Praise as warfare by Pastor Lafayette Scales
Psalm 149:1 Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, and His praise in the assembly of saints.
That word “Praise” is HALLELUJAH. When Pastor Scales said Praise the Lord, we shouted Hallelujah!
Hallel – Jah – Jah is God. Praise God. We serve a great God.
Hallel means to act without any restraint in our praising of God.
Praise the Lord is not a suggestion, it is a command. We are to cast off all restraint and revel in the King.
Pastor Scales told us we have no problem cheering for the Mets, the Yankees, the Giants, or any other sports team, so why can’t we cheer and yell and praise God? Cast off all restraint. Don’t worry what your fellow worshippers think. What we are doing is throwing our praises to Him.
Psalm 149:1-4 Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, and His praise in the assembly of saints. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise His name with the dance; let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp. For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.
The Saints are joyful in Glory. Glory is the sum total of the Church, the weight of God. BE JOYFUL. Being in God’s presence is joy. We are not to praise Jesus looking like we ate sour lemons.
Psalm 149:5 Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds.
Sometimes Pastor Scales wakes up in the middle of the night praising God, shouting Hallelujah and giving glory to God. He said that, as we spend more time with God, we will end up praising Him even when we are sleeping. Sometimes after a sweet night of sleep you wake up with a song in your heart. It is probably because you were praising God in your sleep. Pastor Scales told us to praise God in the night. He suggested, to our laughter, that sometimes when we wake up and shout Praise the Lord, Hallelujah, and see what our spouse does.
The temple (building and our person) should be filled with jubilant praise, demonstrative praise. It is ok in the Church to praise loudly.
Two things happen when we praise God.
Psalm 149:6-9 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; 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 honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 149:1-5 is JUBILANT PRAISE
Psalm 149:6-9 is MILITANT PRAISE
PRAISE is one tool that does two things, multitasking. Praise can exalt, lift and magnify, and it can also be the agent of judgment. When you praise God the enemy falls down.
Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
Praise is strength and power to silence the enemy.
Matthew 21:16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”
You praise out of your mouth. Praise is most effective when it is spoken out loud. We sometimes give the enemy too big a voice when we start saying out loud what is wrong with our life. Instead, praise God.
Paul tells Timothy to endure hardship like a good soldier. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
Pastor Scales called men in the congregation who served in the military to stand up. He then gave them some drill commands. The men obeyed without question, doing what Pastor Scales told them to do. He said that as soldiers of Christ, we too must obey Him without question, completely. The welfare of the whole Kingdom rests on our obedience. A soldier acting in their own accord can cause damage to the whole unit.
We want to be good soldiers.
ENDURANCE – 2 Timothy 2:3-4 (see above) Stand no matter what
The Church is not taking the territory that it should be taking because we are not compliant. We must learn to take orders. Often when we are asked to do something we say, “I’ve got to pray about it.” or we say, “I am not feeling led to do this.” If the orders are not immoral or illegal, these excuses are our polite way of not obeying. Sometimes the things we are asked to do seem illogical, but God has a purpose.
Pastor Scales told us that one time during praise and worship, the church was asked to line up, march in a line and march around their parking lot in formation. They marched, and then at a certain point the church was asked to give a loud shout. Later God told Pastor Scales that was the AIR WARFARE, now they were going to do the GROUND WARFARE.
Pastor Scales asked the church to meet at 8:00 on a Saturday in the parking lot. They then went to each of the households in the area where their church was located. When they knocked on the doors they asked if there was any need that could be prayed about. Many people commented that they noticed what happened in the parking lot the previous week. That Sunday there was the biggest altar call the church had. All because of obedience to God.
Pastor Scales then told us that God has given us WEAPONS for our warfare. He covered these in detail but the acronym and it’s meanings is as follows:
W – Word of God
WORD OF GOD: It is in the Temple that the Word of God is released. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness He spoke scriptures to satan – saying “It is written.” At one point satan came back saying, “it is written” but he twisted the scriptures. The devil can quote scriptures, but will twist the meaning. That is why we need to have the Word of God in us. Sometimes when we are in a battle we may not have a Bible with us, so we need to have the Word of God in our hearts so that His words come out of our mouth. We want the Word to come out of our mouths rapid fire, like bullets. The enemy hates the Word of God.
EFFECTIVE PRAYER: James 5:16B …The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Pastor Scales told us that worship and prayer go together – he said it is the harp and bowl. The angels in Revelation poured out the bowls containing the prayers of the saints. We need to keep prayed up, and pray. We should be overflowing in prayer even before we face a battle. Prayer is not something that we just pull out in the midst of the battle when the devil is trying to take you out. It is something that we should be flowing in all the time. Pastor Schambach once said that when the devil slaps him in the face he slaps the devil back. We do not want the devil to be speaking louder than the Church. The devil is a defeated foe.
