Archive for August, 2012

Praise and Breakthrough

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad. Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually. Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth. 1 Chronicles 16:8-12

When Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was afraid he sought the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:3). When we see an alarming situation or a terrible circumstance, our minds want to fixate on it instead of turning our attention to seek the Lord. But as we worship God, breakthrough happens. Like He did for the people of Judah, God will set up ambushes against your enemy (2 Chronicles 20:22).

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4, 6-7

What do you do when you feel discouraged? You can choose to wear the spirit of heaviness, or you can throw that off and put on a garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3). You may have been bombarded again and again in the same area. Your battle may have intensified exponentially in recent days. But instead of being overcome by your circumstances, you can actually sing, pray, and worship your way to victory.

But the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. Daniel 11:32b NKJV

Praise and worship remind us how faithful our God is. As you draw near to God, strength comes into your spirit. When you praise and worship God, darkness is pushed back, anxiety dissipates, and things change. Remember: you can face whatever it is you’re dealing with—because the battle is not yours but the Lord’s (2 Chronicles 20:17) and He will bring the breakthrough!

“Praise is the best auxiliary to prayer. He who most bears in mind what has been done for him by God will be most emboldened to ask for fresh gifts from above.” —Henry Melvill

God bless you,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2012 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

It’s God’s Battle

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Thus says the Lord to you, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15b

Are we ever going to learn that last line? How often do we try to take the battle back into our own hands! Our God is a warrior and has a plan for this whole universe. He knows more about the future than we do about the past, and He is worthy of our trust.

When Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, learned that his enemy was about to attack him on three fronts, he sought God. Instead of dwelling on all the problems, he deliberately focused on how big and great God is: “O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You” (2 Chronicles 20:6).

Then Jehoshaphat did something unprecedented in military history: He put praise-and-worshipers on the front line of battle.

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. 2 Chronicles 20:21b-22 NKJV

While they were worshiping God, the enemy was defeated! God is telling us something about the power of seeking Him: Your flesh may loathe praising God when you are going through a struggle, but that is right where you’ll find the solution.

As Jehoshaphat sought God, he declared, “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on You” (2 Chronicles 20:12b). So gaze at God and only glance at your problems. Rededicate yourself to reading the Word, where you’ll see the faithfulness of God through the ages. Pull up breakthrough moments in your past and write them down.

“Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17b). You can face tomorrow with confidence because the forever-faithful God is with you!

Press on,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2012 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Overcoming In The Midnight Hour

Monday, August 13th, 2012

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. Acts 16:25-26

There is power in praising God—chains come loose and situations change. Paul and Silas were put in a dark and rough situation. Instead of yielding to fear and caving to self-pity, they lifted their voices and prayed and praised God out loud. Like Paul and Silas, every follower of Jesus is called to be a praiser, to have songs of deliverance and victory.

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. Psalm 32:7

This may be your midnight hour. Your mind might feel so numb that you can’t figure out any strategies for moving forward. But it’s worth it to fight through the numbness. How? Read the Word, pray, sing praises, and declare victory over the situation. There is a beginning, middle, and end to the battles you’re facing. The bottom line is that God always causes us to triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14).

The world around you is looking to see how you are going to react in tough situations. The voice of your praise is a tribute to a faithful God and makes Him known to others. The prisoners were listening to Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25), and the jailer (and his entire family!) got saved as a result of his encounter with them.

During dark times, it can be tempting to murmur or to enter into fear. Instead, acknowledge that you are called by God (2 Timothy 1:9), that He has restored authority to you in the name of Jesus (Luke 10:19), and that when you draw near to Him in worship and praise you can expect breakthrough in your life (Psalm 100:4-5).

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. Psalm 42:5

Press on,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

Copyright © 2012 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Nothing Is Too Difficult For God

Monday, August 6th, 2012

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7

Expectancy—anticipating that God will show up in your circumstances—is not manufactured by our energies as much as it is a by-product of God’s presence. God created you for this time and He put gifts in you for a purpose. As you keep your eyes on Him and pray and daily draw close to Him you will see greater fruitfulness and results in every area of your life.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3

When you feel like your brain has gone flat, draw near to God afresh. He is abundantly available to help in tight places (Psalm 46:1). His Word is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Read the Psalms when you are going through battles, read Proverbs when you need wisdom, go through the Gospels to see Jesus’ character, read the Epistles to learn the amazing provision of redemption.

You can confidently follow God because He always leads us in the truth (John 16:13). He has a guidance system that is way better than a GPS, and He will never lead you over a cliff or into a ditch.

Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You. Jeremiah 32:17

You actually can do what God has called you to do. You can be the parent, business owner, worker, and friend that God has called you to be. You can be the steady Christian and the fruit-bearer and impact-maker in your world. When you get around Jesus, He stabilizes things. When you get around Jesus, the possibility for healing, miracles, and change is exponentially multiplied. Trust Him fearlessly. There is nothing too difficult for Him.

Press on,
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®

“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.” —C.S. Lewis*

Copyright © 2012 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. * Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer Copyright © 1964, 1963 by C.S. Lewis PTE Limited.