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Worship and Spiritual Warfare

Worship and Spiritual Warfare

Paul Wilbur
Worship as Spiritual Warfare by Paul Wilbur

“Goin’ up to the high places…to tear the devil’s kingdom down!”

This was a big song for Ron Kenoly* during the worship explosion of the 1990s, and many folks used it as their ‘warfare worship’ theme. People would often ask if altitude with regards to sea level really made any difference in effect or authority. I would usually just smile and tell them that I never read about Yeshua (Jesus) running to the top of any mountain to have a better advantage over the powers of darkness. That said, I do remember one day standing at one of the highest points on earth in Quito, Ecuador. All around me stood small stone ‘altars’ covered with blood from some misguided blood sacrifice of small animals; apparently some folks believe altitude affects impact.

Worship and Warfare An Oxymoron

Worship and warfare; quite an oxymoron to some unless it is seen through the eyes of faith and authority. I have seen the exercise of spiritual warfare take many forms and expressions over my nearly five decades of worship leadership, but I have never seen a time when it was needed more. There are many different opinions about what it is, how and when it can be used, how it should be expressed, and more.

For instance, do you need banners and flags to be more effective, how about minor keys, dance, loud volume, shouting, tambourines, and shofars? The key word to me is…AUTHORITY. Yeshua said,

“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” (Matt.28:18-20)

Our Authority in Christ

One of His commands, or signs that we are His disciples is that we would have authority to ‘cast out the kingdom of darkness.’ (Mark 16:17) This then would be the foundation of my understanding in having authority to ‘use His name’ and wage spiritual warfare.

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This warfare is raging in three main dimensions as I see it. First, in the heavenlies; second in the atmosphere, and thirdly on the ground. It is also interesting to me that the number ‘3’ plays a role in this arena. We are a three-fold being made up of body, soul and spirit. Three-in-one if you like. Our soul is said to be comprised of three aspects of our being; the mind, will and emotions. We wage war in these three arenas; the heavenlies, the atmosphere and on the ground, and music is the only element in creation that I know of that ministers to the entire human experience in all three aspects of our lives…all at the same time.

Three Arenas of Spiritual Combat

The three arenas of combat are these; the spirit, the airwaves and the physical realm. Spiritual combat has been going on since the beginning of time. Angels and demons, principalities and powers; this really got heated up when Lucifer was thrown down from heaven with a third of the angels of God, and Lucifer declared that he would ‘set his throne on high, and make himself like the Most High’ (Isaiah 14). I understand from this one statement where the whole mess began and what the warfare is all about…it is a game of thrones. Yeshua owns it, and Satan wants it!

The Media

Another major area of warfare takes place in the media, in the airwaves. This is where music, the spoken word, video, radio, TV, social media platforms and more all come into play to influence the hearts of men and war for the souls of humanity. With the advent of the personal digital era when everyone walks around attached to a digital preaching machine, it is all the more important that we have a major voice and presence here. Minds are constantly being changed and opinions are being shaped and futures are being formed and directed minute by minute on these powerful platforms. We should be major players here, warring for the hearts and minds of men with music and media infused and founded on the Word of God…it is war, and our weapons are not carnal, but they are powerful through God for the pulling down of strongholds (over the minds of people), shifting the atmosphere by provoking the presence of God, and enlisting the help of angels on assignment from God.

We Are The Army

Lastly, we are the troops, the boots on the ground, wielding our instruments and voices, banners and dance, and whatever weapon that heaven has given us to wage war. Be sure to be fully clothed with the armor of God; hold high the shield of faith, strap tightly the helmet of salvation, the belt of truth, the shoes of the gospel and wielding the sword of the Spirit. We do not only play defense, but we also have an effective offense.

Since the horrific holocaust of October 7th, I wear my father’s WWII dog tags as a reminder that we are still in a fierce battle of good and evil, every day. He flew 35 missions in the tail of a B-17 heavy bomber over Nazi Germany during a time when 9 out of 10 ‘ships’ that went up never came back. He was a part of the ‘Bloody 100th’, one of the main bomber groups whose courage and determination helped to change the course of the war. They were out-manned, out-gunned, and ill prepared to face the huge professional war machine of Nazi Germany. The German planes, artillery, and training were second to none, and it was only by the grace of God that the allied forces overcame the evils of Nazism, and my father survived to tell the story.

Our Weapons

So, what are our weapons and how do we survive in this ‘winner takes all’ arena? We have been given an amazing arsenal of weapons, and we are expected to be trained in their use as a good soldier of the Lord. Here’s a few that immediately come to mind…The Word of God; the Blood of the Lamb; the word of our testimony; the anointing that destroys yokes; faith, hope and love; wisdom, humility; the same Spirit that raised Yeshua from the dead; skill (He trains my hands for war); courage (and my fingers for battle); the prophetic, the word of knowledge; Truth; Patience; Angels on assignment, and there’s more! All this armament and provision is to keep us from being ineffective and unproductive as we serve the Lion of the Tribe of Judah in these ‘last days’ battles for the hearts and souls of men and the nations.

“Can you hear it…thunder in the distance; when we worship, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah roars!” Some time ago during a song or a sharing moment I heard a word in the Spirit that really shook me. He said…”No more declarations, without a demonstration!” A huge part of our responsibility as worshipers is to create a space and a place for Him to walk amongst us and be who only HE can be.

Remember; it is always about ‘eternity.’ This is for all the marbles; winner takes all. But this is also very true…“The victory is ours…because the battle is the Lords.”

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