ARMOR OF GOD: Ephesians 6:12-18 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— We need to keep on the whole Armor of God when we fight our battles. We need the Helmet to keep our thoughts straight and be grounded in Him. We need the breastplate of Righteousness in Christ Jesus. We need our waist girded with Truth – everything we deal with must match up with the Truth. We need our Feet shod with the Shoes of peace – walking in peace, and ready to maintain peace. We need the shield of faith, so that the fiery darts do not come at us, and we need the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
PRAISE OF GOD: We saw in Psalm 149 how important praise is. When we are in tight situations we need to praise our way out of them. Pastor Scales spoke about how he was called to the Intensive Care ward of his local hospital because a woman had given birth to a child, but was dying of infection. Her body systems were shutting down. Pastor Scales was called. Instead of praying or laying hands on her, God told him to praise Him. So Pastor Scales was loudly praising God. He kept worshipping God. He was so loud the nurse came in and he said, he was a pastor and was praising God. The atmosphere in the room changed with the praise of God, then God told him to rebuke the disease. He loudly rebuked the disease – causing the nurse to stick her head in again. Then Pastor Scales went home and slept. The next day he received a call from the hospital that the woman was in a regular ward, eating her breakfast. She had recovered because of the praising of God.
OFFERINGS: Most people groan when they hear a teaching on offerings for they assume it is the pastor trying to get more money. But in reality offerings are a weapon of warfare. Malachi:3:8-11 “ Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the LORD of hosts; Notice that it says that God will REBUKE THE DEVOURER. Offerings are a weapon for rebuking he enemy. How? The devil picks a fight and we can’t win a fight against the devil on our own, he can use our weapons against us. But when we worship God with the offerings He stands between us and the enemy, and He fights our battles for us. The enemy can’t get near us. God will say to the enemy “No, get back, you’ll not have Him.” With the offering we don’t have to do anything, God takes care of it for us. No matter what is going on in the world, we will prosper for we are giving in to the House of God. It is a simple principle of seed time and harvest. A farmer knows that the size of his crop is determined by how much seed he sows. Does he sow a little and receive a small harvest or a lot and receive a huge harvest?
Now where do we tithe? We tithe to the Temple. God knew the importance of this and he had everyone pay a Temple Tax – of half a shekel. This was an amount that even the poorest could pay. A tithe is a financial transaction. When we tithe, we tithe to the house of God. A tithe is not using your money to buy religious books or tapes. If you are paying a mortgage you do not take your mortgage money and use it to pay for using a wash machine in a laundromat – your bank will not accept that use of money as your mortgage payment. If you are making a car payment, you don’t go to Walmart and use it to purchase food. Why should your tithe go to some poor person on the street, or to a store to purchase books, etc. You can give ALMS to a poor person on the street, but not a tithe. You can make offerings to other ministries, but your tithe goes to the house of God that is feeding you spiritually. God declares war against the enemy when we tithe. In these last days things are going to get tight, and we will be under a covenant with God. While we are doing well, those who are not under the covenant will wonder why we have fish and bread when they have none. In the church, when we cannot buy or sell because we don’t have the mark, one person may have an egg, another Jiffy Mix, another a ham hock, another some beans and together we make a huge meal that can feed all in the church. We need to trust God in the tithes and offerings.
NAME OF JESUS: Mark 16:15-18 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Pastor Scales told us that once when he was traveling by plane, they hit turbulence. When the plane was taking a big dive down he did not hear one person shout out buddha, allah, krishna, or any other deity. He did hear a lot of people saying, “Jesus.” It is only through Jesus that we can be saved. We need to SAY THE NAME. Pastor Scales told us that we need to not be so seeker sensitive in our churches, but rather sing praise and worship songs that mention the name of Jesus. Some churches are not saying, “Jesus” because that name offends seekers. When we say the name we get the attention of Heaven, we get the attention of the Earth, and we get the attention beneath the earth.
SPIRIT OF GOD: 1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. The Holy Spirit within us is greater than anything that goes against us in the earth.
In praise we respond to God with thanksgiving, thanking Him for His goodness. Praise is a response to the greatness of God. Worship is a response to the Holiness of God, to the Spirit of God.
We then stood and praised and thanked God, worshipping Him. Some who were dealing with battles in their lives went forward for prayer and release.
Don’t ever feel that the enemy is greater than the weapons God has provided for us.
Praying your day is blessed.
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