Thursday, April 7, 2011

Praise Leads the Way!

Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 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.” [2 Chronicles 20:20-21]

Throughout the Old Testament of the Bible we can find references that show us whenever the Israelites were headed on a journey (like the journey in the desert with Moses) or headed out into battle, the one of the twelve tribes that always seemed to be assigned to the lead was the tribe of Judah:

All the men assigned to the camp of Judah, according to their divisions, number 186,400. They will set out first. [Numbers 2:9]

After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?”
  The LORD answered, “Judah shall go up; I have given the land into their hands.” Judges 1:1-2

The Israelites went up to Bethel and inquired of God. They said, "Who of us shall go first to fight against the Benjamites?" The LORD replied, "Judah shall go first." [Judges 20:18]

In the Bible, Judah was the fourth son born to Leah and Jacob.  During the time that Leah was conceiving and giving birth to children, she was struggling with the hopes that bearing these children for Jacob would awaken him to find a love and passion for her (as he did her sister, Rachel).  When her hopes and effort seemed to fail with each child, Leah finally decided to drop everything that was emotionally weighing her down and to give God the praise this time (Genesis29:31-35).  With the birth of her fourth child, she decided to name him Judah...meaning PRAISE!

Since our God is a strategic and orderly planner, He knew what He was doing when he positioned the tribe of Judah, the lineage of Leah and Jacobs 4th son, the praisers, to head and be the leaders of the troop of Israelites.  He was setting a precedence for battle...a precedence for strenuous journeys...with PRAISE leading the way, and trust in Him, the Israelites victory would be inevitable!

Have you considered that God's battle orders and strategies for victory for your life and struggles is the same strategy He designed for the Israelites?
Have you considered that although the idea of singing and praising God in the midst of feeling like you're in the pit or when you are about to face a difficult situation, may seem simple, ineffective, and ridiculous, BUT IT IS ACTUALLY THE BEST STRATEGY TO PAVE THE WAY FOR GOD's DELIVERANCE FOR YOU?!!!

God ways are not our ways and His thought patterns are so far above ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).  And although singing and giving Him praise just may not seem like the most strategic and logical solution to our gigantic problems and troubles, it is exactly what God desires for us to do in order to get into gear for the action and victory that He will surely bring about!

Remember, "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:4).  God's choice of weapons in our battles will not always seem like something that makes sense to us; but we cannot rely on the typical and logical weapons that we would use in "this world".  God's weapon of choice for us is PRAISE...and we must let our PRAISE LEAD THE WAY!

Mad Luv~Teri

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