The “shout” is a tool God has given us. In Part 1 of this two part series I talked about how it helps us live a victorious Christian life, defeat the devil and accomplish the purpose and destiny God has planned for our lives. It is not the only tool we have been given, but it is definitely one of the tools we must learn to use. I encourage you to read Part 1, but by way of short review, it covered three circumstances or situations from the Bible where the shout was used to obtain such a victory:
- Shout when you have the victory. This is the easy one. The shout is a way to praise God for giving us the victory.
- Shout when you need the victory. When it seems the devil’s winning, and he’s taking your joy and draining your energy, the shout turns the momentum in your favor.
- Shout when you need to encourage/help yourself. Shouting and crying out to the Lord is a good way to remind yourself and the devil of who is on your side—God Himself.
Now in Part 2, let’s cover three more circumstances where the shout is used in the Bible. In doing so, we will be building the case for the shout as a formidable tool in our toolbox.
- Shout when you need to be heard. In Matthew 20:29-34, we find the story of two blind men sitting by the roadside who had heard that Jesus was going by. They shouted “Lord, son of David, have mercy on us.” The crowd told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder. Jesus stopped and asked what He could do for them. They asked for and immediately received their sight.
These men had heard of Jesus’ miracle working power. They were desperate to not only gain their sight, but also knew this might be their only opportunity to encounter the one they had heard could help them- Jesus, the son of God. They were not going to miss their chance. People around them tried to quiet them; they tried to tell them there was no hope. They said the men should accept their lot, not try to change it, and keep quiet. Those gathered were trying to see and hear Jesus; the two men needed to be more reverent and respectful. Perhaps they were saying the local style or the flow is a bit more conservative, please control your enthusiasm. But the men only grew more desperate. They believed Jesus was their only answer and hope, and this was their only shot. They shouted all the louder so He would not pass them by. Jesus knew their faith was great by the volume of their shout, and granted their miracle. He heard their cry. Shout when you need to be heard.
- Shout when you need to scare or chase away the threat or opponent. My wife and I enjoy hiking in the mountains. The forest rangers encourage us to talk loudly, sing and make a lot of noise when walking through bear country to alert the bear we are coming. So long as we are not hiking with raw meat in our back packs, this is the best measure to keep the bears away. The last thing we want to do is to walk up on a bear and surprise it, or get between a momma bear and her cub. If we were to walk up on a bear, we were told to make ourselves stand as tall as possible and yell (shout) loudly.
In 1 Samuel 4:4-8, we learn that when the ark of the Lord (the presence of the Lord) came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. Their enemies, the Philistines, were camped nearby, having just handed Israel a stinging defeat. The Israelites had hoped to rally their troops and turn the outcome of the battle by bringing the ark into the camp. When the Philistines heard the shout, and felt the ground shake from the roar, they concluded (v.7) “A god has come into the camp…we’re in trouble! Nothing like this has happened before. Woe to us!” To shout when one is challenged or threatened is almost instinctive. The purpose is to scare the threat away. It is a God-given tool.
- Shout when help arrives/when the Lord comes. The shout occurs naturally when an important person walks into the room. One year, our company held a partner’s meeting in the newest and nicest hotel in Dallas. We were advised to wear a suit and tie, as pictures would be made following the meeting. We gathered in the auditorium of the hotel, drinking coffee and waiting for the first session to begin. Suddenly, the doors at the back of the auditorium burst open, and a group of men in dark suits wearing shades and talking into their coat lapels started down the aisle, followed by the President of the United States. Instantly, the whole atmosphere of the meeting changed. We burst into a shout and applause to welcome this important person to our meeting. He had come at the invitation of our senior partner, who was a significant contributor to the political party. For the next hour, we sat before the President, and were afforded the opportunity to ask him questions, and hear his informal answers. The press was not present. I will never forget the instinctive reaction to shout when an important person walks into the room.
When Jesus comes down again from heaven to rule and reign on this earth, as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, He will come “with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.” He does not come unnoticed or unannounced. His arrival is marked with a loud command (shout), and the booming voice of the archangel, and a blast of the trumpet. So it is when an important person arrives, and it is natural and instinctive.
If you only remember one thing from this article and the one preceding it, I encourage you to remember this: Jesus comes in the shout. When He steps into your life, into your circumstances, and into your heart, everything changes. The atmosphere changes, and so does the outcome. Your life has been changed. Help is here. Victory is here. His kingdom is here. The devil’s work is defeated. This is something to shout about.
I want to conclude this series on the shout with a story. My wife and I had traveled with our pastor to Kenya in 2009 to teach and preach at a week-long church leaders and pastors’ conference. Kenya and East Africa were in a two year drought. The agricultural economy was shut down, and food was scarce. Corn (what they call maize) was a staple, but the corn stalks everywhere were brown and dead. Fruit and fresh vegetables of all types sold or were traded in the local market, but there were no bananas on the trees this trip. Rice normally grew in the mountain valleys where the rivers flowed, but the rivers were dry. People were dying, as were the wild animals and livestock.
I had taught part of this series on the shout at one of my morning conference sessions with the men, and had promised them we would finish it after lunch. During lunch, the Lord spoke to me and said to have the men shout for rain. I told my interpreter what we would do, but he said he did not think the men would shout, as they were of a “bit more conservative style.” I had to obey the Lord. I finished the teaching on the shout after lunch, then told the men we would shout for rain. On the count of three, they eagerly let out a shout that was heard all over the boys’ school campus where the conference was being held. I don’t know how long they shouted, but it lasted several minutes. They stood in their chairs and shouted a deafening roar that left everyone hoarse and out of breath. The room vibrated. They were literally shouting for their lives, and the lives of their families and friends. I could feel the power in the release of their shout.
Nothing happened, although a few drops of rain fell later that afternoon when we went down to the nearby village for evangelistic outreach. A few more drops fell on the last day we were in Kenya, the night before we boarded the plane. It was late August when we went back to the U.S. Then in December, the report came the drought had broken. They had much rain. They knew, and I knew, Jesus had heard their shout. They were desperate, and this was their time to change the outcome by shouting (crying) out to the Lord who was present in their conference. Drought, hunger, poverty and death were defeated by the power of their shout.
Shout when you have the victory. Shout when you need the victory. Shout when you need to encourage yourself. Shout when you need to be heard. Shout when you need to chase away the threat. Shout when the Lord comes. Isaiah 26:19 says “But your dead will live, their bodies will rise…wake up and shout for joy.”