2 Chronicles 20: 21 - 22, And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: "Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever." Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. NKJV
In the Old Testament, the people of God fought in the natural/physical realm, but under the New Testament covenant, believers war with spirits of darkness. These spirits war against our hearts and our minds trying to bring us into captivity and bondage. As Christians, we must be on guard and watchful when we find ourselves being controlled more by our emotions than by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Where the Spirit of the Lord is (in control), there is (or will be) liberty.
The Holy Spirit gave the instruction to write this devotion for someone, in particular. If this word resonates with you, then receive it as a word from the Lord for you today. Life is moving at such a rapid pace that it becomes a little overwhelming at times. What we might not realize about living in such a fast-paced world is this... our senses are stimulated by all the techno-gadgets, and this can "work" our emotions into a frenzy. If we don't keep a check on what is allowed to grab our attention, and we latch on to everything that comes along, we can quickly become emptied in our soul. Once we become weak or have an empty feeling in our hearts or emotions, we can be opened up to negative feelings.
You see. Our soul is not the source of our life, but rather it must be constantly filled by the presence of God. If all that feeds us during the day primarily comes through our senses and from this world, then eventually we will become depleted. Therefore, we must pull back from the world that is vying for our attention and begin to set our hearts on praising the Lord. As we praise God from our hearts, the presence of God will begin to be released through the anointing that comes from praise.
Your praise will invite God's presence into your heart and fill your emptied soul with light and life from the Holy Spirit. Doesn't the Word of God command us to put on the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness? Heaviness can occur when we become either tired or weak with a lack of spiritual energy caused by being away from His presence.
One of the primary reasons we were created was to give God praise. Therefore, we must fulfill that function if we desire to be fulfilled in our soul. If we neglect the vital essentials that keep us strengthened and well, then the world can begin to tear down our defenses and make us susceptible to becoming emotionally driven. As sons and daughters of God, we're to be led by the Spirit of God and not by our emotions or desires. By maintaining a consistent focus on praise, prayer, and time in God's Word, we are feeding our soul with God's life.
Paul and Silas were thrown into prison, and at the midnight hour, they began to praise God. As they praised the Lord, His presence began to shake the foundations of what was holding them against their will. Likewise, when we choose to praise God in our place of bondage or pain, God's presence is released into our situation to break strongholds from our hearts, our souls, and our minds. Let your faith supersede your feelings and begin to attract the presence of God into your "prison" today.
Pastor Asa Dockery