Michele and I have been enjoying this cooler weather as fall is in the air! We have been walking four miles a day after dropping Judah off at school as we seek God for clear direction in this new season. Many exciting announcements to be made very shortly regarding four Throne Zone Events for 2014 and how we will be expanding the Kingdom in 2014 and beyond!
This month, I would like to conclude my thoughts on 3D Worship.
In August, I shared how the One-Dimensional Worshiper was singularly focused, and how that focus concentrated on their individual preferences in the area of worship. Worship was all about them, their likes or dislikes, and how they received during the worship encounter.
Last month, I discussed the danger of making our worship encounter into a Big Production, and the danger if our focus remains on building our productions bigger and bigger while losing sight of the real purpose of our worship….HIM. I cautioned us that when we attempt to cater our worship with the exclusive cause of reaching the masses, it is easy for us to lose sight of the real thing which draws men unto the father….lifting Jesus higher. Yet the more that I travel to various churches to observe the worship service, I am finding more and more churches spending big money on creating lights, smoke and “non-churchy” sets, singing the latest tunes they crafted earlier in the week, providing a great show, with very little or no flow of worship.
GOLDEN NUGGET WHEN LEADING WORSHIP:
It is all about connecting the heart of the people with the heart of God. Not connecting them to our Art!
There are many worship leading teams that concentrate on “FREEDOM” in worship, yet many of these teams leave no room or opportunity to help the congregation release their song. What holes are left in the music is filled with cool guitar licks or vocal ad-libbing rather than it being a SELAH moment for the congregation.
As a worship leader, this is one of my greatest pet-peeves. My heart is to set congregations free from the opinion of man, the fear of man and the rejection of man that has silenced their praise, and create a safe place in which they are free to release their song of praise unto the Lord. Sadly, this is rarely the case in many of our “Contemporary” worship services. To this cause, I believe that the 3rd and final “D” in our 3D Worship series deals with: DEPTH.
When speaking of 3D in an art-form, the third dimension deals with depth; that is, making objects appear closer than they really are for the purpose of engaging in the experience. This is what happens when we worship.
God wants our worship teams and Sunday to be more than a huge musical production that has great commercial appeal. He wants our worship to have depth and truly be a worship EXPERIENCE that results in a divine God encounter that brings forth transformation in our lives, in our home, in our church and in our community. He wants us to experience His presence when we worship.
Yes, we need to make our praise to God as large and loud as possible because He is a Great God! We want to lead people beside the still waters to find peace of the Holy Spirit in their lives. I encourage you today to not simply settle for the big commercialized production. I encourage you to press past all of the fanfare and press into the Throne Zone of God’s presence- that place where your purpose is discovered and your passion is ignited.
Today you may ask, “Keith, how do I become a 3D Worshiper?” “I believe we need to make our praise of God glorious, and utilize every resource available to us, but how do I not settle and camp out in that 2nd Dimension?”
Let me give you 3 D’s to help you make this journey as a 3D Worshiper:
First, it all begins with a DECISION. The word of God says in Deuteronomy 30:19, “this day I set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Our first step always begins with a choice. Michele’s platform for her pageants all deal with this issue of “Choose to Change!” We do not have to be victims of our environments, nor slave to them. God has given you and me the right to choose, and this scripture instructs us to choose correctly….choose LIFE! Today, I encourage you to make the decision NOT to settle for polished performances of man, but to make the decision you want to press into that 3rd dimension, that Throne Zone Dimension of God’s presence. Don’t just settle for the show when you can have the manifest tangible presence of God and access to your destiny and purpose in life. This is the first step to experiencing transformation in your worship encounter with God!
The second D deals with DISCIPLESHIP. To explain this, let’s look at our children. When they are born, they are not able to speak. As parents, we talk gibberish to them until they speak their first words. As they begin to communicate necessities such as food, diaper changes, etc, our vocabulary changes. They then head off to school. In their elementary years, they simply learn to read. Yet as they progress into middle and high school, they read to learn. As they head into college years, they evolve into research and then are able to communicate on all levels and in all businesses. Our children have become disciples of education. As a result, they are able to communicate and connect with more people than they originally were able to while at a young age. Their education gave them resources, challenged their thoughts, and ensured they could clearly communicate and defend their thoughts or positions in life. The same is true with our worship. If we remain as spiritual infants and never mature, then we will never reach a mature worship experience. Yet, with every season of our growth, our expression of worship matures and can even impact others who have not yet matured. In essence, the discipleship process not only enhances our worship experience, but it also models to other un-discipled believers (and non-believers) the proper way to worship and fully anticipate a God encounter in the worship experience.
Our third and final “D” deals with DETERMINATION. Life is full of challenges and opportunities for us to press through or to run. If you have ever watched the TV program “Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition”, you will see that transformation never occurs unless the individual becomes determined to break through the cycles which have held them captive. The very first workout that Chris Powell takes his clients through is known as the “Fight or Flight Workout.” He wants to push them to their limit to discover their level of determination.
Perhaps what you and I are going through today is merely a Fight or Flight Workout from the Holy Spirit. You say, “Keith, God does not do that!” O, I beg to differ with you. He did when He tested Abraham to offer Isaac on the altar. God wanted to see what He was going to do with the test. Abraham’s faith was great, and God knew he was fully determined to fulfill the word of the Lord. James 2:23 says “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God.”
We must be fully determined to run the race with endurance, and to lay aside every weight that slows us down. This is the same determination required in our approach to worship.
We must make the decision to go the distance in our worship and press past what we like and envision for worship. We must not settle for the huge commercial presentations that offer freedom, but no depth or encounter in the worship presented in many churches today. We must recognize that each of these dimensions is needed in the journey to the Throne Zone. We must realize they are stops on the journey, not the final destination God is calling us to. Therefore, we cannot settle for them if they prohibit us from entering into that 3rd dimension of worship….The Throne Zone.
When I am asked to sign my book, I always write, “Keep pressing into the Throne Zone and settle for nothing less than HIS Glory!” He is calling you into that depth of worship where He can download strategies and specifics for your life, your ministry and/or your business. He is calling you into the Throne Zone so you can discover your purpose and He can ignite the passion that has faded on your journey so that you can run the race with endurance, but complete the journey He has called you to. You were born with a unique purpose- one that no one else on planet earth can accomplish. You have a unique assignment and God wants to give you the strategies and specifics and the “how-to’s” to accomplish the vision you were born for. However, you will not find it in the outer courts of praise and celebration. This is found only in the secret place. The place of praise and celebration are only the doorway. The divine exchange that you and I seek occurs only in the Throne Zone.
Today, I challenge you to become a 3D worshiper. Get over what you like and ask God what HE likes in worship. Do not settle for a big commercialized cutting-edge musical production, but make the decision to be a determined and discipled worshiper who will have depth in your worship encounter and press into the Throne Zone and settle for nothing less than HIS Glory!