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Worship 101 by Dan Wheeler
Worship has not changed in 2000 years. Worship is simply worship. The tools we use has changed. We have allowed our worship to become traditional and contemporary as we have labeled them, but the fact is worship is all about Jesus Christ and that is what worship is all about. We have fallen into set ways, and I believe we have taken the “HOME” out of worship. We have become content with our order of service and forgotten what the heart of worship is all about. Let us get back to the heart of worship, “Its all about Jesus Christ”
Music and Worship
There are 1150 Verses about music in the Bible. The prophets called upon the minstrels (Musicians) while they sought God’s Word to them. Music won battles, Jericho, Gideon, it calmed kings, and was created by God for His Glory, honor, and praise.David's harp had a significant impact upon the court of King Saul. His music, though undoubtedly entertaining and exhilarating to the senses, possessed a unique and penetrating quality - it touched the innermost being of the listener - it reached into the very spirit of his audience. David's music possessed healing properties because the Healer (God) was with him. I Samuel 16:23 states that Saul was not only refreshed by David's harp but was also "made well." All types of instruments were used.
Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with crashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
Prophecy could be instrumental as well as vocal. Saul met a group of prophets who apparently sang and accompanied themselves on instruments (1 Sam. 10:5, 6). David appointed 228 musicians to "prophesy with lyres, harps, and cymbals" (1 Chron. 25:1-7), music which also seems to have had an improvisational character. While listening to the music he was given the prophecy (2 Kings 3:15). The term selah, which occurs 71 times in the Psalms.
The Praise Program
We carry with us the worries of the world. We go into the everyday battle with the baggage of life. We are pressed on every side by the forces of hell. But God has given us the tools for Victory in these battles . Jehoshaphat’s army proclaimed only one powerful sentence of praise: “ Give thanks to the Lord, for His faithful love endures forever!”. The words faithful love mean mercy. Mercy is God’s unfailing kindness and tenderness and His active desire to remove distress from us. The army of Jehoshaphat praised Him before the battle, they praise Him during the battle, and they praised Him after the battle. And the greatest result of praise is found in 2 Chronicles 20:30, “ Then Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was quiet, for his God gave him rest on every side.”. You see the result of their praise and confidence in God, the end result of God fighting for them was rest. And rest equals peace, peace that can only be found in His presence.
The Promise of His Presence
In God’s Word we are promised that His presence will abide in any environment where He is welcomed, where He is worshiped. When God’s people worship Him, there is a spiritually tangible presence that attends that worship. Something happens when we worship god. It is from our heart’s praises that invites Him to come and rule and reign in our lives and circumstances. Our praise becomes an entry point for God to move and establish His will in a situation. Praise brings a manifestation of God’s presence because He has promised to show up when His children praise Him. Whether we are worshiping Him through the reading of His Word, or in prayer, or in song, or music, His heart is moved by that and in turn He responds; and when He responds we can fell it and know it. In Psalm 23;3 “But You are holy, enthroned in praise of Israel,”. While we know that God is everywhere (Omnipresent), God is not manifested everywhere. God has chosen to manifest Himself in the praises and worship of His people. Thus our praise creates the atmosphere for an audience with the King. Home, they say that home is where the heart is? Yes I believe that, some years ago I recorded a Christmas CD, Family, the heart of it all. Could it be that when God is enthroned in our praise, that’s where He feels most at home? I believe that something is bound to happen when we worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. I believe that when we worship Him because His very nature is to encamp and dwell among His people. When He’s “at home” in praise, His heart is moved to speak, to heal, to comfort, to release. The Lord is not some idol that can be venerated, He is Jehovah God, whose presence is to be invited, welcomed, and expected. God has always been and is still ‘ in the midst” of His people as they worship Him. HE RESPONDS TO OUR PRAISES, dwelling within them in such a way that we can sense it.
As a music minister I have noticed that we as His children have not given God the time to speak and respond back to us during our times of worship. We are so busy following our “order of service” that we forgot to ask Him what HIS ORDER OF SERVICE” was. I have heard people say, That’s great but we need to get out in time. It is what we do with the time we have got.
