Weapons for the Believer: 7 – Worship
According to Paul, there are weapons of warfare.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (ESV)
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
We are considering ten weapons that the Believer has at their disposal. We looked at the first six in previous posts. If you haven’t read them I encourage you to do so.
The next weapon on the list is worship.
Genesis 22:5 (ESV)
Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”
7. Worship –
Hebrew: prostrate (especially reflexive in homage to royalty or God) :- bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.
Greek: to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literal or figurative) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore), worship.
One tool in studying topics in scripture is called “The Law of First Reference.” The first time “worship” is used is when Abraham was explaining to his companions what he and Isaac would be doing on the mountain. Abraham was following a request by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac, the promised one, as an offering to God. This, Abraham called this act “worship.”
This verse is one a little less well known. It is the reason God sent Moses to get the people of Israel out of Egypt. Moses was to bring the Jewish people to the mountain where God met with Moses so they could “serve” God there. Another interpretation for this word is “worship.”
Exodus 3:12 (ESV)
He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
Fast forward to the story of Jesus when He encountered the Woman at the Well. In an attempt to sound knowledgeable she commented to Jesus about her “fathers” worshipping on the mountain. Jesus had this reply.
John 4:21-24 (ESV)
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Jesus moved worship from a physical act in a physical place to a spiritual experience that can occur anywhere, anytime. He also introduced the notion that there was a difference in motive among worshippers. He referred to those with proper motives as “true worshippers.” Another way of stating this is those who “truly adore” God. That narrows it down quite a bit. It is a heart issue.
There is a place of worship where we direct our total attention to God. He alone is worthy of our worship. When tempted in the wilderness by satan, Jesus responded with this declaration.
Matthew 4:10 (ESV)
Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”
Our relationship with God is carried out one on one. There is no intermediary under the New Covenant of Grace. We fellowship with Him in worship.
Later in Paul’s writings he mentions some of the activities of the Believer regarding the use of music in the life of the Believer. This is not worship to God alone, but refers to a gathering of Believers (2 or more) where they sing songs “to one another” and “to the Lord.”
Ephesians 5:19 (ESV)
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,
Colossians 3:16 (ESV)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
This is a picture of corporate worship.
The most powerful example of the effect of worship as a “Weapon of the Believer” is found in two verses, one Old Testament and one New Testament.
The first is from Jesus responding to the religious leaders on the day He entered Jerusalem, just prior to His death. These leaders were upset at the children crying out to Jesus with shouts of “Hosanna!” I love Jesus’ response.
Matthew 21:16 (ESV)
and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”
Jesus quotes Psalm 8:2.
Psalm 8:2 (ESV)
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
Because of some differences in language meanings it is a little fuzzy, but this is the essence of what Jesus said. The power of words used in praise (worship) to God, even out of the mouth of babes, causes the enemy to stop his actions. The words “prepared praise” and “established strength” have the same root meaning. The result is the enemy is “stilled.” This is the same word we would see used when the Federal Reserve shuts down a bank. They issue a “Cease and Desist Order.” The bank has to immediately stop any financial transactions. They lose their authority.
That is an amazing tool for the Believer. The reality is, however, that the Believer’s worship to directed toward God, not the enemy. It is during our worship that the enemy’s authority is destroyed. This is why we are instructed to “ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (ESV)
There is so much more that could be said regarding worship. Maybe more will come later.