This is a time of intense spiritual warfare over the United States (and many other nations). Quite clearly there’s a lot of attack going on from the devil – bringing division, heartache, confusion, destruction, and even death.
But we are not powerless – we can go on the offensive too, and worship is key for that.
In Revelation 7:9 we read, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”
This is a clear picture of a diverse, multi-racial, and joyful heaven! The holding of palm branches represents worship of Jesus, and so part of our heavenly future is unity in our diversity expressed in shared worship of Jesus.
While we long for that future hope, we are also called to join Jesus today in warring to help bring about that eternal reality here on earth as it is in heaven. Division, hostility and fear between the races are a clear violation of what God desires for His people – and so we must wholeheartedly fight them as the sins they are.
Without in any way absolving personal responsibility for attitudes, words, and deeds, it’s also clear that racism and division are created by more than simply individual bad decisions (hence concepts such as systemic racism). These evils are rooted in spiritual forces of darkness, which Paul calls dark authorities (or principalities) and powers – “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Part of our response to racism is personal and practical, and each one of us will have our own unique steps to take, including repentance, intercession, forgiveness, bridge-building, protests, influencing the political conversation, leadership in the workplace, and so on.
In addition, though, we must also engage with the spiritual warfare that underlies all of this. And as Revelation makes clear, worship is one of the ways we can fight back against the evil spirits that are stirring divides, especially between the races.
Here’s why worship is so powerful: Worship is heart connection with Jesus. His character is extolled. His actions are recounted with gratitude. He encounters us by His Spirit. We see Him and His values with fresh perception. We exchange our junk for His goodness. Hearts, minds, spirits, and bodies are renewed. Singing is involved, as it is powerful, but it’s not just that. The enemy hates it when we worship – it is excruciating for him. Ha! So let’s worship more! As we worship, the evil one is forced into retreat.
It can be a sacrifice to worship, especially when the trials of life can drag us down and leave us in a place of discouragement or disappointment. This is the point where we make a decision of our will. Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”
Some days it’s easy, others it’s not. But let’s remind ourselves of the deeply Biblical nature of our call to worship Jesus – the more so as we see the enemy on the move.
“But I’m Not Sure What to Do”
In this video, we share some more background on the connection between worship and warfare, and then give some very practical next steps that you can take to grow as a worshipper in these days.
One thing to note: we sense the Spirit showing us that over the past 3 months or so of online church gatherings, worship has reduced. Partly this is because it’s harder to lead worship via Zoom, and partly because even when done well, as watchers at home we are more in consumer mode (“Netflix or church service replay?”). This means that we tend to watch the band, or multitask with it in the background, rather than throwing ourselves wholeheartedly into worship, whatever the quality of the sound.
Let’s determine this weekend as individual households to choose to worship. Personally we’ve had to repent of not doing this as time has gone by, and we suspect that will be the same for many of you. As God’s people worship less, the enemy is emboldened.
1. As you listen to the video, ask Jesus to speak to you. Make notes, and then decide on your specific next steps to take this week
2. How will you move further into a lifestyle of worship as warfare?
3. We also mention a Spotify playlist of worship songs that are great for spiritual warfare. It’s only short, so if you have suggestions, please post them in the comments! Click here to jump to the playlist.
SUMMER COURSE: Hearing the Voice of God
We’ve filmed and put together a 4 week video series on Hearing the Voice of God. This resource will be ideal for your summer group study – whether online or in physical groups! It would also work for a 4 week Sunday teaching series
The first churches who are using this material are having incredible responses. Just today one of those leaders emailed us with this feedback from a church member:
“Tonight was very powerful… This class has really helped open up my heart to a better understanding of the difference between my thoughts and God’s voice. Having this clarity has put it on my heart to get baptized…”
WHAT YOU’LL RECEIVE
- 4 x 30 minute videos presented by us (Alex and Hannah Absalom), where we give you Biblical, practical, engaging teaching on how to hear God’s voice with more clarity and confidence, and take steps into the prophetic gifts.
- Handouts that allow participants to follow along, keep track of the teaching, and make extensive and helpful notes. These handouts come fully customizable, so you can add your church branding or local information onto them.
- Specific activation exercises, so that you can practice and step into these gifts in safe and pastorally wise contexts.
- Discussion questions that help you unpack the teaching each week.
- Homework that is deeply practical, and yet challenging, so that you take action steps between sessions to put what you are learning into practice!
- There is also the option of an additional live Q&A session, where one or both of us will call into your group to interact and (try to!) answer questions that are raised by the course.
The cost of the course ranges from $49 to $199, depending on the size of your church/ gathering. This is incredible value! We even offer a small scholarship fund for those in situations where really you should be in a lower price category.
To find out more, hit the yellow button below to jump to full info and to purchase!
And in the coming months, we will be releasing similar courses on Healing the Sick, and Becoming a Naturally Supernatural Witness!