A few years ago God brought this wonderful couple to our church, one as the worship pastor and her husband as an associate pastor who works with our Celebrate Recovery and adult ministries. I’ve grown to love and deeply appreciate them both. It wasn’t too long after they’d come that they did a devotion for the choir at a practice. In the devotion they brought out the fact that when Joshua was about to lead the people of Israel into the promise land to first fight Jericho he had the “choir” lead the people into the flood waters of the Jordan River. When the choir stepped into it, the waters parted. They reminded us that we as a choir do the same parting of the raging waters for those who enter the sanctuary each Sunday. Worshiping our great God with singing sets the heart for worship regardless of the storm raging within.
Today as I’m reading about King Jehoshaphat in II Chronicles I see where he was told to prepare for battle by first praising God. God had told Jehoshaphat in II Chronicles 20:15, “… The Lord says this to you: Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” Then in verse 21 it says, “… he appointed singers to sing to the Lord and praise Him in their holy garments as they went out before the army, saying, Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and loving kindness endure forever!” Vs 22 goes on to say, “And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the men of Ammon, Moab, and the Mount Seir who had come against Judah….”
As I read and processed all of this, this morning I was nudged to thank God for the opportunity to serve Him through the torment of my past childhood. In fact, as I began to do this I then was nudged to thank Him for the very torment. Without it I would never know the heart I know today. I would not know the heart that understands the wounded from abuse, the fearful soldier who thinks he is less than any other soldier around him, the person still trying to work their way into worthiness, the man or woman who seemingly runs to their present sins repeating those sins done to them. God wants us to use our past for His Kingdom Work. In surrendering all I tried to hide, God now wants it used for Him. How miraculous is this God we serve! Most importantly, I’m learning to do all of this in song and praise.