The Key to the Battle

Image result for psalm 149:6

The Key to the Battle

 

We are told in Psalm 149:6 to let the praise of God be in your mouth. Notice what this verse doesn’t say. It doesn’t tell us to praise God when we feel like it, when things are going well for us, when we are joyful, or when it is convenient for us. Instead, the command is to let the praises of God be in our mouth……period!

 

We base so much on our feelings because they are so real. We feel things so deeply. Sometimes it is hard to praise God when we feel overwhelmed with the trials of life. However, it is imperative that we learn to praise Him in spite of our feelings or our circumstances.

 

When the Israelites went up to conquer the land of Canaan, the first group sent into battle was the tribe of Judah. Why is it important to note the first group that was sent? Judah was the worshipers! Before they faced the battle, they worshiped!

 

Why is that so important? When we worship God for who He is, it builds our faith! It turns our focus away from the problem and puts it on God. We can magnify our problems, which does nothing but depress us and wear us down. Or we can choose to magnify our God and increase our faith. Whatever we focus on becomes magnified in our minds, so it is important to magnify the right thing!

 

Even in the small things of life, I choose to have worship music playing. For instance, we were dealing with the flour bugs (weevils). I needed to find the source that was drawing them in and remove it, then clean that area really well. I don’t like bugs of any kind. They creep me out! To help me remain calm and joyful in my spirit during this arduous task, I listened to a playlist on You Tube that was scripture set to music.  It helped me in battling those nasty little bugs!

 

When dealing with other kinds of trials, listening to praise music reminds me of God’s faithfulness, love, protection, and His promises. On my morning drive to work, I will often spend time praising the Lord. Focusing on His wonderful attributes during that time helps keep me from stressing out later when things get busy or chaotic at work.

 

Just like Judah helped prepare the Israelites for battle, it can do the same for us! For instance, I recently shared about the tree which fell on our house, leaving eight holes in the roof, and even crashing through the ceiling in one spot. Had my focus not been on the Lord, I would not have handled that news with nearly as much grace, poise, and confidence.

 

The next time you are in the midst of a battle, remember to worship! It changes everything!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

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Standing in the Gap

What a wonderful, powerful, encouraging word!

Jesus Culture and the Romantic Love Songs

It really is true!   There is nothing new under the sun.  (Ecc. 1:9)

Over the last several years, I have noticed that my spirit gets very irritated by a lot of the ‘worship songs’ that are popular.   It’s because we aren’t supposed to be singing love songs to Jesus that are much like singing to a physical lover.  We should be singing songs of worship which line up with what is in the Word of God!

Unshakeable Last Day Worship

True Worship

I have noticed over the last several years that the current worship music being played in church was draining me.  I felt more drained when I left the service than when I went in.  This greatly disturbed me so I decided to dig further into why it was doing that to me because I have always loved worship.
We are told to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.  However, what I came to realize is that today’s form of worship is more like a rock concert, not worship.  It’s a performance, not true worship.  Next, I began to pay attention to the lyrics.  Most of the lyrics were not scriptural.  And the ‘worship’ service became more of an “I worship the feeling I get when my emotions get moved by this music.”  It had nothing to do with worshiping the Lord in spirit and in truth.  No wonder I felt drained!
Let’s take a look at some true Christian music.  All of these are straight from scripture.
Amen, praise, and honor
These worship songs are FULL of scripture.  Since music tends to stay with you, it is important to have that music be scripture!  I don’t want empty words going through my head when God’s Word is spirit and LIFE to me!  I want music that will encourage me, comfort me, and lift me up when life is hard.  Though these songs are from a few decades ago, they are what I choose to listen to on a daily basis.  In fact, I usually choose the instrumental version of these songs because the lyrics are still in my head.  THAT alone shows you the POWER of music!  The instrumental music soothes me on stressful days and calms my anxious heart.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the lyrics of a few current worship songs.
I hope I have sparked some curiosity in you and motivated you to dig deeper on this topic, especially if you are feeling like I was with this current music being used in churches.  Even more important, is the true spiritual dangers of this music being used as ‘worship’ music, Jacob Prasch has a lot of very helpful information to assist you in your studying on this topic in the following article.

