READ: Deuteronomy 10-12, Psalm 56, Luke 12, 1 Corinthians 12
We must come to terms with the reality that our spiritual battle is to the death. When we represent Jesus among the nations, we stand for Him against all other presumptive authorities and all demonic powers. We would be fools to think we can do this in frameworks of peace. Jesus, after all, came to bring fire on the earth (Luke 12:49) and not peace, not at all, “but rather division” (v. 51). Our battle is to the death.
In our ceaseless battle we have one key weapon of renewal – it is praise. Because the pressure will never stop, because the evil hoards will keep on pressing, it is imperative we learn to refresh while we fight. Battle Praise does this for us. “He is your praise….who has done for you great and awesome things” (Deut. 10:21). Yet, He is also our praise who will do more. Praise is not just post-victory; praise is something we lift up in the midst of warfare. When we praise – as we swing our swords – we act in faith, and faith always delights the heart of Jesus.
Praise is intended to be a lifestyle. Praise should not be relegated to the high moments of victory parades. Praise should be part of our normal, part of our battle, part of our reaction to every circumstance. When we praise in suffering, when we praise in prison, when we praise in sickness, when we praise in disappointment, when we praise in tragedy, when we praise in pain – we are fighting at a turbo level. When we praise despite all outward and inward resistance, we begin to penetrate the highest levels of worship. With our praise we say to the enemy: “That all you got?” As Jesus said, they may kill the body but what more can they do (Luke 12:4)? If prison and torture and death elicit praise from both the departed and those that faithfully remain, what more can the devil do?
In our ceaseless battles, let us join the Psalmist and declare over and over again: We will praise His word (Ps. 56:4, 10); we will render praise (v. 12); and we will do so in trial and at trials, in courts and in confession. Denial of Jesus at any level is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Luke 12:10), and so we resolve and vow that we shall ever open our mouths and declare that Jesus is the Son of God (He is Divine). Our confession before men will be praise to God the Son, praise to God the Spirit, praise to God the Father. Praise is the battle. There is a battle for our praise. Let us be vigilant that our praise will always, ever go to Jesus.