"Welcome to this page devoted to Embracing True Worship in the Church. I pray the Scriptures shared below, as well as the personal worship ministry experiences, will encourage us as believers to embrace
Five Scriptural Steps Toward Worship in Spirit and Truth.
With Holy Spirit's help, together let's faithfully
1) Respond to the Father
2) Surrender at the Cross
3) Walk in the Spirit
4) Abide in His Word and Truth
5) Love and Carry His Holy Presence!
Overall, I believe as we take these steps toward becoming true worshipers, the American Church has an opportunity to reorient itself back to
1) Worship as the Chief End of the Church;
2) Love as the Building Block of Our Christian Communities;
3) The Defeat of our Common Enemy the Devil;
4) Increased Faith, Trust and Obedience of the Lord;
5) Restored Integrity of our Witness for the Lord!
As we fulfill our calling to be true worshipers in greater measure, God's Spirit often allows a River of Life and Healing to flow from the Throne Room of God. His glory increasingly covers the earth. His reign is made manifest here on earth as it is in heaven!
God's people find joy in coming into the Father's presence together.
They begin to sing one another's songs with thanksgiving in their hearts, reflecting our magnificent Lord through richer, deeper, broader expressions of worship.
A Forever Family of Faith begins to appear with several generations, races and cultures worshiping the Lord together.
Chains and bondages are broken and people and church communities are healed.
The glory of the Lord begins to shine and Holy Spirit draws men, women and children to Himself.
Knowing and fulfilling our calling allows the Waters of Life to flow as Jesus opens the Floodgates of Heaven.
Suddenly, our committee room discussions turn from wringing our hands in worry over attendance numbers to celebrating the manifest glorious riches of God.
But I believe all the true blessings of Christ begin with praying on our knees, worshiping Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
Jesus tells us "A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Let's bless our God and obediently take steps to becoming true worshipers of the Lord, not just personally but also corporately together as His Bride. Jesus Himself is leading us to the Threshold of Glory! Hallelujah!
*Clicking on the Scripture verses will allow further study of them in the Word.
*Most importantly, if you don't know Jesus as your Savior, commit your life to Him! He is the only Way, Truth and the Life for we who are perishing.
My dear friend Jerry has outlined wonderful truths about salvation through Christ alone at https://www.savedbygracealone.org/ Please allow his ministry to be a blessing to yourself or others.
*Thank you for your partnership in this endeavor through prayer or however you are led.
*Rose's experiences and convictions have come from the Lord through years of seeking to serve Him both successfully and with plenty of mistakes. They're not necessarily the convictions of every believer...yet :), but most importantly exist here to be an encouragement in our personal and corporate steps toward becoming true worshipers of the Lord together!
To God be the Glory!
1. Respond to the Father's
Grace & Glory!
We come at Your invitation, O Lord! You have called us by Your Grace into Your Holy Presence! Hallelujah!
"Sing to the Lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!"
“Forgive all our sins, O Lord, and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips!" ~ Hosea 14:2
Give glory to the Lord your God before He brings the darkness, before your feet stumble on the darkening hills. You hope for light, but he will turn it to utter darkness and change it to deep gloom. If you do not listen, I will weep in secret because of your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly, overflowing with tears, because the Lord’s flock will be taken captive!" ~ Jeremiah 13:16-17
"Give us this day our daily bread!"
~ Matthew 6:11
2. Surrender at the Cross - Together!
This is such a remarkable scripture verse.
Do we really believe it's true?
Are we living in the power of the cross? Are we following His ways and example of life through the Cross ?
A.W. Tozer reminds us "The cross stands high above the opinions of men and to that cross all opinions must come at last for judgment."
If so, we take seriously the Calling of the Cross in our personal and corporate lives!
The American Church loves to praise the Lord and Come to the Father, but it has largely ignored the Calling of the Cross, God's Second Commandment.
Dear Church Leaders, Musicians and Congregants, it is time we committed to taking a next step toward Worship in Spirit and in Truth.
We must Surrender at the Cross of Christ Together in Love!
Jesus commands it, the Father seeks it, the Scriptures confirm it and we need Holy Spirits help to listen and obey.
