Praise HIM (and win your battles)

Dear friends,

There is one worship song, which came out more recently – at least have I not discovered it until a few weeks ago – and it is called “surrounded”.
It contains a metaphor I really like and the song pretty much consists of this one line:
“It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by YOU… this is how I fight my battles…” and they repeat this over and over again.

There are many versions of this song out there and I particularly like one by a church band called “upper room” – the lead singer adds to the song in one of the videos when she is interpreting the song – it is just one word, but it is so powerful, significant and it makes the picture so much clearer…

The word is “praise”.

She sings just like the other singers do in their versions and then after “this is how I fight my battles”, she adds: “Praise, praise, PRAISE…”

Me, I realised that this is how we all can and should fight and win our battles:

PRAISE!

Not only because it makes sense, but also, because it works – and that it works also makes a lot of sense…

I remember being into music a lot before I got saved.
BAD music.
Worldly music.
In fact, giving up the music I listened to before I got saved was quite hard for me and it did feel like a loss – not just in the very beginning, but for a long time.
And it took me a long time before I discovered “clean”, Christian music I really like and which I can listen to with a good feeling about it.

It doesn’t feel the same like listening to music in my “old life” though, but I came to appreciate that it doesn’t… back then, I would buy a new album or even just a “single” way back then and listen to it day and night 24/7, all the time, for about a week or so – you could probably say I obsessed over it… and if it had been on the radio and I didn’t know the name of the song, I would ask everybody about it, I would even go to the record store and sing the song to the people working there – very embarrassing when I remember myself… this was before the time when an app could find a song for you…

And I remember how the lyrics of these songs would sink into my mind, my heart and my soul –  as if I would meditate on them day and night… like we are supposed to do on GOD’s word.

I can absolutely understand why we shouldn’t listen to worldly music!

And I don’t anymore.
At least not if I can avoid it.

In my last job, we shared a large office space with many others and they loved to play the radio and that even quite loudly and they even sang along… the songs in the charts are ALL ungodly and it does bother me to be exposed to them, but since I was the one coming last and I was new, there was nothing I could do about it.

Actually, that is exactly why and how the enemy gets into people so deeply and persistently.

I believe music is one of his best weapons.

I remember how lustful the music was I used to be into before I got saved.

Soul, funk, hiphop – it’s all basically about sex – ok, some of it is about drugs…

And it DID influence me.
I was living in sin!

Like I said, I totally get why listening to unclean music results in an unclean soul.

And the good thing is, it works the other way around, too!

THANK GOD!

Because for every weapon the enemy throws at us, OUR FATHER gave us the means to defend ourselves.

The psalms and hymns and even good Christian contemporary songs are not only a good way to replace all the filth in our heads with godly lyrics and melodies, but also, they strengthen our spirit, our faith and they can even help us in our spiritual warfare!

That’s right!

The devil aims at our minds – always. And through many ways, by many means. Mainly can he reach us through the media and one big thing is via the music playing on the radio –  you don’t have to go very far to discover sin in the songs, it is in every single song!
Just try to actually listen to what you are listening to and most likely singing along!!
When we are singing these words, we are confessing them!
Just like when we are confessing scripture, speaking it into and over our lives, we are doing the exact same with the lyrics we sing along to when they come out the radio –  at work, in every shop we go to, in our car, at home – some of them we have control over, some of them we don’t…

But I think it is important to be aware and conscious about it.

WORDS are powerful.

John 1:1 
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Word was GOD!

Do we really understand the depth of this?

As a former therapist, I know the importance of the words we are telling ourselves.
Self-talk, as it is called, the inner voice, the inner critic, our thoughts – it is constantly running in the background, no matter what we do and no matter if we are aware of it or not. Actually, many methods for changing behaviour, attitudes, moods and mental states begin by teaching the client to change their thoughts, their inner dialogues – it works both ways and music is like reciting a mantra!
Remember the old 80ies hit for instance:
“I’m so horny, horny, horny, horny tonight!”
Well, what do you think you will do when you go to a club playing this song all the time?
Or even when it plays all day long on the radio?
If you keep telling yourself that you are so horny, it won’t be long until you ARE. And then, you will be looking for a way to satisfy your sexual hunger – and that way will most definitely not be godly, whatever way you will find.

Right?

But it goes much further than this.

When you keep telling yourself that you want to die or that you would rather be dead, you will also be looking for ways to die soon…

And these songs are putting all kinds of sinful and harmful thoughts into our heads and minds – just like scripture is feeding us with the goodness and with what we should be feeding on, the enemy is putting poison and destructive ideas into our minds with the songs he spreads…

This is why it is so important to do our best to avoid the “food” of the enemy and feed ourselves with the WORD of GOD.
Not only for teaching and learning purposes, but also, because it will be playing in the background, in our minds, it will be influencing our lives, it will be creating our moods, it will be deciding whether we are happy or not, whether we will be successful or not!
Mantras WORK!
That’s why it is so vital for us to have godly songs in us.
It is what we speak over our lives.
Day and night.
Consciously and unconsciously.

Proverbs 18:21
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

When you learn about spiritual warfare – or shall I say when you are in a situation where you HAVE TO learn about it – you will most likely come across some teacher who will suggest, that you find yourself some warfare scripture, memorise it and recite it when the enemy attacks next.

And even if you shouldn’t find this advice anywhere, it is still the best advice you could find.
Why?
Because this is the way JESUS defeated the enemy.
When you read the passage about where he was tempted by the enemy in the wilderness for 40 days and nights, you can find him responding to every temptation beginning with “it is written”.

Matthew 4:1-11
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

JESUS never said or did anything without doing or saying it for us, in order to teach us.
This is to teach us how to defeat the enemy!

And it doesn’t matter what it is you are fighting.

You can find scripture for everything.
For good health.
For a sound mind, against depression (“the spirit of heaviness”), for life, for healing, for prosperity (I myself don’t think we should strive for material wealth, but I do believe that we CAN ask OUR FATHER for it and that HE will give it to us when we do!), for godly friendships, for a good marriage and family – whatever it is, you will find it in the bible.

And singing godly songs is nothing else than speaking scripture or at least godly words over your life – good Christian music WILL contain a lot of scripture or will at least contain lyrics which are aligned with it.

Music adds emotion to the words. Music gives the words even more power.

Remember David?
GOD favoured him – he was a man after GOD’s own heart – even though he sinned many times, but GOD forgave him. He was the writer of many of the psalms and he knew how to praise GOD and how to speak to HIM – and how to win his favour!
He also knew about the power of music and he had the power to calm king Saul when he wasn’t in his right mind with singing and dancing for him.

We cannot improve on what is written in the bible and what has been working for more than 3000++ years!
The only thing that has changed is technology, but the principles and the human nature are still the same.

And GOD, HE will never change.
HE is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

So if it worked for David (and if it works for the enemy!), it will work for US.

David – and many others in the old testament – won many of his battles by praising GOD and he won or kept GOD’s favour with his praising attitude towards him.

And we all have had at least a moment (or many) when we could feel GOD’s presence more than ever before when we sang to HIM or listened to others sing a beautiful song for him, haven’t we?

I myself have experienced many breakthroughs and healings through praising and worshipping HIM, especially when combined with music… I even believe that it is true that this is how we can fight and win our battles – by praise and thanksgiving alone.

How about you, my friend?

I hope and pray that this will inspire, heal and bless you. And that THE LORD will bless you abundantly in all areas of your life, that HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you and give you peace. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.

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