When Napoleon Met Dynamite

by Andy Wood on May 10, 2012

in Esteem, Following Your Passion, Life Currency, LV Cycle

When the armies of Napoleon swept over Europe, one of his generals intended to make an attack on the little town of Feldrich on the Austrian border.  It was Easter, and as Napoleon’s great army maneuvered nearby, the citizens hurried together to decide whether to surrender or to attempt a defense, futile as it seemed the effort would be.

The pastor of the church remarked, “We have been counting on our own strength, and that will fail.  This is the day of our Lord’s resurrection.  Let us ring the bells and have service as usual, and leave the matter in God’s hands.”  The council accepted his plan, and in a few minutes the bells were chiming out joy over their Lord’s resurrection.

Napoleon’s army misunderstood the meaning of the ringing bells, decided they were announcing the arrival of Austrian reinforcements, broke camp and retreated from the area as fast as possible!  God honored those who worshipped the risen Christ even in the presence of possible death, and used their worship to drive away the enemy!

An old book title says it well:  There’s Dynamite in Praise!

If there is any greater untapped resource than prayer among God’s people today, it is praise. It was through praise that the armies of Jehoshaphat conquered the invading armies (2 Chronicles 20).  It is through praise that we are instructed to enter into the presence of God (Psalm 100).  Through the midnight praise of Paul and Silas, (Acts 16:25-26), the prison doors were opened, chains were released, and an entire family was saved.

“Praise is the greatest work God’s children can ever do,” says Watchman Nee.  “It is the loftiest expression the saints can ever show.  The highest manifestation of spiritual life is seen in men praising God.  Though the throne of God is the heart of the universe, it is nonetheless established on the praise of the children of God.  God’s name is exalted through praise.  There is nothing a Christian can offer which surpasses praise.”

An old cliche says that we become like that which we constantly admire.  Nowhere is that more true than in your spiritual life.  If you and I are going to fall in love with the things of God, we must spend quality time in real worship.

I didn’t say church, though that is important.  I said worship.

The words to an old hymn, written by J.S.B. Monsell in the last century, expresses the spirit of true worship.

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
Bow down before Him, His glory proclaim;
Gold of obedience and incense of lowliness
Bring, and adore Him; the Lord is His name!

Low at His feet lay thy burden of carefulness
High on His heart He will bear it for thee,
Comfort thy sorrows, and answer they prayerfulness,
Guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

Fear not to enter His courts, in the slenderness
Of the poor wealth thou canst reckon as thine;
Truth in its beauty and love in its tenderness,
These are the offerings to lay on His shrine.

These though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness,
He will accept for the Name that is dear,
Mornings of joy give for evenings of tearfulness,
Trust for our trembling, and hope for our fear.

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