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Hi friends! This week I want to share with you what God taught me about my position in prayer. Let’s take a moment to consider what it means to have a position. When we’ve been given a position, we don’t struggle or beg, we just use the authority we’ve been given to get things done. In the business world, there are often several layers of management. If we are at the executive level, we’re near the top of the corporation and have the power to change the course of action for others. This position has been given to us and our power is from the owner of the company or from the corporate board. Whether we realize it or not, as Christians we have been given a position in the Kingdom of God. We didn’t make it happen, it is all God’s doing. He invited us to join Him, and when we accepted the invitation, He adopted us as His own sons and daughters. He made it official through the sacrifice of His only Son, so we would have a legal right to His inheritance. We belong to a powerful family, and have been given the authority to act on our Father’s behalf.
I love what it says in Psalm 149:5-9 about this position and honor we have been given. “Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints.”
This is our executive position! It is significant that the position here, in warfare, is considered a place of both honor and glory. In Matthew 16:19, it says, “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
An aspect of our position in Christ is our responsibility of carrying out the will of God using the keys we’ve been given. Keys are given only to those who have been granted full and free access to an area. At my house, only a family member has the keys to lawfully gain entrance into my home. Strangers do not have the keys, not even the mayor of the city has the key to my house. Only those to whom I have given a key can have free entrance into my home. Our invitation to participate in the Kingdom of God came from God, who gave us keys, because we are part of His family.
The illustration of Psalm 149:5-9 is vivid, with the saints singing on their beds; it is undeniable the act of praising God with our mouths, using the Word of God is a key that binds on earth what is bound in heaven, and looses on earth what is loosed in heaven.
You may be thinking, what can just singing a song do? That’s exactly what I was thinking when I first read this. But as I took time to practice letting go of my agenda in prayer and follow where the Lord led me in worship, I found the answer to this question. After I witnessed incredible answers to the prayers He directed me to pray in worship, I realized a few things were happening.
The Divine Exchange
The first thing I noticed each time this happened, is I had made the divine exchange in worship before I sensed God’s direction, or heard Him speaking to me. The word exchange means to give one thing and receive another. The love God has shown us allows us to give Him our guilt, sickness, grief, and hurt, and receive His forgiveness, healing, peace and joy instead. Making this exchange is vital to our well-being and essential to being effective in prayer. Since we received Jesus we have assurance of eternal salvation and yet, at times, we still have a need to be saved from something here and now. Too often we need to be saved from ourselves or our own criticism, depression, anger, and unbelief. When these types of struggles manifest themselves we have a way to escape them. But it’s up to us to release them; God has given us free-choice. By faith, if we step out in the opposite spirit, He will replace our negative feelings with his righteousness, acceptance, joy, peace and faith. Our God rewards those who diligently seek Him and His righteousness. He is holding out His garment of praise to us and wants to exchange it for our spirit of heaviness. Let us learn to recognize when we need to make this exchange, and train ourselves to do it quickly.
Worship in Spirit and in Truth
Is is possible to sing a worship song and not do it in Spirit and in Truth?
When Jesus speaks to the Samaritan Woman at the well, He says, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. “ John 4:23-24
The fact Jesus points out what type of worshipers God seeks indicates there are different types. It is possible not to worship God in Spirit or to worship Him in Truth. To understand this I think of what Paul says about living in the flesh or living in the Spirit. In Romans 6-8, He shares his own struggle of not being ruled by the natural, but reckoning it as dead, so He could share in living His life ruled by the Spirit. The hardest thing we do is to yield to the cross and die to self. But when we do, Jesus does the rest of the work so we can share in His resurrection life. Because of this death we are able to share in His freedom and victory in this life and the next, and this allows us to enter into worship in a new dimension. Every obstacle has been removed, our natural life diseased with failure and distress has been nailed to the cross with Jesus and all our sins are forgiven. Even after experiencing this we can forget who we are in Christ, but when we enter into praise and rejoicing, we get a glimpse of His Truth and He communicates with us Spirit to spirit.
THE POWER OF PRAISE
In 2 Chronicles 20 we read of an army that came against King Jehoshaphat from Edom. Much alarmed about this, He resolved to seek the Lord and proclaimed a fast for all of Judah. The people of Judah came from every town to seek help from the Lord 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." As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The word for praise here is yadah. Yadah is defined in the Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: Lit. To use the hand (hold out); physically to throw (a stone or an arrow) at or away; revere or worship with extended hands; cast out; make confession; praise; shoot, give thanksgiving.
The power came as they obeyed what God directed them to do. Notice here, God directed Jehoshaphat to use a combination of tools/keys: corporate worship, fasting, standing before the Lord, bowing their face to the ground, singing and praise. What God directed Jehoshaphat to do was an act of simple prophetic praise, which we will talk more about in week-6 of this prayer series. But God used his obedience to direct his people to praise as a powerful tool.
2 Corinthians 2:14 says that God always leads us in triumph. “In Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God…” (The message)
This is a picture of the military parades that took place after a battle. The defeated army, dragged behind the victor’s chariots, faced total and complete humiliation. We don't need to pray that God would give us the victory; He has already given it to us through his Son. Although we may feel defeated, when we enter into triumphant praise we become part of the victory celebration. We change the order of our faith, and our faith begins to celebrate. We triumph in our praise of Him; the battle has already been won.
Blessings, Tami Gaupp
Next Monday I will share what happened next on my prayer journey and what God taught me about worship intercession. I would love to hear what God does with each of you this week also. I invite you to come back and comment or send me a message.
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