She was the picture of shyness, standing at the door and bashfully glancing my way to ask, “Can I see you, Pastor Jack? “
I beckoned to her, and the 8-year-old walked across the prayer room to where I stood. I knelt to greet the child, so our eyes were at the same level.
“Hi, Aimee,” I smiled. “What do you want?” “Pastor Jack, I wanted you to hear a song the Lord gave me.”The service was about to begin, but right then she seemed a more precious and urgent matter than the multitude gathering for worship.
“Sing it for me,” I said. And she did. It was a tender little tune.
“That’s beautiful, Aimee. You keep singing it to the Lord Jesus, will you?”
She nodded, and we hugged each other as I whispered, “Thank you for coming to share your song with me. Tell Mama and Daddy hello for me, and...,” I paused and then added, “I love you.”
Her smile would have melted a million hearts as she said, “I love you, too,” and hurried off.
Aimee’s story underscores a conviction I have about worship and song: The Creator, whose Word repeatedly says, “Sing unto the Lord a new song,” wants to give everyone his or her own song of praise to Him. At her tender age, Aimee was experiencing a creative possibility open to us all—the potential to sing songs spontaneously to the Lord.
There are places in the Bible where the sheer power of song explodes upon our understanding. Far more than the expression of joy, thanks or unified worship, I’m talking about song as an instrument of miraculous power for battle, for breakthrough and for birthing.
The Song of Battle
Judah’s King Jehoshaphat and his people were vastly outnumbered by the troops of Moab and Ammon. With prayer and fasting they turned to the Lord rather than appealing to a neighboring nation to rescue them.
Their call to God was answered: “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…
‘You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you” (2 Chr. 20:15-17, NKJV).
The people responded with awe and praise. But what makes this event memorable is the strategy they employed for battle.
Jehoshaphat appointed a choir to go out before the army. They lifted their song of praise, expressing their belief in His promise, and their enemies were so confounded by it all that they turned on one another! (See vv. 20-23.)
The song of the Lord is a mighty instrument for spiritual battle. The Lord calls us to worship Him with song when faced with an enemy that is too strong for us.
We can find victory in our circumstances as we obey the directive to worship with song. It’s a timeless resource identified in God’s Word as a powerful part of the arsenal He has given for our triumph in spiritual conflict.
The Song of Breakthrough
The breakthrough of the gospel into Europe in the first century began as the result of a Holy Spirit-inspired vision that led Paul and his party to move west instead of east in their evangelistic pursuits (see Acts 16:6-10). As God’s Word was preached and confirmed by His power, His followers gained their first European converts.
The efforts of Paul and the others were assailed repeatedly by a demon-possessed woman, whose sorceries had gained influence over many in that area. But Paul cast the demon from her, setting the woman free to follow Christ (see vv. 16-18).
For their merciful act, Paul and Silas were cast into prison. This was clearly an effort of the recently expelled demon to restrain further gospel advance into its principality, which was the doorway to an entire continent.
From within their prison cell, the two beaten and bound missionaries began to sing praises to God. As they sang, an earthquake shook the area, resulting in the miracle of their jailer’s repentance and the conversion of his entire household (see vv. 19-34).
This cluster of events established a beachhead for the gospel on a new continent. Clearly, the original breakthrough of the gospel westward into Europe was not achieved without an apostolic experience in the sheer power of song.
The Bible supports the proposition that song is a mighty means of breakthrough and liberation. More than offerings of praise for what God has done, songs are also instruments of our partnering with His might for deliverance.
In Psalm 32:7 we are told that the Lord hides us and preserves us from trouble by encircling us with songs of deliverance. The song of the Lord on the lips of His people has a potential for contributing to spiritual overthrow, upheaval and breakthrough.
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