Summary: if you want to overcome the forces of evil in your own life, by faith praise the Lord, obey the Lord, give to the Lord, and pay your vows to the Lord.
Jennifer Breeding, from the Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, was visiting her parents with her two young daughters. They watched from the breakfast table as a man came to the back door. When the visitor left, Grandpa explained that he was an appraiser.
“What's an appraiser?” the younger child asked.
Before Grandpa had a chance to explain, older sister quickly cleared up the matter: “He's a praiser. He goes to church every Sunday.” (Jennifer Breeding, Whiteman AFB, Missouri, “Lite Fare.” Christian Reader; www.PreachingToday.com)
I wish that all of us are “praisers”, because there is tremendous power in praise! Your praise will overcome the forces of evil. Your praise will take down the barriers that prevent you from being all that God has called you to be. Your praise will conquer the devil’s strongholds that keep you in bondage to sin.
You say, “Phil, how? How can my praise make any real difference in my life? How can my worship win me the battles against evil? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Joshua 6, Joshua 6, where we see how the power of praise worked for the children of Israel as they begin to conquer the Promised Land.
Joshua 6:1-4 Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. (ESV)
These are the same trumpets they use in worship. The priests blew them at their great feasts and over their sacrifices in the tabernacle (Numbers 10:9-10). The trumpets of war were also the trumpets of worship!
Joshua 6:5 And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” (ESV)
When the people shout, the walls of the city will fall! Now, the Hebrew word for “shout” is the same word used in the context of Israel’s worship throughout the Old Testament. Psalm 66:1 says, “Shout for joy to God, all the earth.” Psalm 81:1 says, “Shout for joy to the God of Jacob!”
Psalm 95:1 says, “Make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” And Psalm 95:2 says, “Make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” The Hebrew word for “make a joyful noise” is the same word translated “shout” here in Joshua 6. You see it again in Psalm 98:4, where it says, “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth”, and again, in Psalm 98:6, where it says, “Make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!” Psalm 100:1 also uses the same word when it says, “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!”
So when God tells the children of Israel to shout outside the walls of Jericho, they would understand this as a shout of praise, a joyful noise before the Lord. You see, their worship, not their weapons, will bring those walls down. Their praise is powerful to tear down the barriers that would keep them from the Promised Land.
And your praise has the power to do the same thing. Your worship can bring down the strongholds of the enemy in your own life. So…
PRAISE THE LORD!
Shout for joy to God in the face of those strongholds. Make a joyful noise to the Lord before any barriers that stand in your way.
In 1987 Laszlo Tokes became pastor of the Hungarian Reformed Church in Romania. Unlike his predecessor, he refused to compromise with the communist government. He restored the church to its biblical roots. He revitalized its worship, and the church grew to 5,000 people.
Each one paid a high price to worship, running the gauntlet of secret police in order to get into the church building. Their names were on endless lists, and many of them suffered physical hardships. Some even disappeared in the night never to be seen again, but still they came.
Ceausescu’s government, to say the least, was not pleased. He determined to take Laszlo Tokes by force on December 15, 1989. But when he sent his secret police, they found a human shield around the church. Members of Tokes’ congregation had come to protest his removal. Soon Christians from other churches all over the country had joined them. And at 1 a.m. December 16, the light from hundreds of candles pierced the darkness.