In the first part of this series, we looked at who exactly we are fighting. We examined the fact that we are not fighting people but fighting against spiritual satanic forces. The enemy uses people, but they are not the enemy. In this part I am going to look at the wicked weapon of despair, and how God has given us a powerful weapon to defeat that weapon in worship.
What is despair? Despair sounds like this:
“It is hopeless.”
“It will never change.”
“There is no use in fighting; you will only lose.”
“You will always fail, you will never gain victory.”
“You are not loved by anyone, no matter how hard you try.”
All these statements and versions of them are demonic whispers that are aimed to keep you from knowing who you are. Even the great men of God succumbed to despair. Take Elijah in 1 Kings 19. In Chapter 18, the Lord did a mighty work by defeating the prophets of Baal. However, in 19:2, Satan worked through the words of Jezebel as she threatened Elijah. He retreated in the desert and vss. 3-4 recount his despair. John the Baptist, after he had baptized Jesus, experienced a fantastic sight of the Trinitarian God commissioning Jesus for ministry (Matthew 3:16). But when in prison, obviously forgot who he was and who Jesus was (Luke 7:20). Peter (after denying Jesus) was in bitter despair (Matthew 26:75).
Why were these great men of God in despair? Because when they heard the words of the enemy, the demonic whispers of death, they believed those words. They forgot who they were considering the God they served. It took God intervening in their lives to restore them. The word of despair we hear in our ear have that same power. They only work if we believe them. Our circumstances may accentuate the satanic words of discouragement. The choices we have made may have led us to a place where no hope seems possible. But God has a different view. He has a different plan.
To combat despair, God has given us a potent weapon in worship. When we worship God, we acknowledge three things:
1. His presence
2. His majesty
3. His love
Nothing can stand against God. If we truly believe that God is the all-powerful, holy, and benevolent God that He is, then the enemy cannot beguile us with demonic words of despair. In our time of despair, when we lift our praises and worship God, the Holy Spirit ministers to our soul, as He ministered to Elijah. God frees us from the prison of our self-imposed sentence of hopelessness. He restores us like he restored Peter (John 21:15-19).
Worship brings us into the presence of God by allowing Holy Spirit to work through us. We can bring our despair before the throne and through His love, He washes despair away. Look at Psalm 5. David starts in hopelessness and asks the Lord to listen to him. In vs. 5, David reminds himself of who God is. In that presence and majesty, in vs. 7, David worships God and knows his place before Him.
When we worship, the demons flee. They have no place in the presence of God. Our worship is like a horrible noise that they cannot stand. To illustrate, let me go back to a story from WWI. Last time I told a story about Christmas 1914. Just a few months earlier, on the 23rd August of 1914, England had had just entered the war. The Germans had fought Belgium and French armies but had not encountered the British until this summer day. The Germans, knowing that the British were on the other side, waited for them to come. Out in the distance, they heard the most horrible noise imaginable. First, it started with drums, and then out of the fog and the mist, marched the British troops, along with musicians playing the horrible music they had ever heard. What was more, the musicians were wearing skirts! It sounded something like this:
The Germans called them “damen aus der Hölle” or “Ladies from Hell.” Who they were in fact, was the Scottish Black Watch. Now, to a German soldier, who had only heard Bach, Wagner, and Beethoven (and some German Umpa music from the Beer Gardens), the bagpipes were the most horrible sound one could imagine. But to someone of Scottish heritage (like myself) the sound of the drums and the bagpipes playing “Scotland the Brave” by folks wearing Kilts (not skirts!) fills our hearts with pride and a bit of joy.
It is like that with worship. The demons hear a horrible screeching noise and they must flee from it. To us, it is sounds of joy. Despair has no place in our lives. Although the enemy attempts to deceive us into thinking our circumstances are higher than our God, worship reminds us of the truth of a victory already won. Knowing who we are in Jesus through worship combats any lie the enemy can foster.