I’m a words person. I love words, deeply value them even. So it’s no surprise to me that the Lord most often speaks to me through a specific word or phrase. Let me explain.
Years ago, I remember a moment of sitting down with the Lord and praying, “Lord, speak to me whatever specific word(s) you have for me.”
A simple prayer, but one that unleashed the voice of the Lord in my life in a new way. Each year, the Lord gives me a specific word or words for the journey ahead. I guess you could call it the “theme” of my year–it becomes the thing I lean into and continue to ask the Lord to unpack as I journey with Him. And faithfully, He does.
At the start of 2019, I began the new year as I always do, sitting with the Lord, journal in hand asking Him, “What do you want to speak over this year?”
The phrase He spoke: “Miracles inhabit the praises of My people.”
Sometimes the words sound so fluffy or out of reach to me, I’m not quite sure what to do with them. But, always, I write them down and ask the Lord to keep unpacking what He wants me to learn.
“Kristy, this will be a year of walking in the miraculous as you learn to praise Me.”
Still unsure what to do with the phrase that was spoken, I wrote it out on another piece of paper and placed it on the wall in my room where I would daily see and be reminded of it.
Not long after this moment with the Lord, I decided to dive headfirst into the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho. If you spent any time in a Sunday school class as a kid, you’ve likely heard it, learned the song, or seen the infamous Veggie Tales version.
“You’ll never get over this wall, tiny pickle!”
To recap, the story is about the Israelites whom the Lord delivered from slavery under the hands of the Egyptians. They had been wandering in the desert for forty years, complaining and grumbling about their circumstances–forgetting the miraculous way the Lord had delivered and protected them. Now they stood staring at Jericho, a fortified city standing in their way of taking possession of the land that was promised to them.
There in front of the barred gates and giant wall, the Lord instructed Joshua:
“March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”(Joshua 6:3-5, NIV)
Sitting there on my bed reading that familiar story, I looked up at my wall to see the phrase the Lord had spoken written on the paper hanging there.
“Kristy,” came the Lord’s voice, “the weight of your praise gives way to miracles.”
In this story of the Battle of Jericho, the peoples’ praise of the Lord precedes the miraculous. It’s as if the weight of their praises unleash something in the heavenly kingdom, something that can no longer be contained. And the weight of that praise collapses the wall surrounding the city!
Soon after re-reading this story, I came across the most recently released album of Bryan & Katie Torwalt titled “Praise Before My Breakthrough.” Giving the album a listen (one I highly recommend), I began journaling…
Kristy, what if you praised the Lord now for the things you’ve not yet seen but believe He will do? What does it look like to live a life of praise before your breakthrough?
As this 2019 year has seemed to quickly come and mostly go, I’ve been amazed to look back on it and realize all the Lord has done–it’s truly been miraculous! Things that have happened that on paper seemed impossible. Forward movement on things we were told would never happen. Doors opened that we never even knocked on, but the Lord swung them wide as an answer to a question we hadn’t yet asked!
Our worship of the Lord, our thank you Father, our praise before our breakthrough have ushered the way for the miraculous to come again and again. The weight of our praise crushing the walls we see in front of us.
We are a people who can both see and walk in the miraculous even today! It’s not something that could only be experienced in “biblical times.” We’re in those times still! The Word of God is alive and active. What He did then, He still does today!
“Miracles inhabit the praises of My people.”
So let’s be a people of praise and watch and see what the Lord will do!