JESUS among Us
Jesus reveals to us that His presence shows up when we are gathered in His name;” I assure you; Whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you lose on earth is already loosed in heaven. Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them” (Matt. 18:18-20)
1. Gathered together ( a meeting)
2. “in My name” -(am Agenda)
3. “ I am there among them” - (Presence)
Gathering in His name is the one activity of the church that we must never allow to get old, stale, dry,l dead, or worn-out. The presence of Jesus is promised” however, we must come with an agenda that is”in His name.” He is the purpose for gathering together-its all about Him, the heart of worship. He’s the focus, and He’s the gathering center.
The Garment of Praise
It is important to understand that praise and worship are not only vocal but also audible and visible, all which are scriptural. The church today has allowed ourselves to be lulled into some arrogant attitude that whispers to our hearts that we deserve His blessing. This type of attitude opens the doors of pride and sin, not to mention it robs us to experience the goodness and blessings of God on our lives and don’t stop to render worship to His great Name. Yes when we shout Amen, clap our hands, raise them to God, sing praises we have put on the garment of praise and our hearts speak directly to His Heart.
One hour perhaps two in what we call “church” how much of that time is worship. We have labeled it our Worship service, church service, we invite people to come to church, visit our church. The problem that I have faced and have learned is that the negative things in our world that we deal with throughout the week totals so many hours that we can become filled with negative thoughts that develop into a form of depression. This is a spirit. Yes a spirit of heaviness. Have you ever asked someone, “How are you doing today?. They respond “ Don’t ask. You then reply, Hey what’s up what’s going on? They reply, “Its going”. We thing that perhaps this person just has the blues about something, but what that person really has is a sprit, a spirit of heaviness.
The Hebrew word for heaviness means “ distressed, full of heaviness, brokenhearted, affliction of self, depression, feeble, obscure, darkish.”
Do you recognize a time that you have been afflicted with a spirit of heaviness? The only way to replace the spirit of heaviness is to put on the garment of praise. We must choose to put on praise. Just as we choose to say the negative things that the enemy is feeding us, we can choose to put on praise instead. “My soul melts from heaviness: strengthen me according to your word” ( Ps. 119:28)
The Sacrifice of Praise
One of the as we say the ‘types and shadows” that took place under the Old Covenant and continues today under the New Covenant is what is called a “sacrifice of praise” or a “thank offering”. Thank offering would be offered out of sheer gratitude and thankfulness to the Lord. (see Lev. 7-11-15). It was both spontaneous and intentional, and God no doubt enjoyed them so very much because they were not required. This word is important, required. In Jeremiah 33;10-11 we find ‘Praise the Lord of hosts, For the Lord is good, For His mercy endures forever’- and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as the first,” says the Lord.\
Another example from the Bible is found in the Psalms. (141-2) “May my prayer be set before You as incense, the raising of my hands as the evening offering [sacrifice]”
It’s called a Sacrifice Because it is
Nothing is sweeter, more precious, and nothing is dearer to His heart than when you and I are offering up a sacrifice of praise. When things are going not so well, God knows it’s a sacrifice to say “Thank you , Jesus” when nothing has changed. He knows it’s a sacrifice to say “Hallelujah” when you are barely making it. He knows it’s a sacrifice to say “ Praise the Lord” when you can hardly say anything at all. He knows it’s a sacrifice to say “Glory to God” when it seams you’ve lost more than you’ve gained. It is a sacrifice. We are to offer it up “continual” because God inhabits our praise, and His wonders to perform attend His healing presence. It takes the crushing of tens of thousands of flower petals to yield but an ounce of perfume. However, there is nothing in the world like the scent that is released through that crushing process, and perfume prices reflect that. When we are being crushed through circumstances and trials, and yet find it within ourselves by the power of the Holy Spirit to offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, the fruit of our lips becomes a most costly perfume to the Lord, released under the pressure of what we are going through.
