TRUE WORSHIP – ENTERING GOD’S PRESENCE

Worship is one of the main themes of the Bible yet most Christians do not have an understanding of the true nature of worship. The psalmist shows us that we can gain access to God with thanksgiving and praise.

Know that the LORD, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise!
Give thanks to Him; bless His name
! Psalm 100:3-4

We have entered His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise but how do we enter His presence? His Word and the tabernacle illustrate that we only enter God’s presence through worship.

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God.” Psalm 95:6

When we come into contact with, become aware of, or have a revelation of the holiness of God, there is only one appropriate response worship.

The worship industry has replaced liturgy all over the place with pop music to which Jesus has been added. It has turned corporate worship into something it was never supposed to be, and the marketability of their product has been the driving force. What constituted worship for nearly two millennia is gone, and in its place, we are given concerts of rock music, albeit with at least vaguely “Christian” words. Hillsong fans have been convinced that this experience, especially the way the music makes them feel, is what constitutes worship. Neither the group nor their fans likely even understand the lie they’re perpetuating, but it’s a lie, nonetheless. No amount of sincerity they can muster makes it any less of a lie.

That’s the insidious nature of the worship industry. It is destructive to a healthy liturgical and sacramental theology because it sets itself up as the actual word and sacrament. The feelings of enjoyment, however deep, are substituted for the actual presence of Christ. And that’s a huge, ugly, grievous mistake.

It needs to be rejected because it tears down the church by infiltrating its way into its liturgical life.

Hillsong United
Hillsong United at Petofi Csarnok, Budapest

If you are not aware of Derek Prince’s book Entering the Presence of God – Moving beyond praise and thanksgiving to true worship then let me recommend it to you. It is excellent.

WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE

Often we do not see the real Jesus because we’re too busy looking at ourselves—it’s easy for our own flesh to get in the way. Repent daily, asking the Holy Spirit for His help and His mercy to see Christ as He truly is. We need God’s mercy and grace everyday.

Reflect on the names of the Lord. What awe, reverence and worship they should evoke in the spirit of every true believer:

“And thou shalt call His name JESUS” (Matthew 1:21, kjv). He is the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Wonderful Counsellor, Holy One, Lamb of God, Prince of Life, Lord God Almighty, Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Root of David, Word of Life, Author and Finisher of Our Faith, Advocate, The Way, Dayspring, Lord of All, I Am, Son of God, Shepherd and Bishop of Souls, Messiah, The Truth, Savior, Chief Cornerstone, King of Kings, Righteous Judge, Light of the World, Head of the Church, Morning Star, Sun of Righteousness, Lord Jesus Christ, Chief Shepherd, Resurrection and Life, Horn of Salvation, Governor, The Alpha and Omega.

Jesus: The Lord of All Things

The secret of the abundant life, is Christ and Christ aloneWe must see the real Jesus. We must have a correct vision of who He is and, therefore, who we are representing and serving during our time on earth. Only then will we begin to rediscover the authority, glory and power of His majesty.

One of the most revealing images of the real Jesus is found in Colossians 1:13–20. Here we find Him to be “the image of the invisible God . . . .

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell.”

What a mighty God we serve! The whole universe, everything that we can see and cannot see, was created for Him. He is head of the Church and our Lord. We were made for Him and His pleasure.

Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,Let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising loving kindness, judgement, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the LORD.  Jeremiah 9: 23-24

JESUS WILL RETURN TO RULE AND REIGN FROM A RESTORED JERUSALEM

CHURCH AND SPONTANEOUS WORSHIP

What is spontaneous worship, and why do it?

The Bible tells us to do it so we must have what it takes to be led by the Spirit and step out during a worship set to lead a spontaneous moment.

Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Ephesians 5:18-20

There is a difference between singing a song already written and singing a spiritual song. While there is power in singing and declaring a song already written for our Sunday setlist, God also wants to meet us where we are in a specific moment in time.

He wants to speak straight to our hearts, and this can happen when we open up our worship set and allow Him to move!

