How we decide who has the highest ground in our battles

I’m working on a series called “The Power of Praise in the Darkness.” This is post #5, and it’s really important that you understand what praise and worship actually are in order to fully understand what I’m talking about here. So please make sure you have read the posts in the series here.  So far we’ve talked about what praise and worship ishow David demonstrated a life of praise and worship, and where life’s most powerful battlefield really is. Now it’s time to put it all together! 


So is praise and worship really all that powerful?  And if it is, how and why is it powerful?  To answer that question, we need to think about an important principle from any battle. 

Whoever has the higher ground has the advantage

Even if you have never been in the military, I’m sure you’re familiar with concept, just from movies. But let’s think about it. 

How many battles throughout history have been fought over a hill or mountain? Both sides know that whomever has the higher ground has a distinct advantage of their enemy, so the battle to gain that hilltop is fierce. What about in medieval times? Castles grew taller so that the defenders could be raised up above any attacking army. The higher the towers got, the easier it was to defend. Right? 

So we can see how whatever has the highest ground will naturally have a more powerful advantage than whatever is coming against it from below.

This is the key

We hold the power to choose who has the highest ground in our battles. We continuously choose it in every moment as we decide what to focus on – what to lift up. 

When we choose to focus on our problems, we lift them up and strengthen the power of that problem in our lives. 

But when we choose to focus on our God and Savior, we give Him the highest ground in our life! 

In that moment, when it looks like disaster is looming, that is the choice and the power that we really hold. 

Do we have the power to change the decision that our employer made, which sure looks like it’s going to make our life even more difficult? No, we don’t. But do we have the power to give that decision and our concerns the highest ground?  Yes, we do! We can look at that decision and say, “You may look big and daunting and disastrous, but I have a God who is bigger and even more intimidating, and He can work anything to my benefit, so I’m going to lift Him up, and give Him the highest ground in this situation, and I’m going to declare that I trust His ability and His love and care for me more than I trust what my own eyes and mind are telling me.” And then we proceed to walk out our faith by praising Him and meditating on His power and His goodness, just as David did over and over and over again! 

Do you see how this is our modern version of what David did against Goliath? David did not bury his head in the sand and pretend that Goliath didn’t exist. That’s false faith. David acknowledged what he was up against as he said, “You come at me with sword and spear.” But then he declared what he knew was greater. “I come at you in the name of Jehovah, the commander of heaven’s armies.” And then he walked out his faith by moving forward in the situation, straight into the face of trouble, declaring the power and faithfulness of God with every step He took

This is why Jesus commanded us not to worry!

He was not giving us some high, hard-to-attain goal that those who are “super-spiritual” can use to demonstrate their godliness (which I’m afraid is how we often portray that verse).

No! He was saying, “Hey, here’s the secret power that you have! Make the decision not to worry! Trust your heavenly Father instead! Focus on Him, and everything else is going to fall into place! This is the key. This is a practical thing that you actually can do, and I promise you that all these things that you’re tempted to worry about – He’s going to take care of them.” 

I love something my brother told me the other day. He said, “Without faith it is impossible to please God. That means that faith is the ONLY thing we can DO to put a smile on God’s face. Crisis is God’s way of giving us an opportunity to please Him. Don’t waste your trials. Every trial is an opportunity to put a smile on God’s face, and He ALWAYS responds to faith.”

But you know, we humans have to do something. We don’t know how to sit back and do nothing… and this is okay because God created us this way. “Faith without works is dead.” We know this instinctively. We say, “So and so says this, but they don’t really believe it, otherwise they would ______.”  Right? 

The Lord has challenged me on this a number of times in my life. On a number of occasions, we were facing a financial dilemma, and I could not see a way out. So of course I asked God to provide, but at the same time the battle in my mind was headed in the wrong direction. I was thinking, “Well, if we can’t pay this, then ____ and we’ll have to ____, so what would be the best choice at that point?”  But then God stopped me. You don’t really believe I’m going to provide, do you? Look at the preparations you’re making. 

God has a way of stopping you right in the middle of your tracks, doesn’t He? 

What else could I do but to repent of my unbelief? So I stopped making those preparations and began focusing on His promises and His faithfulness instead. And every single time that I chose to do that, He proved His faithfulness! Sometimes it was in a way I never could have foreseen. Sometimes it was miraculous provision. Sometimes that mountain just shrank. We can’t put Him in a box and tell Him how He must work. But we can lift Him up and give Him the highest ground in our circumstance and in our life, and then wait expectantly to see what He will do. 

Complaining is another way that we prove our faith. You see, when we complain about a situation, we’re proving that our faith in the power of that circumstance is greater than our faith in God’s ability. When we complain about a person, we’re proving that we believe that person’s faults are more powerful than God’s forgiveness and grace in their life and in our own life. 

This is why God could not take the initial generation of liberated Israelites into the Promised Land. Their constant complaining proved that they did not trust God’s ability to do much of anything for them. They constantly focused on how things looked in the natural and refused to keep their eyes on God’s ability to provide and deliver them. They continually chose to lift up and empower their circumstances, and those repeated choices did not equip them to be the conquerors of the Promised Land! 

What situation are you facing right now? 

May I challenge you? 

Acknowledge the problem. Then set it aside and choose to lift up your Lord and Savior. Praise Him

Pay attention to how much your thoughts are focused on the situation and how much they are focused on God in praise and adoration! 

Remind yourself that He knows all of the various paths through the situation and where they lead, and He knows which one is best. 

Lift Him up more than you lift up your problems! 

Then watch and wait to see what He does in your life! 

Entire list of posts: The Power of Praise in the Darkness

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