Psalm 8:2 Praise: The Greatest Stronghold

Singing worship

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Psalm 8:2 

All over the world people and nations are constantly seeking ways to defeat their enemies. They want to know what it will take to stop the enemy from being able to attack and win a battle.

Walls, gates, and security systems are put in place everywhere one looks. Security guards are set up to watch out for the enemy. Billions of dollars are spent to ‘protect’ themselves from the enemy. Spies are enlisted to find out information about the enemy and how to defeat them.

Yet, the enemy still is able to get in and destroy. Sometimes just a little, while other times a lot.

David points out that a great stronghold against the enemy is found in the simplest of ways. It is found in praise of the children and infants. Praise is what silences the enemy.

One may wonder how praise can be a stronghold against the enemy and how it can silence the enemy. Praise takes the focus off of self and off of the enemy. It points one towards God.

Praise gives God all of the credit and the power to do what needs to be done. It builds the faith of the believer as he focuses his mind and heart on praising God. In this way it focuses on what God can do, not what the enemy is trying to do.

With God all things are possible, so as one is praising God, God is able to defeat the enemy. The enemy may be physical, but more often it is a spiritual enemy. these are the enemy of the thoughts, words and actions of self. One cannot praise God and live in sin at the same time, it is one or the other. When praising God one is living for God.

As you face enemies in your life, both physical and mental, turn your focus away from the enemy and towards God. Notice how big God is and how small the enemy really is. Begin to give God praise and worship and see what He can do.

Praising God builds a fortress of God around your life. It puts up a barrier around your thought life to block out unwanted thoughts to enter. As these thoughts are blocked, you can live for God.

Give God praise today!

I pray today that your heart will be overwhelmed with praise to God; that you will see reasons to praise God through all circumstances; that your heart will be filled with joy at praising God; and that you will see God block the enemies of your soul through your praise.

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2 Chronicles 14:3 Removing The Foreign Altars

False altar

He removed the foreign altars and high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. 2 Chronicles 14:3 

The world has allowed altars to be built up every where to self. People worship many different things, although they no longer call them gods. People are worshipped, things are worshipped, jobs are worshipped, positions are worshipped and much more. Along with these things are also false gods that are worshipped.

These are the external things that are worshipped. People also worship internal things, such as pride, wealth, self, and more.

All these things take the place of God in the lives of people. They want anything and everything but God.

Asa had become king of Judah and chose to cleanse the land of false gods and idols. He led the nation in going throughout the entire land destroying all of the sacred places to false gods and destroying their high places. He was able to get the nation to focus their eyes back on God.

Physical idols are not worshipped as much as a god in many places around the world, but there is still false worship occurring in the lives of people. Most believers are not in a position to be able to destroy the false worship centers and idols of this world. They cannot destroy places of sin in their nation or city.

However, in the lives of many people there are often high places to things other than God. The believer needs to allow God to reveal these altars in the heart and allow Jesus to remove them. The believer can chose to no longer worship at that altar and focus his attention back onto God and God alone.

There is to be only one God in the heart and life of a believer and that is God, Himself with Jesus His Son. No one or any other thing is to be worshipped.

Allowing God to remove all the foreign altars in your life will give you the ability to worship God alone. It will bring a supernatural peace into your life with God because you will be in the right standing with Him.

Do not allow foreign altars to be built up in your heart and life. Keep your focus on God alone. Worship God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Live for God alone. This will allow God to do great things in and through you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to remove any foreign altars in your life; that you will worship God alone; and that you will serve God with all of your life. 

Judges 8:27 Worshipping The Blessing

Golden ephod

Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there and it became a snare to Gideon and his family. Judges 8:26 

Getting a gift or blessing from someone or a group for something that was done extra is always a good thing. It shows a person that he is honored and his extra work is recognized.

Companies and organizations around the world will often have times of honoring those who do the work. They recognize people who have gone above and beyond their job or position. The honor can be one of many things, such as a plaque, gift of money, a gift card, a picture, name in a newsletter, an extra vacation, and nearly anything the mind can think of.

