I often picture spiritual warfare like storming a castle in medieval times using a battering ram to destroy its gates. You cannot break through with one blow; it has to be done repeatedly until eventually the gate yields.
When our business looked as though it might go bankrupt a few years ago, praise was one of the main ways we fought back against the enemy. We would march around our office praising God for the victory that we couldn’t yet see. We thanked him that the empty tray on Tony’s desk would soon be filled with contracts. We glorified God that companies from the north, south, east and west wanted to do business with us. We praised him that he has victory over every evil force that was out to destroy us (John 10:10). Gradually, the forces of darkness yielded to the spiritual pressure. Finally, we were solvent again and rapidly became profitable.
There are two notable pictures of praise as warfare in the Old Testament. The first is in the battle of Jericho. As the Children of Israel marched around the walls the seventh day, they shouted as loud as they could and “the walls came a-tumblin’ down.”
The second comes in 2 Chronicles 6. King Jehoshaphat is facing a vast army from Edom. There’s no way he can win. As he seeks the Lord’s face and reminds him of his promises, the Lord assures him that he has the battle in hand. So Joshua takes God at his word and sends out singers before his army. At the very moment they start singing and praising God, confusion spreads among the enemy and they fight each other. All that’s left for Jehoshaphat and his army to do is collect the spoil.
A key passage on praise as spiritual warfare comes in Psalm 149:6-9
Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands—
to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
to bind their kings with shackles and their leaders with iron chains,
to execute the judgment written against them. This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones.
As we praise God and use the Word of God (the sharp sword–Ephesians 6:17), we cause the enemy to flee.
Photo Credit: nmmacedo (Creative Commons)