I wanted to continue my thoughts from last month on “Worship F.I.T. for the King”. As we discussed last month, the “F” dealt with Frequency. Both the how frequent we gather to worship (individually or corporately) as well as the Frequency in the sound waves of the heavens. This month, I want to deal with the “I”.
We all know the songs that touch our individual hearts. We love it when we hear the intro to that tune because we know what follows. And with that audible cue, a certain level of anticipation begins to rise up within us. That is something God placed within us, and that best describes the power of song. But if we are not careful, we can easily become offended when the worship leader quits singing “Our Song”. This is the common fallacy when the “I” in worship is about you and me.
As I continued my prayerful contemplation on the “I” in worship, my thoughts then shifted to the word Interactive. Interactive, by definition, references a two-way system of communication. It is mutually or reciprocally active. If we think in terms of electronic communication, it is a method of communication in which the program’s outputs depend on the user’s inputs, and the user’s inputs in turn affect the program outputs. Many years ago, I learned this acronym G.I.G.O. It simply stood for Garbage In, Garbage Out. Of course, the Bible is filled with this understanding. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man sows, that also shall he reap. If he sows to the things of the flesh, He shall of the flesh reap corruption. If he sows to the things of God, he shall reap life everlasting. Of course, the same is true with our worship. If we never engage in worship, we can never expect to receive anything through worship. In order to receive the fullness of what God has provided for us in our worship experience, we must ascend the hill of the Lord with clean hands and a pure heart. We have been granted access to that Throne Zone dimension of God’s worship, but we must actively pursue His presence and avail ourselves of every opportunity to come into that Throne Zone dimension.
I realized that Interactive still stemmed from the “What’s in it for me” syndrome. If I do this, then God will do this for me. And although both of the above thoughts are true and occur in our worship experience, there is one more “I” in worship that holds the key to Worship F.I.T. for the King. That word is Intentional.
We must begin with the understanding that when Christ died on the cross, the Veil that safeguarded the Holy of Holies was torn in two. We know that because the shed blood of Jesus Christ, he became the mediator for us and through His blood, we can boldly approach God’s Throne. That means that Christ’s blood was shed for all mankind, not exclusively you and me or the denomination or fellowship that we are connected to. His blood was shed for whosoever that believeth on Him.
We must also realize that every time Jesus showed up in a situation, the status quo changed. When He walked into a room, blind eyes were opened, deaf ears began to hear, the lame walked, the dumb talked and those tormented by evil spirits were set free. Everything happens when Jesus walks into the room. So the problems in our church will not be solved by our great musical skills, nor our great pulpit oratory, and not even by our cutting edge ministries that we proudly exhibit to attract all newcomers. The problems represented within our congregations will be transformed when He shows up in our sanctuary.
To that end, we must be intentional in our worship experience not to showcase our talent, but rather be intent on invoking the presence of the Lord to enter the house! We must do whatever necessary to make sure that He shows up in our services.
How do we do that?
First, we must remind ourselves the instructions of King David. If we are to enter into the Hill of the Lord (aka The Throne Zone)- we must have clean hands and a pure heart. That requires a lifestyle of holiness and sanctification. We really don’t hear a lot of that being taught these days. We hear more of grace. And please do not misunderstand me it was the shed blood of Jesus that provided grace to us while we were yet sinners. Because of that grace, I can come to Jesus just as I am. However, that doesn’t give me a free pass to live my life contrary to the will of God and still have access to the Holy of Holies.
God is not looking for perfect Christians, just Christians who are being perfected
in His Presence.
Secondly, we must realize scripture says that we enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Scripture throughout Revelation tells us the song of Heaven. We know that there is worship being sung around His Throne 24/7 as the angels cry “Worthy, Holy, Who is and was and is to come”. Therefore, we must acknowledge the fact that our praise and worship is the access portal to that Throne Zone dimension.
CLEAN HANDS, PURE HEART, THANKSGIVING & PRAISE
I believe that as we approach His throne in this manner, we in fact join the host of Heaven in jubilant praise. As we join with the song of Heaven, there comes a moment when Heaven and Earth connect as we are singing on earth the song being sung in Heaven. Think about it this way. Jesus prayed, Father let Your Kingdom Come on Earth as it is in Heaven. Following that train of thought, it only makes sense that Jesus could easily say, Father let Your Song be Sung on Earth, even as it is being Sung around your Throne in Heaven. After all, singing is merely sustained speaking or prayer.
It is at this point in worship that there is a shift in our atmosphere. I believe it is this point where Heaven invades Earth through our simple portal of worship. And when that takes places, God’s glory begins breaking out in the area where our worship is being released.
Think about it. When we effectively engage the congregation in worship, all hearts are in one accord. All thoughts & words expressed are the same lyrics. That means the conversation is corporately expressed as one voice. Isn’t this what happened in the Upper Room as recorded in the book of Acts? They were in one place, in one accord when Suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as a Mighty Rushing Wind and it filled all who were sitting in that room. Hallelujah!
This must be the focus of our worship: Heaven must invade the Earth releasing His Glory! We must be Intentional with our worship, no longer to sing to men, or settle for singing about God. We must begin to sing directly to God, engaging the entire congregation so that God’s glory be released because He has showed up in the midst of our worship.
For me, as a worship
leader, my goal is not to sing the latest, greatest, hottest worship number being played on the radio. I realize (and am intentional) on creating an atmosphere conducive to allowing people the freedom to join me in a song familiar being sung directly to God, and having that song sung in the fullness of all harmonic beauty sung with great passion to the presence of God, knowing that Heaven will meet earth and God’s glory will be released as He enters the room. I choose to be Intentional in my worship experience.
By partnering with this ministry with your prayers and financial support, you are helping us to help people experience the Glory of the Lord- many for the first time in their lives. As a result, we are witnessing individual lives being changed as they discover the manifest presence of God in their lives. Additionally, as this Glory Spout continues to pour in many of these congregations, we watch the Glory transform many congregations. You are making the difference in many people’s lives. The seeds you are faithfully sowing into this ministry each month are affecting change and releasing the Glory.
Please don’t stop praying. Don’t stop giving. You must know you are impacting lives of many and helping their lives to be transformed because God is showing up in their homes, their offices, their churches and even their regions.
We will continue to Dig the Wells of Worship, allowing the worshipers opportunity to come drink, find refreshing, and watch as God sends them back to their congregations to infect them with a fresh passion for His Presence.
Let us be INTENTIONAL in our worship!