A spiritual song, as referred to in Ephesians 5, is a song that comes from your spirit, and your spirit is connected to God’s Spirit.

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 

This is the connection God longs for, to be in communion with us—spirit to spirit.

A spiritual song is something that comes straight from your heart and your history with God—expressing to Him in your own words what He means to you.

These moments come from a heart that is in love, and it captivates God’s heart to hear your voice.

Home groups where you are well known is more conducive to spontaneous worship. Once again church as described in the Book of Acts.

St Matthew's Harwell with All Saints' Chilton : Homegroups

Besides connection, spontaneous songs can be a prophetic doorway into deeper breakthrough for you and others.

In the story of Jericho in the Bible, God commissioned Joshua to command the people of Israel to march around the walls of Jericho 7 times, and on the 7th day after they marched, Joshua told them to “shout, for the Lord has given you the city.” At the sound of their shout, the wall around Jericho fell down flat. This shout from the Israelites was prophetic because they hadn’t yet physically conquered the city, but God promised that He had given it to them. So in faith, they shouted aloud before they saw the victory—prophesying that He would give them the city.

In the same way, spontaneous moments can become prophetic in nature when God is breathing on them.

Breakthrough will always follow a spontaneous and prophetic act.

Sometimes the songs we have planned to sing on Sunday are prophetic in themselves, but sometimes God wants to interrupt our agendas and speak in a different way. In the end, it’s all about His desire to capture your heart and draw you closer to Him.

HILLSONG WORSHIP ON TOUR, BUT DON’T CALL IT WORSHIP

This abbreviated article by JONATHAN AIGNER JANUARY 31, 2020 again from Patheos Discussions about Worship for Thinking People. You can go to the Patheos website to view the entire article. See also my posts Praise and Worship and More on Praise and Worship.

True worship doesn’t capitalize on entertainment pop culture.

According to ticketmaster.com, pricing for a general admission seat begins at $29 and goes up all the way to $61.50. Hillsong doesn’t come cheap!

If you want to shell out a mere $206 per ticket, you can achieve true worship bliss with the Awake package, which includes:

  • Meet and Greet
  • Photo Opportunity with Hillsong Worship
  • Refreshments (I’m assuming no beer and wine.)
  • Devotional with Hillsong Worship
  • Reserved Floor Seating
  • Dedicated ‘Awake’ Entrance
  • Pre-show Merch Shopping Opportunity (Additional fees apply, of course.)
  • Custom Lanyard
  • VIP Host Exclusive Gift Bag, including sticker, lyric book, Awake hat, pen, digital download

It’s not worship. That’s blatant false advertising.

That’s why I shout, “Wake up! It’s a huge deal!”

These sorts of acts, promoted by the so-called “worship industry,” have hijacked the authentic worship gathering, the beautiful liturgy of the Christian church, the source and summit of the Christian life, and using the same strategies as secular entertainment, they’ve turned it into a commodity. That is a grievous thing.

They might as well be calling it the “Awake and Give Us All Your Money” tour.

Worship Is Costly, But Admission Is Free

You’ve probably all heard the analogy that we’re all equal at the foot of the cross. There’s room on that level ground, of course. Admission is free. But it demands much of us, certainly more than a few bucks. When I hear people claim that they’ve gone to events like this, found momentary euphoria, and have worshiped as never before, I don’t just feel sceptical, I feel a sense of dread. The words of Bonhoeffer frequently echo in my mind.

“The word of cheap grace has been the ruin of more Christians than any commandment of works.”

This kind of worship goes part and parcel with cheap grace. They claim to bestow the gifts of God on whoever buys a ticket and shows up. After you’ve paid your admission, it requires absolutely nothing of you. The historic liturgy of the church has a different offer. “Come and participate in the life of the church, but be prepared to give of yourself.”

Worship is not a product. It cannot be bought and sold. That’s the grace of it all. The grace available to God’s people in worship is not something that can be bought, but once it’s bestowed, it is all-consuming.

PRAISE AND WORSHIP

Each of us is told to sing praises to God. Worship is corporate, it is not having someone with a microphone singing at them.

