I got the call on October 7, and I could hear the anguish in her voice.
Moriyah is a spiritual daughter of our ministry who has faithfully been serving the Lord in Israel for over two decades. She and her family live in the desert, a 30-minute drive from the Southern Gaza border where the Hamas attacks took place. Her family and others immediately began reaching out to families who relocated to her community. Some of them lost loved ones. Some of them escaped the attacks. One of her neighbors died when he went to help people, leaving behind a me e and small children. Other friends who are serving in the area called and texted as well.
Shortly after that war began, Lisa and I traveled to Ukraine, another war-torn country. We heard so many heartbreaking stories of women who have lost their husbands in the war and fathers who are separated from their families after sending them away to be safe—men over 18 are required to stay and serve.
We talked to military chaplains, soldiers, pastors. I was amazed how, in the midst of what they are going through—the everyday tensions, the air raid sirens sounding at night, the sandbags covering school windows to protect the children inside—these men and women were focusing on the Father. They were worshipping God, dancing before Him and crying out in praise, in the midst of it all. That’s where they found their healing, the dunamis power of God, the strength to continue moving forward.
THE BATTLE ISN’T OURS
The Bolands are friends who were also serving in Israel when the war broke out. They called me for counsel when they sadly felt like the Lord was leading them to return to the U.S. during this time. A few days later, Justin sent out an email message with the title, “Worship is Warfare.” Ironically, I had just taught that message from 2 Chronicles 20 while I was preaching at a church in Houston.
Jehoshaphat was under immense pressure, with enemies coming against him, so he sought the Lord.
“Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel…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… You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.’” (2 Chronicles 20:14-15,17)
Jehoshaphat’s posture in response to what God said should be the posture of all of us:
“And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshipping the Lord.” (verse 18)
When God tells Jehoshaphat not to be afraid because the battle belongs to Him, he takes a posture of humility, bows his head to the ground, and begins to worship. The Levites see what he is doing and they, too, humble themselves and worship. Then all the people join them, and they worship corporately with a loud, exuberant voice! (See verse 19.)
Notice the progression: Starting with a posture of humility with heads faced toward the ground; to living worshipers, offering up authentic worship coming from a place of humility and prayer; to standing up from that posture, equipped to praise the Lord with voices loud and high. Humility and worship turn into exuberant praise that releases a corporate anointing and attracts the power of God’s presence.
Worship and praise are tools He uses to bring life in the midst of difficult situations.
Solomon’s temple was considered one of the greatest wonders of the world, built from the best of the cedars of Lebanon, the best gold and silver, the best of everything. But in his God-given wisdom and humility, Solomon asked, “Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27). Yet God consumed the sacrifice on the altar, and His glory filled the temple.
If God had such regard for a man-made temple, how much more valuable are you and I? We were not built by the hands of men, but we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God Himself, and He is continually perfecting each one of us. The ones He wants to use the most are the ones the devil tries hardest to distract. We may have a past, and we can’t change that. But the decisions we make now determine our future.
We are living, breathing temples of the Holy Spirit, far more valuable than Solomon’s temple. So how much should we give of our time, talents, resources
—our very lives—unto the Lord? How much more does God want to consume us and fill our temples with His glory?
In many of the Psalms, King David begins by questioning God and asking why certain things are happening. Then he ends by answering his own questions, acknowledging and praising the majesty and goodness of God. Praise and worship bring breakthrough.
Let us choose to live today in Christ, who purchased us with His blood.
OUR FATHER’S VOICE
All around us, men’s and women’s hearts are failing. Many are spiritually asleep from sorrow over a world in turmoil. It’s so easy to listen to the voices of this world when we need to be hearing the voice of the Father.
In 2012, when I was serving on the National Executive Committee of America for Jesus, I met a businessman from Philadelphia whose son was part of a yacht crew and competed in regattas. During one competition, several university scouts had come to watch his son.
“There were thousands of people there, and I was screaming for him, ‘You’ve got this, son!’” Later he said to his son, “I’m so sorry if I embarrassed you, I’m just so proud of you.” His son replied: “Dad, out of all those other voices out there, the only one I hear is yours.”
That’s what we all need, isn’t it? In a world with so much confusion, so many voices, we all need to tune our ears to listen for and hear only what our Father is saying.
I was part of a recent prayer meeting for Israel and the Middle East when a Jewish woman came up to me. She was probably in her 70s. “I’ve never been in a church before,” she said. “But I really sensed the Ruach of God.”
“Ruach” is a Hebrew depiction of the dunamis of God, His breath, His Spirit. It’s what we see in Acts 2, when tongues of fire came by the wind or power of God.
God wants to endue us with that same power, and it comes from the place of hearing His voice and not listening to the voices of this world. It comes from a place of humility and worship.
STEP INTO THE MOMENT
Greatness is not something we’re born with, it’s something we step into. It takes a choice.
We are in a pivotal and significant moment right now, and it’s more important than ever for us to realize we have a destination that we need to step into. But are we willing to do that? Will we choose to step into the Ruach, the dunamis moment? Are we willing to say, “I want to step in because I have a story to tell”?
That doesn’t mean we don’t come with baggage. But through Christ we can step into where He is calling us now and into the future He has prepared us for.
We have a word in Japanese, wabi sabi, that means finding beauty in
imperfections, including the act of growing old gracefully. The enemy wants us to think we’re not good enough because of our past or that we’re limited physically, emotionally, financially. He wants us to think we’re too old or too young. But that’s not from God. He just wants us to listen for His voice and say “yes” when He calls.
TELL YOUR STORY
We need to return to our first love, to the place of God’s calling. We need to focus on hearing our Father’s voice. We need to worship Him, regardless of the obstacles and adversities because He is bigger than our circumstances. When we hear His voice, we’re able to walk with Him and continue the work He has called us to do.
God wants to expose the hidden things of our hearts. When we’re honest with Him, He can do a work in us so that we can see the manifest power of His Holy Spirit explode upon each and every one of us to release a corporate anointing.
The nations are fatherless. The world is in turmoil. We need to step into our moments, individually and corporately, to make an impact in a world where hearts are failing. Those who tell the story define the narrative and create the history. What’s your story?
Your story is not based on how equipped or how qualified you think you are. It’s about saying, “I trust You, Lord! And I’m stepping in!” It’s about hearing the voice of your Father and what He is saying to you and about you right now.
I always say, “The highest form of worship is simple obedience.” When we worship Him with our “yes” and step into the moment where He has called us, He strengthens us and equips us for the battles ahead!
Worship is our warfare!