In December 1986 I had my very first, extremely unnerving, encounter with evil spirits. I say encounter because they manifested! I was woefully unprepared for it! You see, until then, I imagined that Christians no longer had to deal with evil spirits. I thought all they needed to do was to pray for protection from Satan. Encounters with evil spirits were not part of my theology.
True to His role as my Advocate and Teacher, the Holy Spirit brought to my attention the truths I needed to know in order to triumph in that moment (John 14:16; 16:13). One of the passages He led me to, was 2 Chronicles 20:1-30. As I read it, I realized that the battle wasn’t mine – it was God’s, and the strategy I needed to use at that particular time was PRAISE.
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.” 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. ” (2 Chronicles 20:20-22).
I promptly obeyed, and as soon as I began to praise God the evil spirits retreated and never disturbed me again!
Does anyone out there remember the song “Praise the Lord” by the Imperials? From the 1980s? Even after listening to this song for over 30 years, I still love it! It exhorts us to praise the Lord “when you’re up against a struggle that shatters all your dreams” or “your hopes have been cruelly crushed by Satan’s manifested schemes.” The song points us to a number of reasons why praise is so powerful. When we praise Him:
- God works on our behalf when we praise Him (2 Chronicles 20:22);
- God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3, KJV). I understand this to mean that praise ushers in God’s manifest presence;
- Chains the enemy has placed on us fall when we praise Him. Paul and Silas experienced this in prison (Acts 16:25-26);
- We are actively resisting Satan’s attempts to intimidate and destabilize us when we praise God. Praise causes us to shift our attention to God, declare His greatness and and affirm our position in Him. As we praise Him we “lift up the mighty shield of faith.” David did exactly that when He confronted Goliath (1 Samuel 17:45-47).
Other benefits we can expect when we use the weapon of praise are:-
- depression (or heaviness) lifts when we put on the garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3, NIV). Incidentally, this garment is given to us by God Himself!
- we carry out a privilege reserved for the saints – to punish, bind and execute judgment on nations, peoples, kings and rulers (Psalm 149:6-9)!
Spiritual warfare emanates from and mostly takes place in the invisible realm. Hoping to go undetected, evil spirits will stealthily attack our mind, emotions, and bodies. The best strategy at such times is to focus on God. As we praise Him, we counter and overcome the attack with the truth of who God is and who we are in Him. And we don’t have to sing praise and worship (although spiritual music certainly adds power to our punch!) . We can simply declare it, or even shout it out loud if we have to!
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 (NASB).
Did you notice the adjective “always” ? I am praying for a fresh revelation of the triumph that is ALWAYS ours in our Lord Jesus Christ as we journey through a study based on “songs for the battlefield.”