by Belinda V. Kuhn
As a worship leader, I often extend the invitation to "Come and praise Jesus" and, just
as often, get the reaction of faces staring back at me like animals frozen in my
headlights. What follows next is comparable to waking up a sleepy teenager on
Saturday morning as the music team attempts to stir souls into expressing their
Why is it so difficult to enter into worship? Why it is difficult to voice our praise, give
thanks or even to focus our attention on God? One of those reasons may be that
worship is an old battleground and that there is unseen resistance to our praising God.
Several years ago, on a summer mission outreach in Prague, Czech Republic, this
resistance became very visible…
Our team’s objective was clear: to lift up the name of Jesus in the city. Each
day we asked God to show us how we could exalt His name. So it was that one
afternoon all nineteen of us zigzagged through the city streets, praying and singing
As I led our convoy, flanked by the four young children in our team, I suddenly saw a
very dark character ahead: an artist who painted devil paintings. I was concerned for
our kids and kept my eye on him as we approached. While we were still out of earshot
I suddenly saw a most amazing display - the man looked towards us and then bowed,
covering his eyes and ears until we passed by! What I saw and will never forget was a
visible demonstration of what was taking place in the unseen spiritual realm – the
forces of darkness in his soul were bowing before the presence of Jesus!
Since that day I have sought to gain a greater understanding of the power of our
worship through studying the Scriptures.
In the Bible we can read about the Ark of the Covenant as an visible example of what is
actually taking place in the heavenly realms, or the unseen world (Hebrews 8:5; 9:23,
24). On top of the Ark (Hebrews 9:5), the presence of Almighty God is encircled by
special angels called “cherubim” (Exodus 25:22) whose purpose it was to worship God
and to lead the heavenly host in worship. (Rev.4: 6-11)
One of these cherubim ‘worship leaders’ was Lucifer. (Isa.14:12-14; Ezek 28:12-19).
Being so close to God’s glory night and day, Lucifer made a fateful decision when pride
rose in his heart - he wanted to be worshipped and was able to persuade at least onethird
of the angels into idolatry (Rev.12:4). Consequently, the other two-thirds of all
created angels, led by Michael the archangel, threw Lucifer and his minions out of
heaven (Rev.12:9). Now there were thousands upon thousands of fallen angels exiled
to earth, committed to worship Satan, and Satan planned his revenge.
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were created to be in loving relationship with
God and to worship Him (Genesis 1:26, 27). God gave them a free will, so they could
freely choose to obey and love Him. This is the prototype of God's design for love –
unconditionally giving your heart to another.
God also delegated some of His authority to Adam & Eve to rule the earth He had
created for them. As long as they lived in right relationship with Him, they remained
under His protection.
Satan’s diabolical plan was to tempt Adam and Eve into disobeying God and in that
way he would obtain a legal right to gain some of their God-given authority and even, if
possible, their allegiance. In Genesis three, we read the tragic story of how Adam and
Eve disobeyed God and came into Satan's clutches. Sin entered the heart of man
and caused a separation in his relationship with God.
Much as we like to think that we could have passed that same test, our daily lives
prove otherwise. The devil is constantly enticing us to choose against God by being
selfish and serving his purposes. We cannot worship both, as the angels found out
long ago. Our choice to love and obey God is at the core of worshipping Him.
Knowing all this, we can clearly see what unseen forces are truly at work when we
intend to express love and praise to God. The enemy is resisting us, trying to silence us
or make us apathetic. Our choice to worship God, to lift up our voice and our hands
and whatever else we need to in expressions of love will defeat Satan's forces in our
lives… and often in the lives of those around us.
Praising God is the act that silences the powers of darkness around us, because we
bow to the truth that Jesus is Lord!