What might this Love and laying down of our lives for each other
look like in the American Church?
Loving One Another - A God-Given Calling to be Lived Inside the Church!
Living for the good of others is an Act of Worship as important as loving the Lord our God. Wow, really!? Accepting and living out that truth might just shake a lot of things up in our Christian lives!
Are we committed, ready and willing?
If we whole-heartedly believe we must sing out our Love for the Lord with hands raised and music playing in our churches, are we also as passionate about making sure those in the seat next to us feel fully loved, edified, healed and lifted up by us?
Some Transformational Considerations for Believers:
1. Could our love for one another within the Church be a test from the Lord as to the integrity of our love for Him? As believers, congregations and church leaders, can we honesty say we've been fervently seeking to love each other?
This is direct, but if church leaders can preach and expect congregants to grow in love, would not the Lord also provide opportunities for them to model and lead in Love?
Wouldn't Love of Others have to be modeled and exemplified through the decisions, priorities and cultures of our churches from the very top down?
If our decisions deliberately dismiss and sideline segments of our congregations or individuals in our midst, would not our ministries be built on a false gospel? Are we deceiving ourselves? If we have not Love, might our ministries and efforts become pale, tasteless and ultimately misguided?
If we neglect the Second Commandment, might we soon reflect the things of this world more than the Bride of Christ? Might we begin to look and act like social clubs or consumer-driven businesses more than a reflection of our Lord?
2. Worship Leaders and Musicians, would not the Lord desire Love of God and One Another in our ministries before we will be considered credible witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
If we have not Love, might our efforts ultimately come to nothing and be judged as hay and stubble?
Here's a hard question for each of us to consider.
Musicians, in the name of "worship" and "loving God" have we ever destroyed another believer's life and heart just so we could sing the song WE want so "WE can love God more fully and experientially?"
The American Church has nurtured a church culture where worship of God is run by personal preferences and "personal needs." I believe we have often deceived ourselves and possibly the Love of God is not really in us.
Dear Modern Church Worship Pastors and Church Leaders, for too long the American Church has often been more concerned about growing and becoming like the large competing ministry down the street. We have often forgotten the importance of humbly loving and serving the Flock the Lord has given us. We have often failed to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves, thus fulfilling the law of Christ. Logically, how can we love the world well if we can't even love those the Lord has already placed in our midst?
3. From my own experiences, in ministry there is a point in time when every leader has to intentionally decide on what foundation they're going to build. In Worship Ministry our team had to make daily decisions either reflecting the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Man. We had to commit to listen to Holy Spirit for our decisions and actions. We had to intentionally commit to the foundation of Love for everything! Frankly, often many around us and above us didn't understand Love as a foundational cornerstone of ministry inside the body. That priority seemed foreign to many.
If the American Church would build on Christ alone with Love, I believe Holy Spirit transformations would increasingly flow. We would regularly see the process of sanctification happen before our eyes and in our midst. The Church would increasingly be an agent of transformation for Christ in our world.
4. Here's what's so delightful and exciting! Get this, if you get anything from this page!
This is the testimony I'm bursting to share in this season of waiting and writing.
*When we as a Worship Ministry team began to selflessly love and build one another up before ourselves, the Lord blessed and allowed us to see glimpses of His kingdom of heaven here on earth! Isn't that our prayer!? And when we see Him dwelling amongst His people, the experience is magnificent! His presence amongst us is more fulfilling than any song we could ever sing!
With the Lord's help, the Fruit of the Spirit began to grow abundantly. My own heart had to be pruned often. It isn't easy. Our flesh is real and we all have to grow in the Lord from infancy. Others wrestled a lot with their own fleshly desires too. But as many could testify, Loving Each Other became a great JOY for us! The rewards of our sacrifices and surrender were Love, Joy, Peace, Patience....
Admittedly sinful desires would flare, and we'd have to go back to the Lord in repentance, submission and prayer.
Beautiful testimonies exist when even after a couple years, dear colleagues would come forward confessing sins of pride or wrongdoing. We asked for forgiveness from one another and what blessings came when Grace was quickly applied!
