Worship IS Warfare

Have you ever come home from a worship service and felt more relaxed? Maybe even stronger? Sometimes maybe you’ve felt as though you now can do what God has been asking even though you had doubts before.

I think we’ve all experienced things like this. Entering into corporate worship – worship with others of the faith – is refreshing and rejuvenating.dove of peace rising

I liken these effects of worship to a soldier’s R and R. Military leaders don’t expect warriors to fight constantly. And when enough time has elapsed, or the battles have been particularly tough, a soldier is sent away from the area. He or she might go to a designated place of peace and safety. They may even be sent home for a furlough.

R and R is listed as having three different but similar meanings. I think the first one fits a warfare situation the best: Rest and recuperation.

Rest is pretty self-explanatory. Get away from the battle (or the daily grind) and take a break. No mention of how long the break will be. It takes what it takes.

bandaging the woundsThe Merriam-Webster dictionary says recuperate means “to return to normal health or strength after being sick, injured, etc.”

Of course, this refers to physical illness or injury. Our warfare is against “the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NASB). Not to say that we don’t experience physical strain from spiritual battles, because we do. We are three-part beings (body, soul, and spirit) and they are intertwined so that they all react to the stress in some way.

Romans 8:35-39 tells us that “in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” (v. 37, NASB, emphasis mine.) This passage deals with the love Christ has for us. Nothing can ever separate us from that love unless we reject it ourselves. And that love equips us for the battle.

The previous emphasis on through is there because I want to make it crystal clear that we can do nothing involving warfare except through Christ. Trying to fight in our own strength is a recipe for certain disaster.

Where does worship fit in? Worship is, at its core, being with God. Picture a large tent at the edge of the battlefield. Headquarters is housed there. Our commander-in-chief is there, making battle plans and devising strategies. He shares them with us.

So, when we have the plans in hand, do we rush out into the fray and engage the enemy? No. stained-glass knightWe stay in Him as He does the fighting. Our warfare is through Him. We are in direct communication with Him at all times. He conquers the enemy, we follow His orders, and through His conquering we are made more than conquerors.

We share in the battle, but only from a place of safety in God. We reap the spoils of war through obedience, through trust, through love. And we engage in worship that rejuvenates us.

Warfare is a lifestyle. And worship is warfare.


this is part five of a series on warfare

part 1| This Means War!

part 2|The Big “D” of Warfare

part 3|Charge!

part 4|Swing That Sword!

all illustrations courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net