 

Prayer Series – Finding that Solitary Place

Finding that Solitary Place
Jesus sought time alone with God on many occasions, especially in times of momentous decisions.  In Lk. 6:12, we find that Jesus went to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying.   After this particular time in prayer, He had incredible results.  He chose the twelve who were to be His apostles, He healed numerous people, and preached His most recited sermon (the sermon on the mount).  You may have heard about the famous sermon by Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”  He actually stood up, had his notes just inches from his face, and read that sermon.  It sure doesn’t sound too impressive, does it?  What made it impressive?  What brought about such awesome results from this message?  Mr. Edwards spent the night travailing in prayer over the message and the people who would hear the message.  You see, it wasn’t him that brought the results, it was GOD!

In Mt. 26:36 we find that Jesus tells His disciples to sit there while He went off a short distance to pray.  In Mk. 1:35 we see that He got up very early in the morning to find a solitary place to pray.  Lk. 4:42 mentions that at daybreak, Jesus was going out to a solitary place.  Lk. 5:16 reveals to us that Jesus OFTEN withdrew to lonely places to pray.

I know that as mothers, many of us find that it is so hard to find a solitary place to pray.  One thing I have started doing is to turn my thoughts upon the Lord as soon as I waken in the morning.  I commit my day to Him, asking Him to lead me and to show me what is truly important for me to do that day.  Many times, the important things are as simple as listening to Rachel when she wants to talk.  Sometimes it is being diligent in disciplining her.  Too often, I find myself punishing, rather than disciplining.

Other times, it is learning to stay at home that day and focusing on the house since another day is going to be packed with lots of activities.  I tend to stress out quickly on the days when there is much to be done.  He has taught me to play soothing gospel music.  That has helped me to focus my thoughts heavenward a lot more.  I find that in the middle of mopping the floor or cleaning the bathtub that I am worshiping my Master.  I am pondering on what the words of the song say, turning them into my own prayer.  I am training my mind to focus on Him when unseen things happen during the day.  How many of us will put something in a certain place so that we won’t lose it, only to find out later that we have lost the item?  I have learned to pray for His help at those times.  I walk around, praying, listening to hear His voice.  I ask Him to give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation to think where the item is.  WHEN I take the time to ask for His help, it never takes more than five minutes to find it.  Then, I just have one more thing for which to praise the Lord!  It’s also teaching Rachel to look to Father for the everyday things in life.

In I Th. 5:17, we are admonished to pray continually.  This refers to abiding in His presence.  In Jn. 15 we are told to abide in Him.  This is to become a lifestyle for us, not of constantly uttering formal prayers, but rather prayers of all kinds and on all occasions.  It can be as simple as hearing a siren, then praying for the people involved (the victims, the police, the fire department, the ambulance drivers, the doctors who are going to be treating the ones being helped….)  I recently took Rachel to a local event where she got to climb up inside an ambulance.  While there, I told the paramedic that we pray for them anytime we see or hear their sirens.  He was touched by that; you could see the surprise in his eyes.  I proceeded to let him know that we aren’t the only ones praying.  I know of many mothers who are making this a habit, and then passing this godly heritage on to their children.

Father, as the disciples asked You to teach them how to pray, we ask You to teach us how to pray, but we also ask of You; teach us to abide.  In the midst of the chaos, the frustrations, the noise, the busyness, teach us how to abide.  Amen.
© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

Worship That Moves the Lord

Worship That Moves the Lord

Have you ever been so desperate in prayer that you begin to beg God for His help, yet feel as if He is ignoring you?  A Canaanite woman experienced that very thing.  In Matthew 15:22, she is crying out to Jesus as He passes by.  Yet, the Lord doesn’t even acknowledge her.

Now many of us become discouraged when we feel as if the Lord is ignoring us.  We may even fail to pray since we feel as if our fervent prayers are falling on deaf ears.  Yet, what this Canaanite woman does next fascinates me.  She refuses to give up.  She comes and humbly kneels before Jesus and again asks for His help.  Her humble posture speaks volumes to the Lord, for not only does He notice her, He speaks to her.  Her humble response shows her great faith in Him, even though He previously ignored her.  He commends her for her great faith and grants her request.

We can learn much from this story.  When we don’t get an immediate response, we must not get mad and become too proud to ask again.  We must humble ourselves before Him and keep asking, for the Lord will not reject a humble, contrite heart. (Psalm 51:17)  Our humble worship may be what moves Him to act quickly on our behalf.

© 2008, Stacy R Miller

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