Forgiveness is not hard when we confess our sins one to another! The joy of walking and serving together in the Spirit is so glorious. We'd begin again and the qualities of God's fruit would begin to increase: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control!
5. After fifteen years of cultivating the ground, growing one another up in Love through Christ, a vibrant Forever Family of Faith began to shine brilliantly like the stars - like a beautiful multi-faceted diamond smoothed, refined and purified through the crucible of testing.
The aroma of fellowship and worship was sweet and appealing. The fruit looked and tasted so good; the reflection of Christ grew brighter and brighter.
6. Here's a very important reality we must understand and embrace - actually fiercely grip!
Laboring for Love in the Church is hard work! It requires commitment, time, great care and sacrifice. And sacrifice is not always an overt action.
Sometimes sacrificial love (i.e. Worship) means we do NOTHING! We step back from ourselves and let others shine and be blessed.
For us as church leaders or congregants to fall into the trap of thinking growth must be quick or that WE can just make it happen in our own strength and wisdom, we must consider the farmer who patiently works to cultivate good soil.
Bountiful harvests come only after years of tilling! Good farmers strategically pull out weeds, carefully feed and nourish the plants, and most importantly trust the Lord for the sunshine and rains at the proper times. Farmers know the fruit they are seeking to cultivate and are willing to labor for it with dependence on the Lord.
Very pointedly, music in worship amongst believers often generates a lot of feelings and opinions. Because of the remarkable gift it is from the Lord, the evil one also knows he has a primed playground in which to stir up idolatries in the name of 'worship.' Consequently believers and congregations simply followed the American Me-Centered Culture in this generation.
During the Worship Wars in the last decades, the evil one appealed to our flesh and over time the witness of much of the American church has become pale and tasteless. The Church didn't see it coming, but we should have.
It takes one generation to lack discernment or conviction and the evil one triumphs in leaving the church without a living, vibrant testimony for Christ.
There are few congregations who have honestly loved well in their Worship through Music Callings. There are very few congregations who have labored at all to demonstrate the supremacy of Christ over them through song. We have lacked conviction to follow Jesus as the true head of His people. We haven't demonstrated faith and trust in His power and ability to hold all things together !
I believe unified worship through song should be a renewed pursuit in our day. It's a calling from the Lord, certainly unlike anything in this world.
The time is now! Revival is waiting to spring up if God's people would arise as true worshipers!
Because of Jesus, our perfect High Priest and Older Brother, let's resist division through music in our congregations. It can be done, has been done and should be done - for the Glory of God and Good of His People!
7. If we are zealous and called to nurture true worshipers, just like our Heavenly Father, we will pursue and love each lamb in the flock according to their need. Some sheep require a lot of work, but aren't we willing to love well and love hard? Is Reconciliation and Grace a mark of our fellowship? I believe it should be, but how faithful in living out the Gospel of Reconciliation are we?
8. Lastly, the race marked out for us will be long and laborious. But it's worth it! Getting caught up in the River of Life is quite a ride and it nourishes the fields and plants in its path. More on that later....
Without question the ministry of growing true worshipers is the most exciting labor I know! In due time, the Lord brings the harvest. In HIS time He brings the rewards! So let us Love One Another as our Heavenly Father loves for HIS honor, glory and fame.
Let the River of Life and Healing flow from the Threshold of Glory and the Presence of our God!
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity! ~ Colossians 3:12-14
"The sound that compels us to walk lock-step with Christ and the rest of His body is a holy HEARTBEAT, not a drumbeat." ~ Dr. Bill Bolin
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love!" (I John 4:7-8)
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another!" (John 13:35)
"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?" (James 2:14)
"They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him." (Titus 1:16)
"If we have not Love, we are a clanging gong and a clashing cymbal." (I Corinthians 13:1)
Do we grasp what happened in the temple when God's people came together in Christ,
all fulfilling their callings with one voice?
God's glory came down!
He inhabited the praises of His people and the temple was filled with the cloud of His presence!
Hallelujah! O Lord, you're instructing us! Open our eyes to the fullness of Your manifest glory!
He forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases; he redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him, for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
From everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children.
Bless the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, bless his holy name.
God's kingdom celebrates both the youth and older saints within the family of God. As Children of God we are adopted into a Forever Family where each should thrive in their gifts and callings.
"Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh!"
"Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity!" ~ I Timothy 4:12
"But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart!”
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." ~ Ephesians 5:21
3. Walk in the Spirit!
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me!"
"The sound that compels us to walk lock-step with Christ and the rest of his body is a holy HEARTBEAT, not a drumbeat." ~ Dr. Bill Bolin
"Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit!"
With Holy Spirit's help the Lord is seeking to transform us! When we don't walk in the Spirit, we must face our sin in the light of our Holy God. Repentance must be part of our lives as true worshipers. The truth of who God is does not allow sin to remain in our personal lives or corporate lives. Because of Jesus' shed blood which covers us, we are freed to live without condemnation. Are we a repenting people, before our Lord and one another? Do we know our Lord as a forgiving Father, both personally and corporately? Have we made repentance and forgiveness a regular part of our worship together?
"David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, 'I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” ~2 Samuel 24:10
"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice! ~Psalm 51
Lessons from Nehemiah and Opposition to the Building of the Wall
*"But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?
*We prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
*Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water!" ~ Nehemiah 4-6
I know the image above is unsettling, as it should be I suppose.
As believers, it's time to realize again we're in a regular spiritual battle between darkness and light.
Satan wants all our heart and soul for HIS honor and glory and power. Jesus told us to Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbors as ourselves. Why else did Satan tempt Jesus to worship and bow down to him? (Luke 4)
The image and depiction of spiritual warfare was rather foreign to me until I began to see if unfold.
A sister in the Lord sent this picture to me one day completely unaware of what I had experienced a few weeks prior to her email. It was completely out of context except the Lord knew I needed a confirmation from Him about what was really transpiring behind the scenes...
not against flesh and blood but from our Adversary the devil.
I had seen a physical form like this evil looking man in the Sanctuary one Sunday morning and had witnessed what seemed like a grey heavy blanket being pulled over the congregation as the form stood off to the side. This was all happening while we were singing and it seemed no one else discerned the Spirit being squelched by the evil one. It was November of 2010 and behind the scenes the evil one was really stirring up disunity and a work against the worship of the Lord we were seeking to bring.
For the first time ever, I saw the spiritual battle for worship being waged in our midst and the presence of the evil one who was leading the fight. I only told Pastor and my husband at the time as it made me shake inside. I also really didn't think anyone else would accept what I knew I had experienced. Very few people at that time talked of spiritual warfare or of seeing the manifestations of the spiritual world, whether God's kingdom or the kingdom of darkness.
Eight long years later, after going through my own season of doubt that the Lord would fight to save the worship of His name from the destructive forces coming against it, a person who had been so much a part of the ongoing work against worship confirmed their family had also seen the evil manifestation in the sanctuary that November of 2010. That report was an instant confirmation the battle had never been against flesh and blood but against the powers of darkness.
Those eight long years taught me the strength of the Lord's mighty hand to keep me from falling. Also, in due time, He would rise up to protect the glory of His name by those seeking true worship ever so imperfectly.
The long protracted battle against the Worship Ministry also forced me to dig into a better understanding of the reality of the war we are in as believers.
When we are adopted into the Lord's family, we are then part of a new kingdom - God's Kingdom. Still, we are living in this world governed by the Prince of Darkness. He is waging an all out war for our hearts and lives.
Satan hates it when we begin to know and understand our calling as true worshipers of the Most High. He wants worship of Jesus stopped and he wants believers silenced and ineffective for Christ. And, if we become united, he hates that even more! He thrives in creating disunity to disrupt the testimony we as believers should be shining for our Lord. He is real, crafty, sly and very much delights in derailing in any true worship.
After those eight years passed, the evil one did not give up. Two years later he came back with some of the same old tactics using different people with similar fleshly desires.
He seems to have won right now, but the Lord can again rise up in miraculous ways to bring forth victories for His honor, glory and fame! I believe that and know it!
