Last week we sang A Mighty Fortress is our God in worship, and I was immediately transported back to a time in a different church when I had come under attack by a church member. My charismatic friends assured me that the attack was from the Enemy, who was trying to thwart my ministry and derail me from doing God’s work. In the midst of that pain and confusion, we sang A Mighty Fortress, and I felt the blessed peace of God’s protection come over me. I remember looking up and finding the friend who had been diligently praying for me during this turbulent time. She was staring at me with a look of ”SEE!!! This is God’s answer!” on her face. It brought me immense comfort. Are you feeling down today? Are you under attack? Read this:
1 A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he, amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
does seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.
2 Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right Man on our side,
the Man of God’s own choosing.
You ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth his name,
from age to age the same;
and he must win the battle.
3 And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God has willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo! his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.
4 That Word above all earthly powers
no thanks to them abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours
through him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever!
Being able to sing our way out of a difficult time is a true blessing, and a gift from God. Many times music can provide the necessary release we need, as we find the raw emotion to express our feelings of remorse, joy, awe, surrender, and humility. The psalms provide us with the language of faith during life’s challenges that might otherwise leave us speechless and floundering in doubt. The power of song is huge. That is why the Israelites who were exiled in Babylon sang so much, their captors asked to be entertained by their singing. (Psalm 137:7) That is why singing was so important when Hezekiah restored worship in the temple … the king, his officers, and everyone gathered sang praises with gladness. (2 Chronicles 29:30) That is why Jehoshaphat sent the choir out to battle first, providing the frontline of defense against Israel’s enemies. (2 Chronicles 20:21) That is why the disciples left the upper room after the Last Supper and sang hymns on the way to the Mount of Olives. (Matt. 26:30) Our faith, our hope, and our hearts are strengthened when we sing.
I think that the Enemy hates it when we sing. Our songs can become spiritual weapons against the present darkness that threatens to undo us, especially when we unify our hearts, minds, and voices into one consolidated power, made possible by the Holy Spirit. Remember that Paul and Silas were once imprisoned. They were praying and singing hymns while the other prisoners listened to them. Suddenly there was a huge earthquake and immediately all of the doors of the jail were opened, and everyone’s chains were unlocked. (Acts 16:25-26) There is power in song!
God indeed inhabits the praises of his people! The power of praise is greater than he who is in the world, so sing, my brothers and sisters!