How to Use Worship As a Spiritual Weapon

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Ephesians 6 tells us about the armor of God and gives us two weapons: God’s Word and prayer.

But in Psalm 149, we discover another spiritual weapon: worship.

woman with hands raised at sunset

At first glance, it may seem that this chapter is divided into two sections: the section that talks about praise and the section that talks about spiritual warfare.

But today we’re going to discover how this whole chapter fits together to create a complete picture of worship as a spiritual weapon.

Psalm 149:1-5

When I read this Psalm this morning, I saw something I’ve never seen before.

All of the various words that describe acts of worship began to jump out at me.

Last week, for our Good Morning Girls’ reading in Psalm 140-145, we learned 9 ways we make worship all about God.

In that post, we look at nine very descriptive Hebrew words in Psalm 145 for worship.

In Psalm 149, we find even more words.

And what is fascinating is that while the words are translated the same in English, in the Hebrew they have a completely different meaning from the words we read in Psalam 145!

And when we discover how they correlate with spiritual warfare, it will blow our minds!

How to Use Worship As a Spiritual Weapon

I do believe that many Christians know worship is a spiritual weapon, it’s just that they don’t know how to use it.

In my his podcast 9 Hebrew Words for Worship and How We Use Them, Dr. Hackett points out how the Hebrew word “clap” in Psalm 47:1 means far more than just striking your hands together.

It is a weapon of warfare.

The Hebrew word taqa also means to thrust or drive a weapon, to give a blast or a blow.

The same word is used repeatedly in the Old Testament to describe thrusting the sword in battle, and in the story of Jael, the wife of Heber, who drove a tent peg through Sisera’s temple.

So, we see clearly that it isn’t just the music, the singing, the songs, or the instruments that lead us to a place of spiritual warfare, it is the actions we take as the worshiper that weaponizes our worship against the enemy.

1. Praise

“Praise the Lord!” Halal

This is clearly a command. And if there was any doubt, there is an exclamation point at the end to drive the point home.

The Hebrew word halal means to boast, to rave, to be crazy or foolish.

It reminds us of the story of David dancing before the ark.

He had taken off the robes that signified he was king and wore only the short “ephod” or garment worn by priests.

His wife Michal was embarrassed by his behavior, saying that he was behaving like a common man.

His response to her was, “And I will be even more undignified than this…”

2. Sing

“Sing to the LORD a new song, and His praise in the assembly of saints.” Shiyr

When we looked at this word in Psalm 145, we saw that it also meant to shout.

But in Psalm 149, it very clearly means just to sing.

The act of putting words to melody and singing them. A singer.

3. Rejoice

“Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;” Samach

This word in Hebrew is very simple. It simply means to be joyful, to be glad.

4. Be joyful

“Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.” Giyl

What I found fascinating was that the word “rejoice” and the words “be joyful” did not have the same meaning in the Hebrew.

While “rejoice” simply mean to be glad, the words “be joyful” go further than that and also mean “to spin around”.

It indicates a violent emotional outburst that causes you to spin in circles; to dance or leap with joy.

So, this is joy on steroids.

And what is even more fascinating, is how this ties in with spiritual warfare.

Because, when we think of spiritual warfare, we tend to think of a crushing situation that is negative and causing grief.

Certainly, the first thing that doesn’t come to mind is dancing with joy!

5. Dance

“Let them praise His name with the dance;” Machowl

This word is self-explanatory – it’s a dance. More specifically, a round dance that we often think of when we think of Jewish dancing.

Not the spontaneous dance of “be joyful”, but a more organized group dance.

6. Sing praises

“Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.” Zamar

Yet another word for sing! And yet this word doesn’t just mean the act of singing, but also describes playing an instrument.

To strike with the fingers, to pluck an instrument, to touch strings, to play accompanied by a singer.

7. Be joyful in glory

“Let the saints be joyful in glory;” Alaz

This Hebrew word means to “trimph” to jump for joy.

We get an image of guys at a ball game, jumping up and down as their team makes a winning goal or shot.

8. Sing aloud

Let them sing aloud on their beds.” Ranan

This is the same word we see in Psalm 145, it doesn’t just mean to sing; but it also means to shout out, to cry out, to shout for joy.

I think it is very interesting that it specifically says “on their beds”.

So often, we’re able to successfully distract ourselves during the day with so much activity and busy-ness.

We don’t give ourselves a moment to feel the pressure, anxiety, or pain.

But, the moment we turn out the lights and lay in our beds in silence, suddenly it starts descending on us.

I don’t think most of think of “shouting out for joy” when we lay in our beds.

Some dread that moment most, because it’s when the most intense, negative emotions swirl around inside, stealing yet another night’s sleep.

And so here we are: 8 very unique words in Hebrew to describe worship: ranging from singing and dancing, to shouting and raving like a crazy person, to playing an instrument; twirling around violently and jumping for joy.

How does this become a spiritual weapon?

“Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,”

When we think of “high praises”, I think we often get the image of a higher realm or level of worship.

But really, what it means is just to lift God on high. To celebrate God.

It’s not very complicated. But, as Christians, we tend to complicate very simple matters.

Worship in spiritual warfare really isn’t that complicated.