Dear believers, we must begin to understand the realities of the battle the evil one is waging. We must realize our battle is not against flesh and blood. We also cannot attempt any longer to live as Kingdom of God citizens without the Armor of God on and ready!
Learn the pieces of armor we've been given.
It's time, O Church, to fight in Kingdom ways with Kingdom weapons.
Anything less will leave us trampled and blindly led! Holy Spirit, we need You to teach and instruct us!
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people!"
4. Abide In His
Word and Truth
"Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do!" ~ James 1:22-25
We need You and Your Word as our Bread of Life, O Lord! Give us faithful Ministers of Your Word each week! We desire Your truths proclaimed.
I sinned when I doubted. I was a brute beast before the Lord when I saw the prosperity of the wicked...Psalm 73
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31-32
"Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying." ~ Romans 12:12
"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the King, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up!”
Please reread the verse above.
I'd like to share the personal testimony behind it, because I believe it's relevant for today's Church. As the Lord is seeking a pure Bride for Himself, there's a spiritual cleansing happening. Jeremiah was called to proclaim God's Word in his day, and the Lord is bringing him forward again in ours.
Our family will never forget 2020 as the Lord allowed some brutal things to occur, as He did for many. Our church let us go after fifteen years without warning. They were visibly, verbally delighted when the Covid shutdown gave them cover to make 'changes and updates' they had been planning for some time.
Easter had come and gone. I was told everything was great. I was a delight to work with and the worship was wonderful. But something seemed very wrong in the spirit behind the scenes. The spiritual battle had actually been very real there for years as the prince of this world knew how to hold tight to certain reins of control there. That's a different trail to go down at another time. But the Lord had suddenly taken a key person to glory who sought to listen to and follow Holy Spirit.
In 2020, though, there were fewer and fewer utterly surrendered, discerning and spiritually equipped saints to guard the Threshold of Glory for Jesus alone.
A leader told me my passion for worship was likely too pure for the place now. I'm still shocked a church leader would think that statement is okay and it makes me weep inside every day still. The person had once stood strong for the Lord, but the desire to stay in a position of "influence" outweighed his desire to wield the sword of the Spirit with a belt of truth for the sake of the Lord.
Overall, as the eyes of our hearts have increasingly looked to other pleasures of this world, I believe the Lord has been desiring to get the American Church's attention for some time. Just like the Israelites, our hearts have been stubborn and we've been double-minded. The wisdom of man has driven much of what's transpired in our churches in these last few decades.
Such analysis may seem harsh to many, but perhaps we had to experience 2020 in order for this Word to be given and shared.
Sitting quietly one night with iphones and earbuds, each pondering the 'whys' of the hurt the Lord allowed, my husband suddenly, audibly heard the Lord tell him "Go read Jeremiah 5:19."
Neither one of us had been reading Jeremiah recently at all. Nor were we familiar enough with it to remember specific references except Jeremiah 29:11 - the scripture verse high school graduates begin to learn and memorize! :)
So on that night, Jeremiah was the last thing on our minds - only our hurts and our questions.
But in the pit where we found ourselves, the Lord spoke a rare, remarkable, irrefutable Word for the healing of our hearts.
If anyone asks us why our lives were thrown upside down by fellow believers in 2020, he gave us the words and truth to share: 'Tell them Jeremiah 5:19."
We can't dispute what He gave us. There was no human being involved. It's truth from the Lord. Based on the events we experienced, we sensed the truth of Jeremiah 5:19. Now we know it's what had happened.
I also believe the Lord gave us this verse to share for the good of the Church.
Were the shutdowns in 2020 allowed as a test for the American Church to see if we fully understood our chief end and purpose - to worship, glorify and enjoy the Lord above all else?
Is the Lord desiring the Church's repentance from idols it has constructed over the years?
Does the Lord desire His Bride to return to its first love? Love of God and one another? (Rev. 2:4))
Have we worshiped instead the things of man, things of our flesh, our personal and corporate vanities?
Have we persisted in our plans even as the Lord has been trying to open the eyes of our hearts?
Or perhaps, are we so asleep we still don't believe anything is amiss inside the Church?
