Recently a group of men in my church sang during our annual Thanksgiving service. One of them had decided to organize a group of men to simply come up front and lead our congregation in praise to God. He choose two songs: “O Worship the King” (with) “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” & “Holy, Holy, Holy” (with) “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts.” At least 15 men stood there facing the congregation, joyfully singing to the Lord. That time of worship seemed angelic.
The experience prompted me wonder about the battle going on in the spiritual realm. Our archenemy, Satan, and all his demonic forces do not want to be reminded of the throne room in heaven, where the worship of the Lamb is taking place. Heartfelt worship reminds the forces of evil of their defeat. The new song in heaven declares, “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10). When a group of men committed to Jesus sing in unison from their hearts, the spell of the illusionary lie of evil is broken. The spiritual air is cleared and Jesus’ reign is actualized in the hearts of those in worship.
As we sang, I thought of the large “Promise Keepers” events I attended at the old Metrodome in Minneapolis. A spiritual presence gave men permission and motivation to sing heartfelt praises to God. It was truly inspiring to be caught up in praise to our Lord in a stadium built for sports team. In that moment it became a sanctuary of praise to the Lord, as men “let loose” with praise to the Lord. It felt like are large spiritual pep rally, where men were preparing for battle.
I thought of the spiritual battle we face in our nation at this time. I remembered King Jehoshaphat, who appointed men to go out ahead of the army, praising God as they went into battle against Ammon and Moab. They sang, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” II Chronicles 20:22 tells us, “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” Earlier the king had been told in a message from the Lord, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s… Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you” (II Chron. 20:15-16).
I wondered about our experience as men in church singing “unfettered” before the Lord. By this I mean men oblivious to cultural restraints from voices implying that anything masculine is toxic. The negative feminine voice is silenced by the unified voice of men lifting their voices to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. On this occasion a group of ordinary men stood before a community of fellow believers, declaring in a strong, unified voice that God reigns. It was a powerful declaration.
In Revelation 4-5, we have an image of the throne room in heaven, with high praise being offered to the Lamb of God. After the four living creatures, the next to be mentioned were 24 elders, representing the church. These were men laying down their crowns before the throne. They sang, “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9).