I want to switch gears somewhat from where we left off in Part 1 and focus our attention on the POWER OF TRUE WORSHIP, a power that we have not fully grasped in most of the Body of Christ.
The Power of True Worship
And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him. (1 Sam. 16:23)
Here, we see the power of music to influence the environment so that an evil spirit could not stay in the atmosphere. We come to church on Sundays and sing a few songs and many times do not recognize or understand the spiritual impact that praise and worship should be generating to set the atmosphere for spiritual bondages to be broken.
In 1 Samuel 10:5-7 the prophet Samuel is speaking to young Saul who is not yet King but has been so appointed.
After that you shall come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying. Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you. (1 Sam. 10:5-7)
Praise and worship is the vehicle that ushers in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the spirit are manifested. Here, we see the gift of prophecy coming upon Saul who did not operate in the prophetic office. It was so unexpected that in verse 12 of the same chapter it became a proverb: “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
Let us go back to David and Saul in 1 Samuel 16 and look earlier in the chapter at verses 17 & 18.
So Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.” Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.” (1 Sam. 16:17-18)
What combination do you notice? Worshiper and warrior.
The Lord has revealed to His prophets that we (the Kingdom of God) are in a season of warfare; a season of taking back territory for God and pushing back the forces of darkness. He is releasing the warrior spirit upon His ministers starting with the intercessors. This warfare intercession will see the release of a new sound coming through His anointed musicians to set the right environment for spiritual warfare and the ushering in of the prophetic anointing.
In 2 Chronicles 20 we see a praying King Jehoshaphat bringing to God’s attention the fact that the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who the Lord instructed the Israelites to spare when they came out of Egypt, were now bent on wanting to take away the land the Lord had given the Israelites as their possession. In response, a prophetic word comes from the Lord outlining the strategy that they are to use to fight the upcoming battle. Importantly, the Lord confirmed that the battle was not theirs but His. What was the strategy God gave for the battle? Let us read from verse 20:
So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. (2 Chron. 20:20-23, emphasis mine)
Why did God require the singers to go ahead of the army? To stir up the spiritual atmosphere and thereby bring confusion to the enemy’s camp. We know it was true worship because it was under the inspiration of God to a holy God.
Let’s look at the destruction of Jericho in Joshua 6 starting from verse 1.
Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.” (Josh. 6:1-5, emphasis mine)
There is a particular sound that sets the atmosphere for spiritual warfare and that is the power of praise and worship that is being required by God in this hour. We see again in Joel 2, the blowing of the trumpet in Zion (symbolic of the church) and the sounding of the alarm in God’s holy mountain to announce a great battle of the Lord. In Nehemiah 4:19-20,
Then I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” (Neh. 4:19-20)
In the new testament, we see Paul alluding to there being a particular sound that warns us to arise for battle.
Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? (1 Cor. 14:7-8)
For the battle to be successful though it is not just about the sound. We cannot divorce the sound from the character of those who are called to make the sound. We come back full circle to true worship.
So Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.” Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.” (1 Sam. 16:17-18, emphasis mine)
It was not the music in and of itself that allowed the distressing spirit to depart from Saul. It had everything to do with the character of the person who was playing the music. In Acts 13:22, David was said to be a man after God’s own heart. We know that David was far from perfect but it was not about being perfect, it was about the attitude when he did wrong. He acknowledged his wrong, took responsibility, repented and in this way he kept short accounts with God. Let us see such an example in 2 Sam. 24:10.
And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” (2 Sam. 24:10)
We also see his contriteness displayed through the words in Psalms 51. Psalms 34:18 tells us that the Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit. We cannot be wrong and strong at the same time.
In an effort not to make the blog too lengthy, I will stop here with our discussion and resume next time.