If you find yourself sinking fast in the mud flats of life, that is the best time to worship. Worship is your way out. Your adversary, the devil, will oppose you at the beginning. Bringing up past failures and calling us hypocrites is his tired old trick. Pay him no mind. If his lips are moving you know he’s lying. As you bring the sacrifice of praise, you’ll go past the outer courts, and right into the most holy place.
Here, in God’s presence, the muddy slough turns into a garden of joy. We finally see the challenging season for what it is, a once in a lifetime opportunity for personal transformation. Though we have nothing in our hands to give, we realize we have everything we’ll ever need. Here is the place where heaven and earth finally meet.
Far from a waste of time, mountains move when God’s children praise. We see this all through Scripture. The six-foot thick walls surrounding Jericho collapsed like Jenga blocks at the shout of praise (Joshua 6:20). The evil spirit tormenting Saul fled as David sang and played his harp in worship (1 Kings 26:23). King Jehoshaphat put the choir in front of the army to lead the way into battle. As they gave thanks the enemy turned on themselves and in confusion began killing one another. When Israel finally showed up, all they had to do was collect the spoils (2 Chronicles 20:21). After three days in the belly of the whale, Jonah offered a sacrifice of praise. Then God commanded the fish to spit him out (Jonah 2:9-10). At midnight, Paul and Silas sang hymns of praise after being beaten for their faith. An earthquake came, their chains fell off, and the doors flung open (Acts 16:25).
In our praise, God does what we could never do ourselves. He fights and wins our battles. Martin Luther once wrote, “The devil, the originator of sorrowful anxieties and restless troubles, flees before the sound of music almost as much as before the Word of God…Music is a gift and grace of God, not an invention of men. Thus it drives out the devil and makes people cheerful. Then one forgets all wrath, impurity, and other devices.”
His plan is simple. He wants to discourage and distract you so you’ll never praise. Remember you can win today if you worship. God created you for this. Your body is like a musical instrument. You have pipes, vocal cords, chambers for resonance, bags of air, and a unique heartbeat. Fill your instrument with God’s breath and let out your song of praise.
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.