Friday, February 15, 2013

Worship Leading: Knowing God's Presence


When you've spent time in your day-to-day pressing into God's presence you know how to step in anytime and in any place. Lately God has been showing me that just how the Israelites in the Old Testament begged an pleaded for a King to lead and guide them, people today beg and plead for a Worship Leader to lead them into the presence of God and guide them through. This and so many other topics have been weighing in on my heart, but the time and the words just haven't been quick enough to follow and execute. Yes, this is so true. Look around your church, talk to people there, and you'll realize that in most cases if someone isn't instructing a congregation on what to do or say next, then chunks of the room look like deer caught in headlights. When we don't spend time on our own with God during the week, Sunday roles along and we find ourselves on empty, or confused, tired, bored, or maybe even a little frustrated. It's frustrating not being able to press through. While the King of Israel and his servant were tired of waiting for God to act Elisha pressed through and acted in obedience to God, with eyes wide open, as the floodgates of heaven were opened (2 Kings 6:33-7:20). There are moments in congregational worship when the music is playing but the voices just stop. Many associate this as a dry spell of disorder or just plain laziness from the Worship Team but I call those moments something else. It's that instance of pure comfort and awe when we realize that our eyes have been opened and the veil has been torn. We can now see with our spirit what God is doing and how He's moving so we obey and step aside and bask in His presence. These are my two perfect examples. Eye openers.

(Genesis 16:13) Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?”

(2 Kings 6:16-17) “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.

The Worship Team is exactly like Hagar and Elisha's Servant in this: though everything around them is in motion they cease for a moment in time and are awakened by the Spirit of God to see what is truly moving around them. The things unseen are what we should fix our eyes on because the Word tells us that those things are more real than what our physical eyes see. Though Hagar was running away from harassment and Elisha's Servant was quaking with fear at the sight of the Aramean army both of them had that shifting moment that changed their whole perspective because of the eye-opening pause. Embrace these moments because God wants to open our eyes to truly see. There was an actual situation a few weeks back when a very nice woman came up to me after the Worship service and told me that I needed to "lead" more. So although every fiber within me wanted to spill out the first thing that I mentioned above, (about how this attitude resembled the Israelite's unnecessary obstinacy and fascination with having a King lead them) I chose to say something else. The Israelites wanted a human to be their King when they already had God, the King of Kings, dwelling there with them and audibly guiding them. Really? Am I the only one incredibly passionate about this. God is enough. He-is-enough. The Holy Spirit is here in our midst. He is my Worship Leader when I'm up on the altar or off stage near my family. He tells me what to do, say, and sing because He's boss like that. So, anyway...back to the original topic: I simply answered my Sister in Christ that The Holy Spirit is the one Leading this deliverance service and I'm just simply doing what He says because sometimes He'll want me to talk but other times He's just doing what He feels like doing and I don't want to get in the way of that. The words that were really aching to pop out though were these: If you perceive the presence of God then step in...don't wait for someone to lead you there...simply approach the spiritual thrown boldly and without fear because that moment is yours. That moment has been given to you through Jesus. He paid for the re-establishment of your relationship with God so that you wouldn't need a human mediator to connect you with your father. Jesus is our mediator and He did what He came to do. If you see that cloud with your spirit then step in regardless of how you may look or come off because that is your chance to gaze on the beauty of your God and to get a glimpse into your eternity. Just like the Israelites didn't need a King, you don't need a Worship Leader to lead you into the presence of God. The King was not needed but He was given to God's people because they constantly begged for a King. Some were good, and some were bad, but none were perfect. I myself know and can say that Worship Leaders are not needed but God has placed us here for those who begged for someone to lead them into the presence of God. If you know what His presence feels and tastes like then step in and don't hesitate or wait around for words to tell you what to do. For those of us who are Worship Leaders or for those who want to be Worship leaders I say these words with an honest heart that our main goal should be to teach others how to step into God's presence on a daily basis. Our goal should be for people to not have to depend on a person to open the floodgates of heaven for them. Just like there were good and bad Kings there are good and bad Worship leaders. Since God has placed us in a leadership position let's do all that we can to leave a large footprint so that God may be glorified. Know God's presence through spending time with God. He is your King and the only true and perfect Worship Leader you'll ever need. Let God's law be your foundation, Jesus be your example, and the Holy Spirit your revealing guide.

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