In 2 Chronicles 20 we learn the account of the great King Jehoshaphat, and his devotion, heart, and worship of the Lord. As Israel’s enemies rise up against them, Jehoshaphat seeks the Lord for help to overcome and defeat the enemies of Israel. All of Judah becomes united, stand before the Lord, they fast, and seek God with pure humility. And then, faithfully, the Spirit of God meets them and gives them the answer. They are told, do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, take up your positions, stand firm, worship the Lord, praise the Lord.
15 He said: Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! 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 Gods.
19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to 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.
22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
Praise is a powerful weapon in our faith walk with God. It aligns our hearts in the direction of the almighty God. It eases our worries and fears, it helps us to focus on the ONE who truly can and will deliver all who approach him with humility and pure devotion. It can break bondages of unforgiveness, sickness, and pain and liberate all to a new level of intimacy and gratitude with God.
Therefore, its so important to spend time in praise and worship. Belonging to a church that truly puts its heart and soul into the worship ministry as equally as other ministries will always yield an atmosphere of unblemished devotion and hunger for the Spirit of God. Which is why C3 Church Long Island flourishes. We truly believe in worship and praise. Praise and worship will always cause the Holy Spirit to fill all who stand united in praise of our wonderful God and Savior.
A few weeks ago I had a personal dream come true, in that I ran a 10k at 45 years old, for the first time ever. Now, this was an absolute miracle, as only two years ago I weighed 270 lbs. God came through with the miracle of helping me lose the weight. As I prepared and trained a few times leading up to the event, the enormous challenge of the undertaking seemed bigger than me. I learned early on in my training that by listening to praise and worship music when I ran that it reinvigorated me and gave me a push and perseverance to not give up. I lost myself in those moments focusing on God and giving him my attention, although my body was pushing to attain a goal by taxing its physical limits. I noted the difference each time, that through praise and worship, my spirit conquered my body!
The day of the race came, and I trotted along with the absolute determination and inspiration that led up to those moments to not give up. However, up to now, running on the treadmill was one thing, running on the street and on hilly terrain to boot would challenge every aspect of my endeavor to truly complete this race. As I approached the midway point of the course, and the hilly terrain came, it was grueling and pushed the limits of my abilities. At one point at the 3 - 4 mile mark my body started to show signs that it could not push on much harder or longer. My goal was to finish the 10k in under an hour and I was really teetering on the borderline time to make it.
As I ran the course, I listened to a praise and worship music playlist of songs I had prepared that contained music I had listened to when I was training months prior to the race. As each song played, I listened and ran, each breath, each pace, each pounding of the pavement, it all became a living sacrifice. My focus on the lyrics, the music, and the feeling that God was with me truly made a remarkable difference. On that course when my body couldn’t anymore, I listened to the words of the songs and it reminded me to silently pray in that moment. I asked God to give my that victory of completing the race within the allotted time I had was hoping to achieve. I knew in that moment that with his help, anything is possible.
Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
And with a charge up and down the remaining hills, I felt that supernatural push, an inner burst of drive that reminded me that nothing is impossible if I continue to focus on Christ. One half mile approaching the finish line and I was able to sprint despite my exhausted state, so I pushed forward as well as persevered until the end. I made it! With a time of 55:35 beating my all-time best by two minutes. It was truly an amazing day and an unforgettable experience, gifting me with a memory to last a lifetime.
God met me in that race, and he will meet you in the trials you may be facing or the battles that sometimes seem never ending as well as grueling. My story is but an allegory to how praise and worship can truly help us to triumph in any situation, no matter how small or big. It can truly transform these arduous moments into the greatest victory for the glory of God as well as transform them into blessings for our lives.
Spend time in praise and worship. Let it shift your life and atmosphere. Feel how beautiful reliance on God is truly liberating!