As the book of Jeremiah continues, the Lord allows judgment, but He also pours forth mercies if we repent of our sins toward Him.
I believe Jeremiah 5:19 is from the Lord for our training and correction today.
Holy Spirit, penetrate our hearts and give us the courage to see ourselves in the light of Your holiness.
"I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs. I will not listen to the music of your harps.
I trust You, Lord. We trust You! Now strengthen the work our hands we pray for Your honor and glory! Bless us! ~ Nehemiah 6:9
5. Pursue & Carry His Presence!
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" ~ Psalm 42
As dearly loved Children, be holy as I am holy, says the Lord! ~ I Peter
"I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs. I will not listen to the music of your harps.
How might we practically pursue and carry the Holy Presence of God as worshipers?
How might we Practically Pursue His Presence Over Our Programs?
1. I believe our Worship of God must Reflect the Throne Room of God each and every week! Our platforms and practices of leadership should reflect every creature bowing down in worship - every tongue, every nation, young and old, every style, every instrument, every godly expression of praise!
From time to time, a believer asks how can we know how to worship the Lord?
Take a look at the book of Revelation! What exists in heaven is our desire here on earth: all eyes and hearts bowed before our God! We must intentionally worship Jesus on the Throne, both in our hearts and in our worship gatherings. If He really is residing there, then we will have no problem putting ourselves aside. We will gather every person, instrument and resource we can find to bring Him extravagant, all-out Revelation-style Worship every week!
With this Recovered Revelation of True Worship, we won't be demanding the center stage or the right to pick the songs or telling certain instrumentalists they're "not welcome at this time."
Church Leaders, we ask you to help us be better image reflectors of Christ's Kingdom and Throne Room. We know your wonderful zeal and heart to reach the lost around us, but using music as our appeal to the world will not work if we've not first allowed it to be used to transform us inside the church! The Modern American Church has largely failed to make true disciples of Jesus, and I believe it's because we began to worship other things. Our hearts craved the things of this world. Rather we must repent and return to a fear of the Lord who is Holy!
In the Church's zeal to "go and make disciples" we have neglected to stop and ask the Father what He's seeking! What an enormous red flag! We want to go "Do!" before humbly sitting in His Presence and letting Holy Spirit speak and transform us.
If we see our congregation not pursuing true worship in the Spirit and in truth, there's something amiss. We each then have a choice to make!
Choose what aligns with God's heart! We can not serve both God and man, and know that the Lord is able to supply everything else we need for life and godliness.
2. I believe we must again embrace Full Team Worship and Music Ministries for the glory of God, the good of His people, and specifically for the continuing discipleship of worship leaders.
Musicians, we have to confess we've often thought more highly of ourselves than we ought. Just because we're "Worship Leaders" in front of the congregation doesn't mean we're exempt from having to grow in our love of God and one another. Quite the opposite!
In all the years of ministry, I believe strongly musicians need a place of training and discipleship, not just musically, but spiritually! If we're truly called to be leaders in the Church, we must be in situations that cause us to grow good Fruit of the Spirit. Just like everyone else, our spirits are willing but our flesh is weak. The single mic and spotlight hardly nurture humility and servanthood. Having to share that mic or spotlight with someone else instantly reveals our flesh natures.
Most musicians I know, including myself, love when we get to shine in our musical expression. The musical expression itself isn't wrong nor the joy in it; but if we stomp our feet and cause division in the Body when we don't get the mic, the spotlight or our song, then we are loving ourselves more than the Lord and our neighbor as ourselves.
I've seen this over and over! Will the Lord accept such deceptive sacrifices?
Our congregation was blessed with some very talented people. Sadly we fall into worshiping our own promotions or programs. We have not prioritized His Presence.
The do believe the role, place and calling of the Choir and Instruments in our churches is vital for the discipleship of worship leaders. Musicians, if we cannot sing for God WITH others of varying skills and preferences, than we we shouldn't be grabbing the mic yet. Than we've already told the Lord we're refusing to worship with one voice.
