This is a sermon that I planned to preach in October. We know that praise is a powerful weapon and today we are going to lift up the battle cry in our situations. We love to watch movies about a boy who has been bullied in school and he decided to train himself up. One day, he became stronger and can throw the bullies on the ground. Today, are you in a situation where the devil has a good time beating you up ? we are going to learn how to raise a hallelujah to fight the battle against the devil.
Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens”
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not [a]carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.- 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
The power of praise! (Examples)
- Israel won the battle through praise! -Joshua 5
- King Jehoshaphat won the battle against the Ammonites and Moabites through praise. 2 Chronicles 20
And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:
“Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever.”
22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.- 2 Chronicles 20:21-22
To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”- Isaiah 61:3
Are you heavily laden and down casted? Praise the Lord!
“I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. -Psalm 18:3
But You are Holy, Enthroned/Inhabitest in the praises of Israel.- Psalm 22:3
Are you one of the Holy and Chosen generation? We are! The root word of “Enthroned/Inhabitest” It means to abide, dwell….when we praise the Lord in Spirit and truth, we are abide in God.
And he said, “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. – 2 Chronicles 20:15
They were surrounded by enemies and the King came to the God and the Lord said “praise me for the battle is His.”
Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.- 2 Chronicles 20:21-22
Without God, we cannot. Without us, God will not- Saint Augustine
How can we partner with God to fight in the battle in our life?
Psalm 137-records the sayings of Israelites when they return from Babylon
- Refuse to compromise
- Remember God’s goodness
- Raise a Hallelujah!
Refuse to compromise:
Psalm 137:1 “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion.
Babylon represents “Satan”, the “Devil”
Zion represents “Lord” / “God”
Who are you choosing to remember? God or Satan? The Psalmist said” Why so downcast?” How many talk to ourselves and said negative things in to our situations or to ourselves? What are you saying to yourself during your difficulties? Lets hear from God what He says during our situation and Who He is in our situation. We are not going to compromise. We are going to listen to our God.
We hung our harps Upon the willows in the midst of it. 3 For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, And those who plundered us requested mirth, Saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”-Psalm 137:2-3
It meant that they are not going to play the musical instruments. It also meant that they are not praising God. If you look into v2 and 3,… Those who plundered us….saying “sing us one of the songs of Zion.” Isn’t it familiar? When we are faced with situations, sometimes people around mocked God. Reading v1-3, it appeared that the Israelites refused to sing as they are remembering the times of Zion, remembering God and refusing to mock Him. Today we can make the choice: not to compromise. Today there are a lot of churches who have compromised and offended the Lord. We should not compromise and rather put away our “instruments” than to “sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” v4. Lets refuse to compromise.
- Remember God’s goodness
If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill! If I do not remember you, Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth—If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.- Psalm 137:5-6
In this verse, it a declaration of faith. It meant that when he/she forget God, the author rather be disabled. It is a statement of faith wanting to believe in God. What are you leaning today? Zion which is God. When we think about Zion, we think about God. He is faithful and will always fulfill his promises. Lets remember and declare God’s goodness despite of our circumstances and situations.
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.- 2 Corinthians 4:8-12
- Raise a Hallelujah
It is easy for us to learn the world, throw in the towel and give up. It is easy to embrace everyone and be cordial. To compromise God’s standards. However, we have to look at eternity. We have to constantly remember God’s goodness. Psalmists will always complain and yet at the end, praise God. The psalm 137- ended with a praise.
Remember, O Lord, against the sons of Edom
The day of Jerusalem, Who said, [a]“Raze it, raze it, To its very foundation!” 8 O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed, Happy the one who repays you as you have served us 9 Happy the one who takes and dashes Your little ones against the rock!- Psalm 137:7-9
The psalm 137 shares about “remembering” the times they had with God and pleading God to remember them. The sons od Edom were enemies with the Israelites as they plundered them. V8 exclaimed and pleaded God to remember what the enemies have done to the Israelites and asking God for justice/Mercy. The Israelites are petitioning to God. Today we can petition to God about our situations in our life. When we raise a hallelujah, we are asking God to restore His glory in our life.
I am talking about warfare. When we began to walk in the ways of the Lord, we will have victory. Today, we are going to praise God and ask God to fight the battle for us. We are going to raise a Hallelujah and remind ourselves that “Without faith, it is impossible to please God. For those who come to Him must believe that He is.” We must believe who God is in our life. Like Daniel’s three friends who praised God during their fiery trials.
Pray for healing for emotions, physical and mental. When Jesus is in the storm, who are going to be afraid?