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North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    I’ve discovered perhaps like many of you that singing songs in your car while driving can help you cope with daily stresses. There’s a certain release that comes with it. A song of praise can sink into your soul. And through a posture of worship, you can be made free from the shackles of worldly attacks and bombardment of issues. You can know that no matter what happens or what you have to face, the Lord is with you and you have a present help, always. That’s what praise in the midst of a battle can do for you.    In seasons of our lives it can feel like we’re fighting one battle after another. It’s important to know we can win these wars by following a divine strategy that the great warrior, King David followed: “The Lord is my light and my salvation. So, why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil comes to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident” (Psalm 27:1-3).

    In this passage, while the words indicate hope and confidence, the central theme is about a battle. While it may seem to be imaginary, many of our battles in life feel overwhelming and we feel like we’re being attacked. David writes that his enemies are coming after him, but he’s not afraid. Armies are deploying against him, but he’s confident. War is breaking out, but his enemies fall. Whether David is using this as a metaphor to describe life or perhaps an actual war is going on around him, he finds himself on the defensive. In the midst of it all, he knows the One who will give him shelter.

    We all go through seasons where life feels like a battle. Communication in your relationships feel like a warzone; situations at work feel like everyone has allied themselves against you; you receive a bad health report and it seems like the enemy dropped a bomb on you; someone takes advantage of your kind nature, manipulates you, and talks behind your back. In these difficult situations and in many others like them, when life feels like a battle, how do you stay confident and hopeful? Where can you go for strength and safety?

    While serving on a military mission in a very austere environment, it seemed as if Mother Nature had it out for the soldiers of our collective units. It was a challenge conducting maneuvers and convoys under the desert sun in 110 degree temperatures. We were tired, on-edge, double-tasked, missing family members back home, and having to tactfully be on guard for simulated assaults from the enemy. Commanders expect their soldiers to perform despite the conditions. The United States have the best trained military in the world. But our troops are not machines, they’re human beings who have a soul; that need strength to endure the spiritual battles they face. We’re all soldiers of God fighting in this army.

    Using King David’s example we can profit by praising God because of the following reasons:

    Praise activates faith. When fighting a battle praising the Lord may require a step of faith. You may not feel like praising the Lord, but to do so generates and activates faith. Praising God overrides doubts and says, “I believe God, anyhow!” An element that is critical to spiritual warfare is that praising God breaks down Satan’s defenses.

    Praise stimulates hope. When a person enters into a season of praise to our Heavenly Father, it automatically and necessarily brings one to hope in God. Hope follows praise. Psalm 42:5 says, “I will put my hope in God, and once again I will praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Praising the Almighty is a positive step, an upward look, a declaration of faith. These things bring hope into focus. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son is the hope of the world. Money, power, and war cannot meet our eternal needs, but he can.

    Praise increases love. Personal experience has shown me that it’s almost impossible to praise the Lord and hold a grudge at the same time. Hostility and resentment and praise do not go together. When we praise the Lord, He becomes the object of our affection, thus increasing our love toward Him and others.

    In the midst of chaotic circumstances, David gained strength through worshipping God. Worship helps pull us above our circumstances. It reminds us that when God is for us no one can be against us and win. In seasons when your life feels like a battle, win the war through worshipping and praising God.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a teacher, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. Amazon.com. You can contact him at: rmdobson@liberty.edu.

Posted by on Nov 12 2017. Filed under Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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