The worshipping church doesn’t consume music, it makes music. But the modern concept of a lead singer arose from commercial pop music, written for a soloist or a small group. It’s no wonder, then, that most live pop worship sounds quite similar. A “leader” singing with pop inflection and affected tone, while ad libbing and improvising rhythm and melody, doesn’t ask of a congregation, “Sing with me.” It says, “Approach congregational singing like it’s a concert.”

We are living in the days of the celebrity Christian. We have witnessed the advent of the “worship superstar,” especially over the last two decades. Granting a microphone to a musician is offering them a whole lot of power and prestige. Some take the opportunity to showcase their own affected pop styling and build their celebrity in the mould of so many others. Some have exploited the vulnerability of an emotionally-compromised congregation  Just look at the record sales for the so-called “worship industry.”

Because our culture is so used to listening to music for entertainment, we make our own celebrities. Make no mistake about it. The church does this, too. We begin to associate worship with a person and a performance, rather than corporate prayer through Word and Sacrament.

Listen to the attached performance and understand why Pastor Andy Savage. said the following: “And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason you never give a worship leader the microphone. This particular Sunday will be forever chronicled on the internet and known as the Sunday Lowpoint, certainly not the Highpoint…

MY HOUSE WILL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER

At Jesus resurrection, the Scriptures clearly reveal that God, our Heavenly Father, enthroned Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all government and authority, all power and dominion, and any title or sovereignty that can be named.

“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesian 1:17-21

The amazing thing is we share this position on the throne with Jesus, “even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:4-6

Sadly, most have not received this revelation which the Holy Spirit, through the scriptures, makes available to us, so instead of reigning as kings, we find ourselves still toiling as slaves.

Similarly, God declared to Israel in Exodus 19:6, the purpose for which he redeemed them from Egypt; “And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” “A kingdom of priests” speaks of a dominion restored – kingship in place of slavery. God offered Israel a double privilege: to minister as priests and to reign as kings. For the most part , the nation failed to live up to God’s gracious promises. A few of the OT  saints were the exception such as Daniel.

To those redeemed by faith in Christ, God renews the calling He gave to Israel. In 1 Peter 2:5 Christians are called “an holy priesthood” and our ministry is “to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” In 1 Peter 2:9 Christians are further called “a royal (or kingly) priesthood. In the book of Revelation the same phrase is applied twice to those redeemed by faith in Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:5-6 and Rev. 5:9-10).

Such is the double ministry that Jesus now exercises at the Father’s right hand. As King, He rules. As Priest, He intercedes: “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25

The “spiritual sacrifices” offered up by us are the various forms of prayer – particularly worship and intercession. As priest we share Jesus ministry of prayer and intercession. If we would rule as kings, we must serve as priests. The practice of our priestly ministry is the key to our exercise of our kingly authority. It is through prayer and intercession that we administer the authority that is ours in the name of Jesus.

In Psalm 110: 1-4 David paints a picture of Christ reigning as king and priest together with His believing people. Verse 2 describes the way in which Christ’s kingly authority is exercised: ” The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion; Rule in the midst of Your enemies”.

This is the situation in the world today. The enemies of Christ have not been finally subdued, they are still actively at work opposing His rule and His Kingdom. However Christ has been exalted and given authority over them all. Thus He rules now “in the midst of His enemies.”

In the world the forces of evil are rampant on every hand rejecting the authority of Christ and opposing the work of His kingdom. But “in the midst” Christians (the church) need to assemble in divine order as kings and priests. Out of our assembly the rod of Christ’s authority, exercised in His name “is sent forth” through our prayers. 

Want to be challenged on role of prayer in the lives of Christians then listen to Jim Cymbala on My House Shall Be Called A House Of Prayer.

JESUS – YOUR GREAT NAME (Lyric video by Todd Dulaney)

After so many posts on end times prophecies, all of which indicate Christians will have their faith tested during the tribulation prophesied by many of the O.T. prophets, particularly Daniel and in Revelation, I thought I should include this video of Todd Dulaney rendering POWER IN YOUR NAME. I was inspired and reminded of the following verse of Scripture which clearly shows that at the soon coming of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all He created. I should acknowledge Emeka Ofili’s website which is where I saw the YOUR GREAT NAME video.

