Thursday, January 22, 2009

Look Up and Sing

Have you ever felt defeated? Like whatever you tried to do, you still could find no victory over a certain problem in our life?

Maybe it’s a long time battle that you have been fighting. Maybe it’s a new one. What ever the case, it seems to have you chained and bound up with no release in sight. Is this your plight? If it is, I have good news for you. For this too, God can handle. This too He has control over and can bring victory from.

Last night I read this verse and it spoke to my soul.

Acts 16:25-26 - But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed.

Paul and Silas were not sure if they would live to see another day. The wounds from the beating they took ached and kept them from getting any comfort. The air was stale and made it hard to breath. They could not sleep so they began to look up. They began to pray and sing.

They looked up to the one sitting firmly on the throne above. Their focus was no longer on the circumstances that surrounded them or the future that might befall them. They looked to the one who made all things, the creator of the universe, the beginning and the end. I am sure their look was not one of a small simple glance but with a firm stare of intent. With a heart filled with faith for the one who knows all things they firmly looked to God to know best. They didn't stare at the circumstances that surrounded them and lament their coming demise. They looked to the one that knows all things in full confidence that this too was in His hands and He would not disappoint them. They looked nowhere but up.

Then they began to pray and sing. When Paul and Silas lifted there voices together in songs of victory, the earth shook! The prison was shook and all the doors were opened. Not just Paul and Sila's chains were loosed; ALL the prisoners’ chains were broken.

In Joshua chapter 6, God used the music of trumpets to bring down the walls of Jericho and bring victory for Israel. They circled seven times blowing trumpets, gave a loud shout and the walls came tumbling down. Music was once again used to obtain the victory.

Beth Moore in her Psalms series called singing the language of the soul. I believe she is right. When we sing with all our heart, our soul is mended. Sometimes the joy or sorrow we feel can not be expressed fully by any other means. Our soul cries out to God through music. The angels sing continually, “holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” God even sings over us. It is also his expression from the soul.

Zephaniah 3:17 - The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Are you bound by chains, do you know others that are bound by chains? LOOK UP, SING FOR VICTORY! Sing loud, sing strong until the chains are loosed for yourself and all you know. When we look directly at God believing that He is all powerful, and wants our sinful chains to be released, amazing things happen. So lift up your voice and herald the victory.

Praise Him for the victory! Praise Him for who He is! King all things, ruler over all! Master of even this! Even these bonds that seem so strong are under His control! When you feel defeated, lift your voice. When you can't see the light, look up and raise your voice in song. In this too He cares about you and will bring victory.



Omah's Helping Hands said...

What a powerful post! This is so true. We need to look up to our Lord and Savoir to be saved. So often it is easy to fall into our sorrows and drown in our wallows.
Thanks for the great reminder Sherri.
I have a friend who is really surrounded in darkness and we are having a hard time getting her to see the light again. She has no computer. Would you mind if I copied this piece for her to read? It might help her a lot. Thank you,

Omah's Helping Hands said...

Thank you Sherri! You are an absolute Blessing. Thanks for your kind words and caring soul.

Omah's Helping Hands said...

I came back to tell you that I have an award at my blog for you. I love reading your posts, you are inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Sherri, it's made me think. Without doubt, we are to praise the Lord, no matter what our circumstances. I think we need to be careful, though, of our motive in singing. We should sing because God deserves our praise, and not because we want Him to change our circumstances.

I think of Peter and the apostles in Acts 5:41. After being imprisoned and flogged, they were eventually released by the Council. As they went on their way, they weren't rejoicing that they had been released, though. They were "rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name."

I don't think the power is in singing, per se. I think the victory comes when we fully submit to and rejoice in His will for our lives, even when it's not what we would have chosen for ourselves.

This may seem like nitpicking, but through many long-term trials, it's something the Lord has worked into my heart.

Sherri Watt said...

Thanks Tammy! I will stop by.


Of course the power is not in the singing itself. The power is in looking to God in all things. You are correct it is His will that we rejoice in. However, when we are defeated by sin, His will IS that we overcome it. We are not to stay defeated in sin and when we need the power to overcome it we must look to Him to bring the victory. There is a big difference with being stuck in sin and having a thorn in the side that keeps you humble. There are times that the only way out of a funk is to lift you voice in Praise whether you feel like it or not.

I appreciate your comment and see where you are coming from.

God Bless!

Billy Coffey said...

I really needed this today, Sherri. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying, Sherri. I brought it up because I know many Christians who will state categorically that the power is in the words we speak or sing - the whole "positive confession" thing.

You're right in that looking at God instead of our circumstances is the solution to every problem we face.

Not sure I agree, though, that being stuck in sin and having a thorn in your side are necessarily two different things. So if you want to clarify some more, I'll be back. :)

And thanks for your blog. It's uplifting to see the Lord at work in other's hearts, also.

Sherri Watt said...

Glad God used it to uplift you Billy. God Bless!

Hi GaGa,

What I mean by the difference between stuck in sin and a thorn is that God sometimes leaves things in our lives that we struggle with that are not necessarily sin. It may be a person that gets under your skin but God has them in your life to mold you. A thorn can be just the temptation of sin or something that keeps you humble. Knowing that you could very easily sin keeps pride at bay. In Paul's case the thorn was left so he would stay humble, it was not necessarily sin. What I am referring to is more a sin in your life that you try and try to overcome but can not. I will share my own example for you. I have fought with my eating habits for years. It has been something I knew I needed to get under control but would not admit it to be sin controling me. I played with it calling it everything but sin until really strong conviction came. Even after the conviction came I had to surrender it to God and stay looking up to defeat it. It was through His power, but I needed to know the way out when the darts of defeat came. I looked up and sang praises even when I didn't feel like it. It brings a way out of defeat.

Hope that helps clarify for you.

Keep questioning.... It makes me think!

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all that, Sherri. I do understand what you're saying, and I agree. In fact, God got me out of bed this morning at 3:45 am to - you guessed it! - sing His praises! That's tough to do without waking up my husband. :)