READ: 2 Chronicles 19-21, Psalm 132, Mark 15, James 4
IN PRAISE OF PRAISE
Some battles can only be won by praise. Better said, the battle is often for our praise. Will we praise the Lord in the face of adversity and challenge? If the devil can steal our praise (or corrupt it), he has accomplished his ends–no matter the external results. This is why prison, sickness, trial, and even death are so misleading. The point in trial is often not external deliverance or relief; the point is internal praise that springs out of our mouths and goes from our spirits to the heavens. Praise IS the victory.
Praise Confuses the Enemy. As Jehoshaphat led out his armies in praise (2 Chron. 20:22), the enemies got confused and started attacking one another. When we are under demonic pressure, when evil surrounds us, the best thing we can do is ignore it by attacking it with verbalized praise. It is important to note that battle praise should be external. Yes, it starts in our hearts but it should come out of our mouths boldly. Both enemies and friends need to hear our exaltation of Jesus in the midst of trial. Evil does not know what to do with those who praise the Lord under duress. Our soul enemies do not know what to do when the darker the cloud, the louder our praise.
Praise Encourages Friends. When others hear us praise the Lord in our difficulties, it helps them turn their eyes off themselves and their challenges. A main strategy of Satan is to get us to fixate on ourselves, our needs, our hurts, our grievances, our challenges, our sickness, our injustices. When we praise despite our demons, others take note and it helps them lift their eyes off themselves and direct their praise to the Lord. Just as it is important to audibly praise the Lord (for your own sake and for those around you), it is also life-giving when we praise (affirm, not magnify) each other in the hearing of one another. Children need to hear their father praise their mother. Teams need to hear the leader praise team members. It imparts life and health to all the hearers, not just the recipient of the praise.
Praise Brings Joy to the One Praising. Most wonderful of all the effects of praise is the joy it gives to the one praising. When we praise others, something in us is edified. In heightened fashion, when we praise the Lord, when we lift our voices and from glad hearts magnify and extol JESUS, something grows in our spirit. It is how we were designed. We were designed to be satisfied in God, and when we are and express it, we reap the benefit. A soul joy swells within us and we feel peace, contentment, and rest. It is in our ongoing interest to verbally magnify Jesus.
All peoples can praise. Praise grows with pressure, praise grows with age, praise grows with limitations, praise grows with problems. The older, sicker, more confined we get, the more we can (and should) praise the Lord. Praise is our battle cry. The more the enemy throws at us, the more we praise the Lord. Praise is our right and it is our joy. Never, ever surrender our praise.