Provoking Supernatural Intervention
When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.Psalm 126:1
In his book Light Steps, Timothy Bowes reports the story of citizens of Feldkirch, Austria. Surrounded by Napoleon’s massive army, the people of this small town, with political annihilation staring them in the face, had two options: Defend themselves against invasion or display the white flag of surrender. Incidentally, it was Easter Sunday and the inhabitants of the city had gathered in church. The pastor, addressing his fear-stricken congregation, said: “Friends, we have been counting on our own strength, and apparently that has failed. As this is the day of our Lord’s resurrection, let us ring the bells, have our services as usual and leave the matter in His hands. The people, accepting this plan, rose and rang the church bells in praise and worship. Hearing the sudden peal, the enemy camp concluded that the Austrian army had arrived during the night to defend the town. And before the service ended, they broke their battle stations and fled the scene.
Imagine the people trickling out of church, with shoulders slouched in resignation, only to discover that the battle had been brought to a sudden end. Undoubtedly, such thorough and astonishing victory defied rational explanation.
Interestingly, the people of Israel, thousands of years ago, experienced a turnaround in events that also defied human explanation. The psalmist, capturing that moment in history, said:
“When the Lord turned around our captivity, we were like them that dream.”
But if history is anything to go by, we can conclude that the Christian journey, though saddled with many challenges, is often filled with sudden, astonishing victories. This was the case with two Jewish evangelists. Locked away in prison, feet bound in shackles, these two men, Paul and Silas, in the thick of night, began to pray and sing. We follow the scene as an earthquake shakes the foundations of the prison walls, breaking the chains and opening the doors.
And the Bible is replete with such men and women who confronted opposition with praise on their lips. Remember the striking story of King Jehoshaphat, at one time surrounded by vicious enemy armies. His strategy for battle was to send the worshippers ahead to lead the people in praise. The result was a sweeping victory that turned the enemies against each other.
The gospel artiste, Marvin Sapp, wrote: “I’ve had my share of ups and downs, times when there was no one around, God came and spoke these words to me, praise will confuse the enemy.”
In the face of crisis and hardship, the human inclination is to surrender to fear. But there is a better way-you can respond with thanksgiving. You can embrace prayer. Creating room for the presence of God will always pave away out of the darkness. Your praise will inevitably lead to joy, and the joy of the Lord is your strength.
So this month, if there is anything to keep in mind, it is that God will fight for you. He will bring the plans of the enemy to nothing. You will not be ashamed. You will not be defeated. It is time for a turnaround in Jesus name.
-Pastor Taiwo Odukoya