Want to stay encouraged and motivated? Listen to the anointed* message of praise and worship music. (*Inspired by the Holy Spirit) It has the power to carry you through many of the rough spots in life, because it reminds people of who God is and what He’s capable of: the One who “is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity.” (2 Corinthians 9:8 AMP)
Can you hear it? -- Thunder in the distance, When we worship, the Lion of Judah roars; Strongholds crumble ... all around us In the presence of our Lord! There'll be vic’try in the camp, At the shout of el Shaddai; Every enemy will flee from the fire in His eyes; Every captive will be freed in this year of Jubilee, When we hear the shout of El Shaddai!
These lyrics are from Paul Wilbur’s The Shout of El Shaddai, exalting God and citing one of His many Hebrew names. El Shaddai means “God Almighty.” (Exodus 6:3; Genesis 28:20-21; Genesis 48:3-4)
If you allow these words to penetrate your mind, heart, and spirit, and take stock of the message, we guarantee you’ll be encouraged — because there’s power in praise and worship!
Participating in praise and worship involves our eyes, ears, and mouths: we read the lyrics, hear the music, and sing along; exalting the Creator of the Universe. (Anything involving the hands and feet are encouraged but totally optional.) Remember that we stated there’s a connection between the eyes, ears, and mouth? (See Boot Camp session 20.9) Well, it’s not enough to see and hear the goodness of God. We need to voice our admiration: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue….” (Proverbs 18:21 ESV)
Praise and worship is the act of honoring and glorifying God by expressing our love, gratitude, reverence, and sheer awe of Him. It impacts the mind (thoughts and attitude), the emotions and the spirit. As previously discussed, this and other forms of sacred music ministers to our whole being.
Praising and worshipping the Creator of the Universe enables us to shift our focus from ourselves (our problems, our challenges, our limited knowledge and resources), to God, (His power to solve problems, His sufficiency and, especially, His faithfulness to help us realize our dreams and purpose in life.)
David, the poet, warrior, and king, was also a worshipper — a characteristic he learned while spending countless nights alone in the fields, when he was nothing more than a young shepherd pondering his future. David was isolated, underestimated, and generally ignored by both his family and society at large, which viewed shepherds as “nobody”s. But during this lonely time, David worshipped God with all his heart. In so doing, he learned to encourage himself in the Lord, tapping into the power to “slay” giant obstacles and to ultimately overcome his greatest challenge, at Ziklag. (1 Samuel 30:6; discussed in Boot Camp session 20.)
Like David, we creators and dreamers will have to face giants and weather our own Ziklag moments. And, we can stay encouraged — during the tough times — by following the example of “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) and tapping into the power of praise and worship. But this means we must honor and exalt God — during the tough times — in spite of less than favorable circumstances, and in spite of how we feel.
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 42:5-6 NLT)
Join us next session for part 2: “Do the Right thing!”