There is nothing beautiful about war. Even victory represents death, spilled blood, wounds, fatigue, pain and trauma. In war, everyone loses something, even the winners. One of the most famous books ever written about war is “The Art of War” by the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu who was a master military strategist. It was he who said this:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Underneath all your struggles in every area of your life, rages a spiritual battle. Why? Because you are a spiritual being! One thing that many, many Christians underestimate in life is the vicious, violent, unrestrained, deadly pursuit of Satan in their lives. Satan has no mercy. He will use every weapon at his disposal to destroy all of humanity regardless of their age, their vulnerability or their innocence because he hates God that much and we are made in His image. How does he do this? Two primary ways: 1) Through other people and 2) Through sin.
But there are other ways he will attack you that are much more subtle, but no less deadly. One of them is: Worship.
Sun Tzu said it this way: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
The Battle Against Satan
Satan is a cunning, experienced enemy and he has been watching you since the day you were born, like a hungry lion. (1 Peter 5:8) Because of his ancient connection to worship, he understands its true power to defeat him – better than many Christians do -and so, like any cunning enemy, he will first seek to disarm you without a fight- by attacking worship. Satan is alright with you singing songs at church- as long as you’re not worshipping.
Here are some ways you can know yourself, and know your enemy so “you need not fear a hundred battles”:
1. Satan doesn’t want to eliminate worship- he wants to redefine it. Songs that talk more about the problems than the Problem Solver; songs whose lyrics have vague spiritual cliches and spiritual concepts or ideas and experiences with God instead of solid theology and Scriptural words are not going to keep you connected to the presence of God. Worship is ministry to the Lord, not ministry to the worshipper- the Bible is clear on this. God is faithful to minister to you, always, (Genesis 22:17) but seeking the benefits of worship is wrong thinking. As a worshipper, you must seek His face, not His hand. He’ll take care of the rest!
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to worship because worship is reflective of a heart condition and worship is initiated by gratitude, but there is a “right” and “wrong” way to use worship in battle
2. Satan wants your worship more focused on yourself than on the Lord. He wants you to seek ministry to yourself, not to minister to the Lord. Satan wants you to “feel” worship, not worship in faith, outside of your feelings. Satan wants you to sing about the power God has given you, not about the power that God IS. At the root is worship of self– which is exactly what caused Satan to fall! Worship is a faith-building strategy. As you sing songs rooted firmly in the Word, centered around the Person of Jesus Christ, your mind is removed from yourself and is fixed onto Him. That is a winning strategy in all of your battles!
3. Satan wants to disconnect you from the body of Christ. He wants you to find a church where the lights on the stage are brighter than the light of God, or a church where the expressions of worship have been oppressed and suppressed by religion and tradition. He wants you angry and tired of all the annoying people at church and at work and in your family so you avoid worship altogether. The list goes on! These are all subtle acts of war to disconnect you from the presence of God! As you testify of God’s goodness and sing about His mighty acts and declare His Words, you strike blow after blow upon your enemy. (Revelation 19:10, Psalm 145:4) How? Worship is an act of faith, denying yourself and lifting high the Lord. If you stay connected to the Spirit of God in true “spirit and truth” worship, Satan will not win.
Your enemy knows he will win the battle if he can disconnect you or even weaken your connection from two powerful aspects of your faith and strength: The Lord of Heaven’s Armies and the Army of the Lord – The Almighty God and the body of Christ. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to worship because worship is reflective of a heart condition and worship is initiated by gratitude, but there is a “right” and “wrong” way to use worship in battle. Just like you can use a hunting knife to cut a piece of pie, you can also use it to take down a bear, but for which purpose was it designed? If you’re cutting pie with your hunting knife, you’ll never know its true power. Songs don’t win wars. WORSHIP WINS WARS. The enemy knows how to use his weapons to disconnect you- do you know use your weapons to stay connected to the Spirit of God? Here is the powerful thing- you don’t need to fight every battle Satan throws your way. You need to worship and God will fight for you, with you, and through you and HE will win!