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POWER! POWER! POWER!

(An explanation of the front cover by Chris Josephson)

It is interesting that the # 9 appears together three times in our date this year. The number nine is the number of power - a force many spend a lifetime pursuing. "Power struggles" cause a lot of havoc on our planet.

OUR COVER has the nines of this year depicted as musical notes. Music in the Scriptures and in most worship plays a key role. The account in II Chronicles 20 of King Jehoshaphat and his people is a classic example. The enemy was coming against them in great force (Vs. 1&2). Then:

"Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah" (V. 3). Men with their wives and children came from all the cities to seek the Lord (Vs. 5&13). They were led in prayer by the King himself (Vs. 5-12); "And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?" (V. 6)

Then the Spirit of the LORD spoke through Jahaziel, of the musical family Asaph, words of encouragement and instruction (Vs. 15-17).

King Jehoshaphat and all the people bowed in contrition. The Levitical family of Kohath "stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice" (V.19).

STRANGE MILITARY MANEUVER: They rose up early and
marched toward the enemy camp. Jehoshaphat appointed singers "that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army . . . ."

And when they began to sing and praise, the enemy turned a
gainst themselves and "every one helped to destroy another"
(Vs. 21 & 22).

A MODERN EXAMPLE: At the time of the Yom Kippur War in Israel (October 1973) a group of musicians and singers, Gentile believers from Kansas City, arrived in Israel on tour just as the war began. They requested and received permission to go immediately to the front lines to sing, play and encourage the troops. My friend, Ruth Moore, was among them and she told me they never knew fear. Only eternity will tell what part these praisers had in the successful outcome of that war.

"THINE IS THE POWER" The story from the Chronicle account gives example of three channels of "power". (1) The Power of Prayer; (2)
The Power of Prophecy (the spoken Word); and (3) The Power of Praise. Through these the POWER OF GOD brought deliverance to His people.

"...Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s . . . Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you...." (vs. 15 & 17).

Shall we see HIS POWER in 1999? The challenge is to flow with His Spirit and His Word. We are in a warfare today which goes beyond any human instrumentality: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds" (II Cor. 10:4).This war against darkness is not won by our human strength, for the battle is the Lord’s. Our part is to follow His leading.

TAKE THE CLIMB IN ‘99: Jehoshaphat and his men climbed the watch tower and saw the conquered enemy. Each day, in individual spiritual warfare, let us climb to the heights in God’s written Word which He reveals and ignites by His Spirit; then we can behold His ways and His work, and go with Him.