“God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 2 Philippians 2:9-11

‘Your Great Name’ Lyrics – Todd Dulaney

We love to, Call Your Name
It’s something, We cannot Explain
That Happens, When We Proclaim
Your Great Name, Your Great Name

King Jesus, No Other Name
King Jesus, None Stronger
We can Call on You
Thing Changes
When we call on Your Name

There’s Power in the Name of Jesus
Power in Your Name
Things Change when we call You Jesus
Things when we call Your Name

I’m Free when I call You Jesus
I’m Free when I call Your Name
I’m Free when I call You Jesus
I’m Free when I call Your Name

Call; When I call Your Name
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call; When I call Your Name
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: Demons Trembles at that Name
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: I feel much stronger when I call You
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call; I’m healed When (x2)
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: I’m set Free (x2)
Resp: When I call Your Name
CAll; I’m alive when I call You
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: Yes God, Yes God
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: I Feel much better when I call
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: I Feel much stronger when I call
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: I Feel like blessing when I call
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: I Feel my Victory when I call
Resp: When I call Your Name

Call: I Feel a shifting when I call
Resp: When I Call Your Name
Call: I Feel a blessing when I call
Resp: When I Call Your Name

AWAKEN THE DAWN RALLY WASHINGTON DC, OCT 6th – 9th, 2017

PRAY FOR THE ORGANISERS OF AND PARTICIPANTS IN THIS SIGNIFICANT EVENT COMING UP THIS WEEKEND ON THE NATIONAL MALL IN WASHINGTON DC. FIFTY TENTS WILL BE ERECTED ON THE MALL. ONE FOR EACH STATE. BE ENCOURAGED, WATCH THE SHORT INSPIRATIONAL VIDEO BELOW.

Tens of thousands of Christians from every state  are expected to attend this weekend’s event, Bradshaw (Awaken The Dawn) told Christian Post, and he believes that the time frame of this event is significant and strategic.

America’s Tent of Meeting happens to coincide with the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, which began Wednesday, and marks the 20th anniversary weekend of Promise Keepers, where hundreds of thousands of Christian men gathered on the National Mall to rededicate themselves to God and recommit themselves to their families.

“We really just want to gather around the work of Jesus and the presence of God,” said David Bradshaw in a phone interview Tuesday with The Christian Post. Bradshaw is the director of the Fredericksburg, Virginia-based Prayer Furnace, one of ATM’s organisers, who will be speaking on stage. The goal is “to throw a public, audacious, bold, visible celebration of Jesus’ worth,” he said, noting that worship and prayer are at the centre of the event.

Awaken the Dawn, Bradshaw added, is on a “rescue mission” for this generation and he believes we are living in a time when the Church of Jesus Christ must come together to stand in the gap and pray and proclaim the Gospel in order to see a substantive spiritual shift in America and reach the youth of today with “a new Jesus movement.” Patterned after this weekend’s event in the nation’s capital, ATD hopes to visit every state capital and as many university campuses that they can in 2018 for a subsequent prayer initiative called “Tent America.”

WORSHIP THAT EXALTS ALL THREE MEMBERS OF THE TRINITY

So many worship songs are simple or cliche. This one from Hillsong will astound you. All three members of The Trinity are acknowledged in this worship song. How important it is we know the roles of each member of The Trinity.

Our heavenly Father sent His Son to pay the price of our redemption, to bring us back into a relationship with God. The Son made it possible for our heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirit.                               

“The spirit of a man is the lamp of God. Proverbs 20:27 and “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God.” 1 Corinth. 2:11.

All three members of the Trinity are involved in our salvation. It is essential we understand their roles. To know that the Holy Spirit is our counsellor, our comforter, our teacher. How often have we quenched His work in us and grieved Him. He is the third person of the Trinity. He will indwell us forever including our resurrected body. We cannot be holy with the Holy Spirit indwelling us.