There is nothing wrong with getting honored with a gift. However, there are some people who worship that gift.

After Gideon had defeated the Midianites, the people had given him some of the gold from the plunder they had taken. This gold was melted down and made into an ephod. Immediately the people and Gideon started to worship that ephod. It was as though the ephod had saved them from the Midianites.

Not only do people in the world tend to worship the blessing that was given, there are people in the church who have done the same thing. They may not say it is God, but they talk about the honor given as though it is the best thing in all of life. They keep it clean and posted where everyone can see it, and they make sure that people see it.

This is taking the honor of what God has done away from Him. It is focusing on what self did. The blessing ends up being worshipped more than God.

Take a look at your own life. What honors have you received over the years? How do you respond to those honors?

Be careful to keep you eyes and focus upon God. When people talk about the honor or blessing, point them back to God as the one who helped you do what you did.

Do not allow the honor or the blessing take the throne of your life or anyone else’s life. Do not allow it to become a snare pulling you away from God.

Everyone deserves some honor, but keep it in the right perspective–God made it possible.

I pray today that you will recognize God’s work through you; that you will give God the honor due to Him; that you will not worship things or positions in your life; and that you will worship only God. 

Judges 6:10 Results Of Not Listening

Half Dome

“I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.” Judges 6:10 

There are times that people go through tough situations in their lives. Sometimes these tough situations are because God is allowing the enemy to test them, to determine where their heart really is. Other times the tough situation is a result of bad choices made, refusing to listen to God’s Holy Spirit guiding and directing them.

The nation of Israel had times that they would be overrun by the enemy. They would cry out to God for some help. At one point God had sent a prophet to them to tell them that He had given them a command not to worship the false gods, yet they chose to worship the false gods. They had chosen to not listen to God and the result of an enemy take over had occurred.

God does not want the enemy to take over His people, in reality He wants the enemy defeated. However, when His people are not listening to Him and doing what He says, He allows the enemy to take over.

The purpose of the enemy taking over is to get the attention of His people back on Him.

God is not out to destroy people, but to build them up and give them life. Yet, if they choose not to listen to Him and follow Him, He will do what it takes to get their attention.

As people go through tough times, most people will call out to God for help. This is one of God’s ways to get their attention and focus back on Him. Every believer needs to stay focused on God and listen to Him as they follow Him.

God is not against you, but is for you. He does not want to destroy you, but He needs to you listen to Him and obey Him. He loves you enough that He will do whatever it takes to keep you focused on Him. This may mean going through some tough times.

If you are going through a tough time, turn your entire focus onto God and not the tough time. Allow God to guide you through the situation.

Even when following God, times may be tough, but He will always give you strength to make it through. Don’t turn away from God, but listen to Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s directions; that you will listen to God; that you will obey God; that you will keep your focus on God; and that you will see God’s work in your life. 

 

Joshua 6:5 Put God In The Front With Worship

Castle

So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the LORD and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” Joshua 6:5

Every person has times of battles in his life. There are some that are small battles and others that are major battles. Some will face those battles head on, while many will attempt to run from the battles in fear.

Joshua and all the Israelites had just crossed over the Jordan into the new land of Canaan. They had come upon the city of Jericho, which was to be their first major take over in the new land. It was a large city that was very well fortified.

At the time, the Israelites did not have any large battering rams or bombs to take out the large walls of the city. All they had was a few small weapons and God’s word. God had told Joshua that he would take that city.

To get ready to take the city, Joshua had the priests, holding the ark of the covenant, go in front with some men blowing trumpets. The priests with the ark of the covenant and the trumpeters would lead all the Israelites in a march around the city for seven days.

The ark of the covenant represented God’s presence among the people. They would allow God to go first. Then along side of His presence were the trumpeters blowing the trumpets in worship of God. With God and worship, the Israelites met their enemy and God removed that large wall from before them. The obstacle of the take over was removed.

