DELIBERATELY PURSUING GOD
OUT OF THIS WORLD
If we could “perform” worship like we succeed in the other areas of our life, why would we need God’s anointing? We love to organize and work long hours to create and “perfect” the things we love but leading worship is not that kind of situation. When we come to worship God it is actually opposite of everything in this world’s way of thinking because we are not producing it on our own (which is probably why at times it is so frustrating.) Yes it is true we can practice and prepare our music but this in itself is not what is making it more spiritual. I believe in working hard and trying to perfect the instruments and vocals but it is only sharpening the tools so that God can use them to do His work. It is true that higher quality music is more pleasant to listen to but professionalism does not guarantee a higher level of anointing because the heart must be in tune as well as our instruments. It is difficult to find the line of balance between raising the bar of the music while not becoming an obsessed tyrant and ignoring the sensitivity of the Holy Spirit. Sure, people enjoy the worship but many just listen and leave without realizing what goes on behind the scenes. Did I mention the worship team needs lots of prayer? True worship leaders have a pastor’s heart. They care about each person and take a personal interest in their life and spiritual development. I pray for each member of the team each week as we need all the prayer covering we can get. This is not boot camp; we who lead the army into battle are on the front line.
Anytime you put fifteen people together to accomplish a goal you will automatically have fifteen different ideas about how to do it. But when all fifteen blend together with pure hearts and a unified vision – you have just witnessed a true miracle! When this happens you can close your eyes and it seems you are standing just outside the pearly gates. This is when music relays the voice of God and words become holy medicine.
I want the music to be as good as it can be. I listen to many different bands each week and I focus on certain worship songs over and over and enjoy the way they encourage my spirit. I can sense God’s presence in songs and I try to hear God speaking His “message of the hour” just like I would absorb a sermon into my spirit. As someone that is responsible to select the songs we will sing, I am like a pharmacist that fills the prescription from the “doctor” each week. I will sense that God wants to remind His people of certain holy truths that He knows will touch and bring healing; the same as He gives pastors their messages. Worship and preaching are not all “warm and fuzzies” because God’s sword has two edges. There is a sobering reality of war and soldiers need to be stimulated and provoked to engage the enemy. There are times we need to be stirred and made aware to shake the gates. We cannot afford to be lulled to sleep with soft, powerless sermons and sleepy pillow songs. We must find the balance between knowing when to fight in faith as the storms of life are raging and resting our head in His bosom. Religion has lulled the church to sleep!
Our Christian life is a learning process that includes knowing how to decrease while allowing God to increase in our life. This humility is what can allow God to rise up big in our heart and minister His words in the right places at the right times. Leading worship also falls in the category of reducing ourselves so that God’s tangible presence can be manifested and encountered among His people. Many have never felt His presence and believe this is just a part of the religious jargon of catch words and phrases but it is true that God’s presence is a literal tangible sensation as we notice the definition; 1.capable of being touched; discernable by the touch; material or substantial. 2. Real or actual, rather than imaginary or visionary. 3. Definite; not vague or elusive; without doubt.
We are not trying to display our own glory, build our reputation, leave a legacy, and become more noticeable, popular or famous. In fact we are trying to humble ourselves and “descend” so that Jesus can be lifted up. We crank up the volume not so that our talents can be admired but so the gospel and glory of God can be noticed as a lighthouse of hope in the darkness and fear of a lost world. We shout unto the Lord with our praise and thanksgiving for what He has done for us as a testimony of His power. We boldly proclaim His works and His love to those who desperately need Him. His offer of total salvation is the message of deliverance and hope for the lost and He is worthy to be praised for the generosity of His mercy and grace. We join the heavenly choruses that cry holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty who was and is and is to come.