If Choirs were appointed and used for the worship of God during David's reign, might the Lord have thought them helpful for not just the sound of worship but for the...more to come here.
3. I believe we need to revisit Multi-Generational Worship in our churches. For too long now, we have pushed our kids down the hallway out of corporate worship. We've taught them the Presence of God amongst His people is not that important. We've essentially told them they have nothing to bring the Lord in worship. They've gotten the message loud and clear! "It's not important to respond to God's glory and grace. Simply demand whatever you think makes you happy. God and the Church exist to serve your comforts.
We see where that erroneous programming has gotten us! We live in the time of an impotent American Church. We've told our kids their moment to moment comfort is most important to God. Whatever they want, we will buy for them so they have a chance to encounter God.
This hasn't worked. It hasn't worked because we've been building on the wrong foundations without much prayer or true desire to know and understand God's heart.
4. I believe the American Church must Return Lordship to Christ our Head!
We love to preach and teach faith and trust in God, but dear Church Leaders, we as God's people desire you to also trust our Lord. Let's follow God's decrees in the face of opposition or persecution. Let's trust the Lord to supply our needs and not place our hands on the Ark of His Presence through our own strength and charisma.
How can we be entrusted to Carry His Presence if we have not truly let Him be our Lord and Head?
5. Lastly, though not everything can be covered here, practically speaking I believe we must Listen to Holy Spirit with tender hearts willing to be led and transformed. Whatever the Lord says, we must be willing to do.
How many times has Holy Spirit tried to speak to us as His Bride and we continue down OUR paths! As leaders, we often fail to listen the Lord because it's risky. Often we don't want to be humbled or truly be humble in case our image is tarnished.
And honestly, have we prayed in humility? Have we made His House a House of Prayer?
Believers, we've been comfortable for many years. We've had churches on all corners of our streets yet the fruit of transformation is a rare find. According to God's ordained purposes, we are in a season when standing for the Lord will now cost us. That's okay. We likely need, by His mercy, a time of persecution.
Pastor Andrew Brunson told us the Western Church was not prepared for the persecutions to come. I believe He was right. I also believe the Lord will do whatever it takes to grow us into true worshipers for His glory and our eternal good!
Holy Spirit is trying to awaken the Church to True Worship! It's time to listen, repent and be the Light of the World!
We the people have been walking in darkness, but Hallelujah! our Light Has Come! Arise, O Sleepers! Our God is a Warrior! He is mighty to save. He is singing over us, leading us in a procession of praise to our God! Hear, O Nations Our God Reigns. Let the earth be glad! Dry bones, Live! River of Life, Flow!
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, flowing with water clear as crystal, continuously pouring out from the throne of God and of the Lamb. The river was flowing in the middle of the street of the city, and on either side of the river was the Tree of Life, with its twelve kinds of ripe fruit according to each month of the year. The leaves of the Tree of Life are for the healing of the nations.
And every curse will be broken and no longer exist, for the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there in the city. His loving servants will serve him; they will see constantly his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more.
They will never need the light of the sun or a lamp, because the Lord God will shine on them.
And they will reign as kings forever and ever! ~ Revelation 22
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke! Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty! Hallelujah!
Exalt the Lord our God facedown before his glory-throne, for he is great and holy!
God has his praying priests,
like Moses, Aaron, and Samuel, who all interceded, asking God for help.
God heard their cries and came to their rescue. He spoke to them from the pillar of clouds and
they followed His instructions, doing everything He told them.
God, the great forgiver, answered their prayers.
Yet he would punish them when they went astray.
Keep exalting the Lord our God facedown before his glory-throne, for he is great and holy!
What happens if we aren't True Worshipers in the Spirit and in Truth?
God's Glory Departs - Ezekiel 10; Malachi 1 and 2
God's Lampstand is removed - Revelation 2:1-7
Dressed in robes of righteousness and garments of praise, we come to our Lord, the Lamb of Glory, prepared for the Wedding Feast as His Bride.
Together with all who fear Him, both great and small, as a thunderous multitude we shout "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready! " ~ Revelation 19
"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in Love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the Love of Christ, and to know this Love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God!" ~ Ephesians 3
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."