As a believer, there will be times in your life that you will meet up with large walls that stand in your way or you will meet up with a large enemy that must be removed. God can and will be with you, if you allow Him to be in front. Allow God to lead the way into the battle. Don’t do the battle on your own.

As you move forward in the battle, be willing to blow the trumpet of worship to God. Allow God to fight your battle for you. God is strong enough to take down walls that are before you. Trust that He knows how to do it. Give Him all the worship as you move forward into battle.

I pray today that you will have God’s presence with you at all times; that you will allow God to fight your battles; that you will give God worship as you march forward; and that God will show Himself faithful and strong to you. 

Deuteronomy 29:18 Stay With God

Mushrooms

Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. Deuteronomy 29:18

In this world there are many different gods to worship and follow. There are many different religions that people all around the world are willing to follow. Some are following direct gods, while others are just beliefs of this world and not following anything but self.

Over the years there have been many people who have turned away from God and turned to one or more of these gods that others follow. Their hearts have strayed away from God. This is not something that just happened one day, it was a process over some time.

Moses had given the people a charge to make sure no one turned their hearts away from God to a false god of the nations. They were not to allow any root to begin to grow that would allow this poison in their lives.

Roots begin to grow in the heart of a person who is not staying in God’s word or is meeting together with other believers on a regular basis. There is no one to help keep the person accountable. They begin to see other beliefs and begin to believe them, rather than God’s word. As that root grows in their hearts, they begin to turn away from God.

Every believer is to keep an eye on his fellow believer, helping keep each other focused on God. This will keep roots of discontent and false belief to rise up in the heart. Daily love and fellowship with believers and God, will keep one from turning away from God to false gods.

You may be a believer who is becoming discontent and are starting to believe in other false gods. Turn your eyes back onto God. Remember what had brought you to God in the first place and stay with God.

As you follow God, help your fellow believers to stay with God. Do not allow any roots of discontent or false belief to rise up. Worship God together and keep Him at the forefront of your lives.

Do not allow yourself or anyone else to walk away from God. Keep the roots of poison out of your lives as you walk with God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will keep you from being poisoned by false beliefs; that you will strive to keep others focused on God; and that God will open your eyes to roots leading you or others astray from Him.

Leviticus 26:1 Who Is Your God?

Man on a cliff

Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 26:1

While there are large numbers of people around the world that believe in physical idols, there are also many people who do not believe in them. There still some very advanced nations in this world that believe in idols and will set offerings before them and pray to them, believing that the idols can do something for them.

As a whole, the majority of people in the European nations and America’s do not believe in idol worship, yet, the majority worship idols on a daily basis. Instead of worshipping a statue, many will worship a thing. Instead of bowing down and praying to the idol and calling it a god, they worship an idol in different ways.

More commonly people worship things by spending their time, money, and effort with it, to the expense of everyone and everything else. The list is infinite in what the item can be. Some common ones are: jobs, cars, homes, hobbies, careers, celebrities, and money.

It is seen many times where a person focuses so much on his career and advancement in that field, that he neglects his family, friends, church and God. Making the position or pleasing the boss is all that matters to him, at any cost.

Others may be focused on a hobby–watching or playing sports. They do it to the point of neglect of everything else. It is all that matters to them. It consumes them. The hobby has become their god.

Believers are no exception to worshipping idols. There are believers who are so consumed with ministry, that they neglect time with God, family and friends, things that are important. They can also get consumed with the position and do it out of greed and pride, rather than love and for God.

What a person worships, may also change with time, but it is still putting something before God–an idol.

Take a look at your life. Where do you spend your time, money, efforts, and focus?

What is most important to you in your life?

Think of your top three priorities in life. If the top three is not God, family, and being a witness, then you may have an idol in your life.

I pray today that you will know God as your only God; that you will serve God with all of your life; that God will help you remove all idols in your life; and that God will be your highest priority in this life.