When Worship is...Breakthrough
As Christians, we know that we are in a battle. But there are seasons. And sometimes we find ourselves on the frontline.
Think World War One trenches. You know the enemy is nearby. You can feel the guns going off and every now and again a bullet flies close and it may even wound you or a friend. At that moment there feels like every justification to scream and panic and run home. To forget that you may be just one soldier but you are in a battle which is part of something larger.
I know how it feels to want to just give up.
To say, ‘no more’. ‘Get me out of here…NOW!’
And sometimes we do get to retreat for a while and be healed up and restored at base camp away from the frontline.
And sometimes we get the privilege of staying on the frontline and being attended to, by the in-trench medic, the Holy Spirit, and fighting on!
Ok, so I write the word ‘privilege’ through gritted teeth, because really, although eternally I’m sure I will see it that way, sometimes I do just wish I could go to base camp and recover. Sometimes I think about giving up and then I ask myself, where would I go, and why would it be any better there?!
And it makes me realize that there is no escape from these battles – because they are battles of the mind. I can be in the worst of situations, amidst robberies and death and feel God’s peace and joy.
And then there are days when comparatively little things happen and yet the enemy uses them to bring so much discouragement.
And so, what do I do?
Here’s what I want to do:
I want to get back into bed. I want to avoid everyone who is in my house for lunch, for prayers, for whatever, and shut myself into my room. I want to eat chocolate or not eat anything at all. Helpful I know.
Here’s what I try to do, often the only thing that brings life, that brings relief from that weighty spirit of discouragement and despair:
Worship. In whatever form that takes:
Soaking for an evening to Jason Upton on youtube,
Finding an old hymn with strong words and the chords and singing them loud, alone, before most of the house is up.
Leading worship for prayers when I feel like shutting myself away and letting someone else do it. Because I know that in my weakness He is strong.
Playing ‘Seeds of Worship’ scripture to music for the kids in the car and declaring those scriptures strong whilst Daniel tells me the words I am singing wrong.
Having worship music going on in the background as I homeschool Daniel or prepare a meal.
And as I worship, and protest, and resist, and submit, and cease to strive, and fall into His strong arms that carry me always, I find hope again. I find life and meaning and breakthrough. My spirit lifts.
There is no coincidence that the walls of Jericho came crashing down as the people shouted and praised.
There is no coincidence that those defeating the beast in Revelation 15 sing loud and strong with their harps about the power of their mighty God.
Because when I look to Him and declare who He is, worship is…breakthrough.
… to bestow on them…a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
– Isaiah 61:3
This is part 5 of a 6 part series of reflections of worship.
Click here to read:
- Part 1: When Worship is…like changing dirty nappies.
- Part 2: When worship is…those upbeat songs
- Part 3: When worship is…uncomfortable
- Part 4: When worship is…death to me
- Part 5: When worship is…breakthrough
- Part 6: When worship is...awe-inspiring
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