This has been a recent topic of conversation at my church–how we should think of worship as going into battle and how it’s difficult for some Christians to think along those lines. It’s starting to make sense to me though through Scriptures I’ve read and situations I’ve gone through in my own life.
First, the verses from Scripture. They are from Ephesians 6 which people usually read when they think of going into battle or spiritual warfare. I had never thought of them in relation to worship though. Verses 10 – 17 say, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Praying all this before going into worship makes sense to me, but I’d like to expand the concept a little. I think we are going into battle each and every day when we get up. Going into battle physically, going into battle mentally, going into battle emotionally, and going into battle spiritually. In other words, with our entire lives. This looks differently for each of us. For example, because of my depression, my emotional state roars to the forefront as I meet situations in my life which are hard for me to handle.I have to consider why I’m reacting the way I am and give grace to people when I might think they don’t deserve it due to the emotions of my reaction. This is a hard thing for me, and I know, at times, I am clumsy and not able to handle it the way God wants me to.
For others, the attacks could come physically or mentally. People who have had good physical or mental health their entire lives can have a hard time relinquishing the control to God when diagnoses are made that can temporarily or permanently affect their ability to function.
Battles can even happen in the mundane or ordinary parts of life. Every time we make the choice to not cuss when we are caught in traffic or to react with love when someone treats us badly is a choice that honors God and defeats Satan on the battlefield.
So now, the question for Christians should be how do we prepare for these battles. It’s simple if you think about it. We’ve already been given the tools of prayer, Scripture, and worship. God wants to have a relationship with us and to give us the courage and strength to go out and fight battles for Him. He also wants to give us courage and strength through our worship of Him which takes us back to thinking of communal worship as a battle. This thinking is not prevalent in the North American church, but it needs to be. We are a community of believers who need to go into battle for those in our world who do not know Him. We need to support and love each other with the love of Jesus. Praying that we all understand this today and that we know without a doubt whose we are as we go into battle for this lost world.
Praying God’s blessings on all of you today!