NO! For this reason, he masquerades as an angel of light and his servants as servants of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:14).
The enemy comes as everything you ever wanted. ~ unknown
He is a copycat, a counterfeit. A created being, not the Creator. Therefore, he parades around as appealing, loving, good and ALL THINGS GOD. Promoting sin as truth and introducing idols of distraction.
This is his only language. …there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44. In the beginning, we see him deceiving Eve and, in the end, we read he leads the whole world astray (Genesis 3:13; Revelation 12:9). His lies come wrapped in a lot of truth but he has one play: divide. Divide you from God, others, and your destiny. He sets up arguments and every pretension against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5).
He attacks us with his viciously, sly tactics. If it’s not bad enough, according to Revelation 12:10, he then stands before God night and day accusing us of the very sin he enticed us into. Talk about a tattletale!
Not today Satan, not today! For we are not unaware of his schemes. 2 Corinthians 2:11
In what ways have you experienced the underhanded ways of the enemy?
Think about the statement “the enemy is actually afraid of you”. Does that change the way you view your fears?
Has the enemy enticed you by prideful, fleshly desires? In hindsight, can you see the warning sirens?
What camouflage has the enemy used to deceive and trap you?
Hello, friends! My name is Esther and I'm so glad you stopped by my blog! Friend, my desire for this blog is to encourage you to passionately pursue our Savior. Through the pages of the Bible and Bible studies provided, you will embrace the promises of Scripture. Promises made for you, now! I pray you encounter the King in a fresh and intimate way as you live out the purpose He created you for.