But it does take discipline in rounding together all of our scattered, anxious thoughts, taking them captive (like you’d take your enemy captive!) and then intentionally elevating God above your problem.

You have the weapon of both personal and congregational praise and rejoicing coupled with the “two-edged” sword of the Spirit – which is the Word of God – and there is no weapon formed against you that can prosper!

“To execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the written judgment—”

This is a powerful statement!

We have the power, through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, bestowed upon us by God to carry out:

  • His vengeance on the nations (literally heathen people)
  • His punishment
  • To bind – to take prisoner, to harness – the kings and henchmen of the heathen people
  • To carry out God’s written ordinances

We have the power and authority to bind the enemy and all the powers of darkness and carry out God’s the authority of God’s Word!

We see this in the New Testament as well.

“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” Matthew 16:19

And in case you wonder if this is really talking about you, Psalm 149 concludes with:

“This honor have all His saints.”

So how do we do this?

Meditation, or preoccupation, with our problems, negative circumstances, hurts and offenses, and worries and anxieties is literally worshiping them.

It is elevating them higher than God.

It is placing them on the throne of our heart.

It is giving them a place of authority in our lives that was meant only for God.

The first battle we have to wage is dethroning our problems…our anxieties, our worries, our hurts, and giving that authority back to Almighty God.

We do this by taking our thoughts captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ; making this former idols come into His submission so that they become His captives.

Then, as our focus shifts from these former idols to Almighty God and His ultimate supremacy, we begin to engage in active worship.

Not just passive listening to worship or singing apathetically…

But purposeful, active worship:

  • Singing out
  • Clapping your hands
  • Dancing
  • Leaping and twirling
  • Shouting out God’s praises
  • Declaring out loud who He is
  • Foolishly boasting about God

And while you may think this sounds utterly crazy, there is no denying that this is what this Psalm is not just talking about, but commanding us to do!

Worship is a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare that defeats the enemy and completely nullifies His plan of destruction for our lives.

It binds him up and renders him powerless over us!

Dear sister, you do not have to remain under the burden of your sorrow, brokenness, anxiety, or depression one day longer.

Clearly, throughout God’s word we see a pattern of victory for God’s people!

He never intended for His people to live under the oppression of the enemy; but in victory over the enemy.

This doesn’t mean we won’t face battles in our lives — and maybe even long, intense battles.

But the end should always be victory.

He has given you spiritual weaponry: His Word, prayer, and worship. These are mighty weapons to the pulling down of strongholds.

Victory is guaranteed to you.

All you need to do is begin taking every thought captive, rise up in your authority as a saint of God, and begin driving back your enemy until you win the battle!

This post is part of the Blogging Through the Bible series with Good Morning Girls

3 Characteristics of a Person of Integrity

How to Keep a Steady Heart in Times of Crisis

3 Promises for Those Who Study the Works of God

43 Life-Changing Verses About the Bible from Psalm 119

5 Ways to Respond When You’re Under Attack

Are You a Burned Out Christian?

A Christian Response to Crisis

More articles on worship

Resources for Worship

Live Worship – eBook

5 Day Quiet Time Journal – Worship vols 1 & 2 – Free Download

Blog Posts

9 Hebrew Words for Worship

9 Ways We Make Worship All About God

How to Live a Life of Worship

7 Weapons for Spiritual Warfare

How to Use Worship As a Spiritual Weapon

This is What is Wrong With Worship Today

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Joke About Worship

3 Ways Our Worship Turns to Witchcraft

How Should Worship Look Differently After Quarantine?

Resources for Spiritual Warfare and Using a War Room:

10 Bible Verses for Spiritual Warfare – Free Printable!

10 Bible Verses for Spiritual Warfare Bookmark – Free Printable!

10 Powerful Verses You Need for Your War Room – Free Printable!

10 Bible Verses to Fight Discouragement – FREE Printable

30 Day Prayer Challenge for Spiritual Warfare

Prayer and Meditation Journal for Spiritual Warfare

Blog Posts on Spiritual Warfare:

7 Weapons for Spiritual Warfare

5 Steps For When You’re Weary from Spiritual Warfare

Five Stubborn Pitfalls to Spiritual Warfare

How Should Christians Respond When They’re Under Attack?

5 Ways to Respond When You Feel Under Attack

How to Use Worship As a Spiritual Weapon

3 Ways Christians Should Respond When They Feel Defeated

5 Ways to Keep the Faith In Battle

4 Ways to Sharpen Your Spiritual Senses When They Have Grown Dull

How to Write a Prayer Strategy For Your War Room

3 Spiritual Warfare Strategies for Your Distracted Mind

How To Use the Prayer Strategy Worksheet

How Do I Write a Prayer Strategy for Spiritual Warfare? – Podcast Episode #26

3 Reasons Why Every Christian Needs a War Room

6 Amazing Prayers to Make Your Whole House a War Room

Pocket Prayers to Make Your Whole House a War Room

5 Strategic Ways to Recreate Your War Room

5 Simple and Fun Alternatives to a Prayer Room

When You Don’t Have Room For a War Room

5 Ideas for a War Room {When You Don’t Have Room}

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