As a person who deals with depression regularly, I was extremely comforted to read this from Louie Giglio back in November:
— Louie Giglio (@louiegiglio) November 2, 2012
Such a simple tweet about an upcoming message he was doing; yet such a powerful affirmation to my soul: God can and will use my shortcomings for His glory!
While at Passion 2013, I saw Louie’s “Believe” series for sale and bought it. I had forgotten about the series itself, though his tweet remained(s) in my favorites list via Twitter. The last couple of weeks, I’ve been watching the series with my senior high students.
God has been moving in all of us through it. Amen!
In the third part of the series, “I Lift My Hands,” Louie talks about a reality that I believe in greatly. The reality that our worship is a weapon of war. More than music styles, CD sales, conferences, and even lifestyles, worship is God’s weapon of choice when combatting the very things that war against us daily.
I am one who loves to sit and listen to my classic rock vinyls. I grew up on this stuff and I will forever be a fan of the classics. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever see myself being a fan of church music, let alone worship music. But I am. I love it more than my vinyls. It moves within my day-to-day more than any other style of music has ever moved.
My Macbook, phone, and CD collection contain nothing but worship music, all varied in style and artist. It’s not because I shelter myself from secular music – I try to keep up best I can – but rather I want to make sure that I am prepared for battle at any moment, and with ample supply of ammunition.
Time and again, depression has fled, stress has been relieved, hope has been given, freedom has been won, when worship stems forth from the speaker, to my heart, out my mouth, and upwards to my Savior. Worship is a weapon of warfare on those things that come against us everyday – especially those things that attack deep and personal.
Worship in the Struggle
In the message, Louie gives some great points about worshipping God in the midst of personal struggle.
- Worship proclaims that Jesus is greater than anything else in our lives. He is bigger than our sin, than our emotional instability, our mental issues, our broken relationships, our jobs, our past, present, and future. Jesus is bigger, stronger, and greater. Our worship magnifies this reality so that our lives can walk within such truth.
- Our worship lifts our focus from our problems and situation, to who Christ is and the power He holds. Louie cites 2 Chronicles 20:5-22 as an example. In it, Judah’s king is faced with a battle where he is outnumbered. Not knowing what else to do, he declares to the Lord the his focus will remain on Him. After spending time with God, the king tells those with instruments to lead the charge – before those with weapons. God is victorious! The story may be an old tale, but it is a story of victory that continues today. When we lift our eyes towards Him, and off ourselves, the battle is a lot easier to fight.
- Our worship invites God’s presence into our struggle and situation. It has been noted that Psalm 22 speaks about the death of Christ with amazing accuracy. Tucked within this heavy psalm we read verse 3: “You [God] are holy, enthroned on [dwelling in] the praises of Israel.” Though trial is at hand, David, the psalm’s writer, knows without doubt that God is ever-present with him. As we lift up the name of Christ, His presence connects with our reality and there He walks us through.
- Our worship displaces the darkness. Louie tells of a story about David in 1 Samuel 16:14-23, but you could also easily apply this truth to the entire book of Philippians. The point being that when our focus has shifted, God’s presence has shown up, then darkness has no other choice but to flee. “Faith and fear cannot occupy the same place,” Giglio states and I agree with that. Don’t misunderstand what he’s saying here, fear and faith cannot rule in your life at the same time. Either you will give victory to fear, or you’ll give it to faith. Either you’ll declare Jesus is greater than fear or that fear is greater than Jesus. Both cannot remain supreme in our lives and devotion.
- Finally, our worship gives us a new story to proclaim. As the psalmist proclaims in 42:8-11, why stay downcast, why crawl around the gloom alone and in fear? Remember who God is, what God has done, and what He promises to do. Put your hope in Him who raises the dead back to life. Trust Him. Hope in Him. Worship Him.
Thoughts? Is worship a weapon of war for you? How so?