Some of you may be familiar with the song going around by Upper Room Worship called, “This is How I Fight my Battles“. This song has been playing in my head for weeks, it’s very simple to learn and impossible for me to stop singing at random moments in the day. This song has had me thinking a lot about the battles we all face on a daily basis – depression, addiction, frustration, anxiety, family issues, abuse, sickness, marital issues, hopelessness, feelings of insignificance, relational struggles, stress, feeling overwhelmed, parenting, betrayal, marriage, death, singleness, disappointment, etc.
Whatever your battle – God will meet you in the midst of it.
The Old Testament has some pretty cool examples that tie worship and warfare together!
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.” – 2 Chronicles 20:21
And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him. – 1 Samuel 16:23
The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.Sud denly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. – Acts 16:22-26
Worship has some pretty amazing power. When we take our eyes off of our situations and focus our hearts on the Father, on His goodness during hardship we allow the Holy Spirit to work in ways we cannot see. Paul and Silas (in Acts 16) could have sat in prison, angry and scared (which they may have been!) but they chose praise in the midst of an impossible situation that probably would have ended in their death.
I remember a time recently when I was struggling and I sat on my bed with tears running down my face, feeling angry and lost and I whispered the song, “I Breathe You in, God” by the Torwalt’s – a choked out song that probably didn’t sound very pretty, but it was worship and I know God received it. I felt, in that moment, as I turned my heart towards Him in the midst of adversity, that He had me. I pressed closer to Him – the One who truly knew my heartache, who could truly understand.
Choosing to worship God through trials is NOT easy – it’s often times excruciating and painful to be singing songs when your heart feels like it is about to die. But, there is something incredible that happens when we invite God into our trials, into our heartache. David was a PRO at inviting God into his hardships. He wrote 150 poems and songs about it.
THIS is how we fight our battles – we praise. We take the upper hand from the enemy when we choose to praise in the midst of pain.
This has been a challenge for me over the past few years. Inviting God into my deepest, darkest places. Praising in the midst changes us.
I encourage you, as you face hardships and struggles – pursue God in the midst of them. Sing songs of worship to Him. Invite Him in. Take a praise break and find a moment to invite Holy Spirit into your circumstance and praise.
“It may look like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by You”. – Upper Room Worship
-Annabelle Calkins, age 3