A Instrument of warfare [Back to top of page]
Why is it in our churches or worship services today we don’t take time for ‘praise’? Yes we sing a song or three, or perhaps share our joys before a prayer, but we have fallen into the same traditions of our forefathers. Yes perhaps this sounds judgmental, but it is factual. We look at our clocks to rush home, and we in our minds we are silently thinking, boy this service is really long today. What about the burning desire to gather in his house, to worship him? Sometimes I just wonder what people would think if they didn’t have a bulletin to follow? This is exactly what the enemy wants. Yes the devil want’s us to become ‘traditional’. When things change, people rebel. We are called to worship in Spirit and Truth. Just what kind of worship does God except? What kind of worship did the Pharisees Conduct? God taught His people throughout the Bible that their praise to Him is also an instrument of warfare against the enemy of their souls. Praise is an instrument of warfare. The “praise” went out before the armies-just like they praised Him for victory before the battle took place. Army after army, battle after battle, the same thing, PRAISE> God has appointed (Ordained) praise because it stops the enemy dead in his tracks. Neither the devil nor his demons can offer any kind of protest after praise. They are silenced. The devil and his demons hate praise and they live in misery.
What does Praise Do?
Praise produces panic and fear within hell’s demonic ranks. Satan hates praise. Yet, he desired the praise and adoration that God received for Himself and was kicked out of heaven. He even asked Jesus to bow down and worship him (Matt. 4:9) Praise locks out the world as we go before the Lord.
We are to “Enter His gates with thanksgiving. Worship should be the most important thing we do and should be our highest priority. Even in a corporate worship (Church) it is the worship that softens the hearts of those present to receive the seed of the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is drawing us closer and closer as we worship. The “Deep” in God ( God’s Holy Spirit) is calling unto the “deep” in us. ) Read Psalm 42:7). In a worship service of our church the Holy Spirit is working in many different ways in any given time where Jesus Christ is being exalted.
It is important to understand that praise and worship are not only vocal but also audible, and visible which all are scriptural.
Jesus did not take back the healing of the nine lepers when they refused to render praise for their healing, but He did question why only one returned to give Him thanks. Undoubtedly, this must have hurt the Master because He loved them all the same and gave them each the same gift of healing, yet only one fell at His feet in worship. And that one was doubly blessed that day. All ten had the opportunity to spend time with Jesus, but only one took advantage of it. All then had the opportunity to have their sins forgiven, but only one put his faith in Jesus to be made well on the inside as well as the out. The one who returned to worship was not “from the church” he was a foreigner, an outcast, from the wrong side of town we might say. Could it be that we in the church have become so proud and so full of ourselves and our programs that we have taken God’s grace and poser for granted? Have we looked down our noses at “worship novices” who name out loud in a crowd, who worship Him with an abandon that makes us uncomfortable?
No one can tell me that God does not miss our praise. Jesus knew there were nine voices missing that day at the praise and worship service after the healing. Only one showed up, only one obeyed the prompting of his heart and only one got to enjoy the presence of Jesus.
I cant thank Him for you, nobody can but you, yourself. No one else can tell Him what is in your heart.
Lets get back to the HEART of Worship, its not about programs, how kind we are, how much we pray, or read the Bible, attend church, teach Sunday school, visit , sing, play music. These are all great things to do but remember what the Bible tells us, but Lord I did this, and that, and healed, and read, and preached, and gave, depart I knew you not. A relationship found in the Lord is one on one, Intimate, about JESUS, not what we do, but who we know? It begins with Praise and thanksgiving for then we enter into His house. It is to invite Jesus to come “HOME” and be with us as we offer Him the sacrifice’s of Praise to Him.
Anti-Instrument ... the instruments were never used in in Christian worship until late in the 7th century.
Response ... a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the apostle John, writes ; " as the Spirit urges those from all the earth who recognize this salutary mystery, the sufferings of Christ, through which He saved them, to sing and play the harp continually. " ... Justin Martyr A.D. 155 And again in A.D. 160 Lucian wrote ... " it is impossible to psallein without a lyre. "
Questions about Using Instruments in Worship? Mr. Lee Howell makes it so clear.