Mondays with Kerri
We are free to walk in our identity as the Signet Ring on the hand of God when we choose the journey we are created for - to know and glorify Him. Nothing else will ever fulfill us. Our relationship with Him matures when we commit to a life of worship and praise. It is in exalting and expressing gratitude to The One who created us that we come to know His character and see Him at work in our lives. No passage illustrates this more clearly than 2 Chronicles chapter twenty. It is home to one of the most astounding stories in the Old Testament. It reads like a “how to claim your identity as His Beloved” manual and in it we discover two disciplines that are critical to our spiritual growth.
2 Chronicles 20:13-24
As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children, 14 the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.
15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”
18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord.19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.
20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”
21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:
“Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!”
22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. 23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. 24 So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.
Worship is exaltation and adoration we offer to God for who He is, while praise is thanking and glorifying Him for what He has done for us. So, while it is important that we live in gratitude for the gifts, grace, and mercy He lavishes on us, we must remember our God covets the worship of His people as well. He calls us to lift up His name because He is worthy - apart from anything He does on our behalf. A proper understanding of what it means to be blessed allows us to worship The One who created us in Spirit and Truth. It will cost us our comfort to live a life of worship. It will call us out of reacting to our circumstances and hardships and into accepting His will with unconditional gratitude. True worship is a tangible acknowledgment that He is enough, that He is truly all we need. When we reach this place of sincere worship, we are released to operate in a whole new level of power. The enemy has no “handle” with which to rip us around or lie to us. Our focus stays on The One who created us and we are satisfied in Him.
Nothing can be stolen from us when we live in this truth.
To be blessed is to be satisfied by His presence; worship is thanking Him for it. This distinction plays out in incredibly powerful ways in the spirit realm because there will be days that we don’t feel like praising Him. When we don’t get our way, when we are in pain, or when He seems far away, we are tempted to forget we are blessed. It is then, by default, we tend to operate out of our emotions instead of the truth. However, when we worship Him for who He is, regardless of our circumstances, the powers of darkness are shoved back and we are free to claim our victory. It is there we live in the fullness of our identity as His Beloved.