- Tiffany Butler
I guess I've always been a fighter.
Before I was born I fought for my life, right after I was born I fought again, and ever since I have been fighting each day. Most days the fights are personal and other times much larger as God directs me to fight for people, cities, and nations. My main weapons have been worship, intercession, prophetic declaration, relationship, and rest. Balance in all of these are necessary but for me, worship has been my go-to and most effective tool in battle.
As I write this I'm reminded of the recent fight between UFC's Conor McGregor and the Heavyweight champion of the world, Floyd Mayweather. Of course I cheered for the underdog. Thinking back, my Dad, who has now passed on, wouldn't have believed I even watched it! He used to make me watch boxing back in the day so I could sit at the helm of the TV to change the channel for him when the commercials came on. I hated watching boxing. "I'm a lover," I said. "Fighting is for barbarians!" Since those days as a child, God has been teaching me much about fighting, about choosing to get up day after day in the midst of trials and keep going, about the need to keep believing for mine and other's families, for cities and nations, right in the battlefield when the hits keep coming. He's taught me to never take my eyes off of Him or the hits come harder, faster, and seemingly out of the blue. I'm pretty sure that's a boxing rule - keep your eyes open always but for us our eyes are focussed on our Advocate not our opponent.
I know McGregor put up a great fight but Mayweather was well-trained and well-versed in boxing in the ring. Just like McGregor, we too need to be well-trained for the giant that faces us and even in the times where it seems that we have lost the fight, we need to get up and keep fighting because we are overcomers. One of the best places God teaches us how to fight the enemy is in His word. One of my favorite portions of scriptures reveals an awesome strategy related to this. In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah, appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army in battle. I think some of us have read that many times, but wait, get a visual for this. The King choose a band of creatives and musicians (you know the swirly types) to go out ahead of his best trained combat warriors. When I think of this I think of the cast of a high school musical being told to go out ahead of the football team jocks to win the final touch-down in the biggest game of their lives. In reality it doesn't make much sense but in God's upside-down Kingdom it does. The result was their enemies got confused and turned against each other. Not only was the battle won but the men of Judah spent 3 days collecting the spoils of war afterwards.
In Psalm 22:3 it says "But You are holy, O You who are enthroned in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered]." Get this, the Creator of the Universe actually dwells in our praises! The Hebrew word for enthroned is yashab meaning to sit down (specifically as judge in ambush, in quiet); by implication, to dwell, to remain, and to inhabit. I don't know about you but when I go to battle I want the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the Judge who can overturn verdicts to sit down in ambush and remain and inhabit my songs of worship to Him. When we worship and praise, His presence comes in such a way that battles can't help but be won because HE does it. His presence heals, delivers, saves, and breaks through because HE is the Healer, the Deliverer, the Savior, and the Breaker. All we have to do is fall in love and love Him well like one of the Bible's greatest fighters and lovers ever, King David.
Just like David wrote about in the Psalms, our high praises open up the heavens and His presence comes and pushes back darkness and shifts the atmosphere over people and places. Connecting with God shifts our thinking and transforms our thoughts. When we fight this way, He comes and beautifies us with salvation. Holy Spirit comes and saves. Check out Psalm 149:
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.
Let the saints be joyful in glory;
Let them sing aloud on their beds.
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!
Feeling like you're in a battle you can't win? Sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp! Praise His Name with the dance! Be abandoned in worship like David was when he danced with such passion and zeal for God that even his wife hated him for it. His wife may have hated him for it but God sure didn't. As a result God gave David continual victory over cities as he continued to prioritize the Lord's presence and keep his heart right.
Many times in my life I have felt enchained by the enemy like David did throughout his lifetime, but God has shown me His suddenlies when the sound of my praise is released and prison doors are opened and chains loosed (Acts 16). This last battle hasn't taken me out. I choose to fight through adversity like a champion. Thanks Conor.
“I see what you’ve done. Now see what I’ve done. I’ve opened a door before you that no one can slam shut. You don’t have much strength, I know that; you used what you had to keep my Word. You didn’t deny me when times were rough."