Breakthrough worship in lockdown
Various studies have confirmed the negative impact that lockdowns have had on our mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was even a study in South Africa that tracked the dip in happiness levels of the population during the pandemic versus before the pandemic. These confirm that we need a break! In fact, we need a breakthrough – the kind that can come through worship.
Wherever the people of God worship, divine power flows to penetrate the darkness and counterattack the operations of hell. Because, when sin entered the world, man not only lost fellowship with God but also partnership and dominion. God intended for man to rule over the earth, but instead man gave his rule and dominion to the Prince of Darkness. At the Cross, God restored that rulership through Jesus Christ and broke the powers of hell. Now, where worship is released, God’s presence abides, and his power and rule are established in us and flows through us to others.
So what does this have to do with overcoming depressive thoughts during the lockdown? Well, wherever God’s presence is, there will be power, and we invite His presence through our worship. You see, music is spiritual in nature and it facilitates worship. What we listen to and sing can either create an atmosphere of breakthrough or bondage.
We should worship God in the places where the enemy has come against us, whether in our homes over the no-movement periods or in places of work. When we engage in praise and worship, the Lord God often brings a breakthrough in our lives and the hindrances to our blessings are removed. Judah experienced their breakthrough in 2 Chronicles 20, when, as they worshipped, God brought victory, deliverance, and freedom. Similarly, as we worship, God comes and changes our circumstances.
In worship, we will be realigned, refreshed and refuelled. We’ll find unspeakable joy and indescribable peace. We’ll discover the breakthrough strength of God, which enables us to walk in the truth, live in His presence and see Him fight our battles for us. For this breakthrough to manifest, there is an attitude we must adopt that creates the opportunity for God to move in power in our circumstances.
Acts 16 teaches us about this kind of breakthrough. Here, Paul and Silas were unjustly arrested because they had cast a demonic spirit out of a girl, operating under its influence. When they did that, those who made money off this girl had Paul and Silas arrested, beaten and thrown into prison. “After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully … 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:23, 25 (NIV)
This attitude is one we must adopt in our own lockdown experience. While in prison Paul and Silas suffered severe beatings, and they were fastened in stocks which clamped their arms and legs in an immobile position. The atmosphere was depressing; the pain from the beatings in their bodies was likely unbearable. In this dark, damp, stench-ridden dungeon, we see their example of breakthrough worship.
This happened next: “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.” Acts 16:26 (NIV). Release your own praise and worship in lockdown to break the chains of depression and heaviness!
Next week, we will look deeper at what were the elements involved in this breakthrough praise and worship.