Terry Casales - June 18, 2020
(Photo: Prison Entrance where Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi / https://studyprayserve.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/philippi.jpg)
When we direct our focus on our Heavenly Father, as followers of Jesus and new creations in Him, we know who we are, we know who God is and we know what He can do!!
There are so many examples in scripture of seeming impossible scenarios that were broken through, through the heart and the act of worship! When we worship before the Lord God with singing, we are declaring the Truth of who He is! We are declaring His nature! We are declaring the Greatness of God! When we worship Him, we are inviting His presence to touch the earth! We are inviting Him to dwell in the praises of His people — His sons and daughters! When we praise and worship Him, we are igniting the radical, overcoming faith that He has placed inside of us and we are aligning our spirits with the atmosphere of Heaven!
Yet I know that you are most holy; it’s indisputable. You are God-Enthroned, surrounded with songs, living among the shouts of praise of your princely people. - Psalm 22:3 TPT
When we praise and worship God, we are inviting the atmosphere where all things become possible to break through! We are putting a demand on His higher reality to be made manifest on earth! We are inviting the glory of God to infuse and invade every heart! Our words of worship till the ground for the miraculous!
When we worship, we are making room for God to make a way where there seems to be no way! With every word we sing to Him, we are taking the hammer of God’s Word and breaking down the walls the enemy had set before us! With every musical note, with every sound, with every dance, with every hand raised, with every hand clap — with every expression of praise and worship — we are tuning into the frequency where everything shakes loose! With every word that we sing to the Lord, all of hell is shaken because it is reminded of the power and the glory of God! Hell is reminded of its defeat the moment Jesus said, “It is finished.” In that moment, sin and death were defeated and Jesus took back the keys from the enemy that he had taken from Adam and Eve!
The Walls of Jericho
This story is the perfect example of the importance of trusting the leading of our Heavenly Father, believing He is who He says He is and that He will go before us to turn around what is impossible into the possible! God is our Defender and He is our Champion! Years ago, I heard Pastor Jentezen Franklin at Free Chapel teach a message on how God is a “motion-sensitive God.” I believe because we are in covenant with God, as with any relationship, what one does affects the other person in the relationship. A marriage is all about covenant — about partnering with your spouse and walking this thing out called life together, facing the ups and downs that come along.
Joshua and the Israelites faced a seemingly impossible challenge in the natural — God commanded Joshua for him and the children of Israel to go in and take the city of Jericho! God had given His people a covenant promise, through Moses, that they would enter the land He had for them. They had endured the wilderness for 40 years and now Moses’ mantle was passed down to Joshua and it was now his turn to go and take the land of promise by force!
God encouraged Joshua, telling him that He would be with him and that He would help him in this long awaited mission:
5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall [a]divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may [b]prosper wherever you go. - Joshua 1:5-7 (NKJV)
One of the interesting instructions that God gave Joshua was to meditate on His Word - the book of the law — to gain His wisdom and understanding for the mission that was ahead of him. God told him to be intentional not allow anything to distract him from focusing on the task at hand:
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you[c] shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. - Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)
What a beautiful representation of what we, as believers in Christ, are called to do daily if we are to have the wisdom, the revelation and the clarity we need from the Lord to be able to fulfill our God-given assignment successfully. Just like with Moses and with Joshua, God is inviting us to partner with Him in our journey. God is well able to act on our behalf — and He has done so — but I believe that He is inviting us to partner with Him as a way to cultivate our personal relationship with Him out of His love for us. Just like with Joshua, God promises not to leave us nor forsake us - we are not alone in this - regardless of the impossible circumstances that we see around us.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:10 (NKJV)
We must be diligent and intentional to seek the face and the counsel of God in the secret place to know what to do at all times. We must remember that God is not playing hide and go seek with us. He is available to us as our good and loving Father who has our best interests at heart. God is for us and He desires to help us.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. - Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)
We must believe that He loves us and that He will never call us to go anywhere, or to do anything for which He will not provide the guidance, the wisdom and the strategies that we need.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. - James 1:5 (NKJV)
God told Joshua to have the army march around the city for six days instead of attacking the city outright. The Lord told Joshua that the people were going to shout on the 7th day and the walls of Jericho would come down on that day:
2 And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.” - Joshua 6:2-5 (NKJV)
God gave Joshua a worship strategy — Joshua told the priests to blow their trumpets - announcing that God was with them and heralding that He was coming to take down the enemy - as they carried the Presence of God - the Ark - leading the procession. With each march around the city, they were advancing - but not in the way they thought they would in their natural minds - as the spiritual atmosphere was being taken over by the Presence of God.
With each march they made around the city, the stronghold of the enemy was weakened. With every trumpet blast, the structural integrity of the wall was becoming more and more unstable.
Then the seventh day came and the moment the trumpets blasted and the people of God shouted, in one accord, it was then that the walls of Jericho came crashing down!!
It was when the voices of the people of God pierced the atmosphere in agreement and in expectant, radical faith that the power of God destroyed the walls.
I believe the Lord wants us all to know that our words carry power and when we sing the Word of God to Him with a heart of worship in unity, it has the power to tear down every stronghold! It says in His Word that His Word will not return void:
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. - Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” - John 4:24 (NKJV)
Let us also remember the story of Paul and Silas who used God’s worship strategy in the midnight hour:
Paul and Silas, undaunted, prayed in the middle of the night and sang songs of praise to God, while all the other prisoners listened to their worship. - Acts 16:25 (TPT)
Paul and Silas stormed the courts of Heaven, pleading their case before God declaring His Word in prayer, in worship and praise with the spirit of thanksgiving from a prison cell. They both knew that God inhabits the praises of His people, and they were no exception. They made an appeal to Heaven and the Great I Am answered:
Suddenly, a great earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. All at once every prison door flung open and the chains of all the prisoners came loose. - Acts 16:26 (TPT)
The Spirit of the Lord came down to that prison cell. Freedom followed Paul and Silas' worship, not just for them but for everyone in the prison!
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NKJV)
Never forget, when we sing praises to the Lord, our victory is assured! God will make a way where there seems to be no way, even in the middle of the wilderness!
20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”
21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:
“Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” 22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. - 2 Chronicles 2:20-22 (NKJV)
Dearest ones, it is time to tear down the walls! Let us bring the Kingdom of Heaven down to earth, pray, praise and worship our way out in Jesus’ Name!
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! - Psalm 107:15 (NKJV)
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory. - Psalm 98:1 (NKJV)