Archives For holy spirit

A few quotes on worship:

“it’s great… you just feel really euphoric”

“makes me feel like superman, lots of energy and a feeling like I could do anything”

“sometimes like you’re floating on the inside”
The interesting thing is that all of these are actually all quotes about what it is like to feel high. Isn’t it amazing the similarities to what we hear when there is a great worship service? People used to say they were “high on Jesus”. Some reason that always bothered me because I think there is so much more to worship worship than that.

So is worship just a drug? Is it a cheap thrill?

Modern day worship seems to have turned a corner where we have limited the holiness of God and elevated our hope for warm and fuzzy feelings every time we get together.

We treat worship Like a selfish relationship. Recently I have been involved in a multi-church prayer/worship meeting. We have moved in a direction that we feel like God is leading us to pertaining the order and flow of the monthly event. Like any event there have been amazing ones and there have been lackluster ones, but the vision stays consistent in that we Worship in unity and pray for revival in our churches and community. I have been made aware of a bunch of people who no longer got the “feeling” they were looking for out of the meeting and have chosen to not return. I wasn’t surprised by this because it happens every day, but it saddened me.

Churches lose people all the time because attendees didn’t quite get that buzz, didn’t like the sermon that week, and even have issues with the carpet color. I think the issue may be within the phrase “I attend ______(insert church name)”. When did it start being about attending a church and less about being the church.

It is the same reason why so many marriages are failing right now. People are selfish and when a guys wife no longer gives him that “feeling” it is time to go find a girl that can.

Selfish Worship is powerless worship.

We as leaders have perpetuated a culture of powerless worship. Think about that for a second….

We attempt to manipulate emotional responses from our congregations by the right formula of fast to slow songs so people can get their sunday fix. Sometimes we treat it like a spiritual Redbull, but monday comes and that high wears off. We use something designed to glorify the King and water down the power to attract the outside. Did Jesus water down the power of God? We have to be careful that we don’t confuse accessibility with seeker focused worship.

We worship God because He is worthy to be worshiped. It is because He alone is worthy and He alone is Holy. Thats it! We don’t worship so we can try to Christianize the latest Muse track. We worship because the King of Kings is Holy.

We praise God because of what He has done and continues to do.

The bible says ENTER HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING IN OUR HEARTS….ENTER HIS COURTS WITH PRAISE!

Do we come to church ready to worship?
Have we been worshiping all week?

We love to throw around terms like “worship is not music… it’s a lifestyle”.

That is great and so true.
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalms 34:1)

We need to be constantly praising our God and king, but Christian slogans become just that. We become desensitized to our own terms and forget the greatness of the POWER of God.

Acts 16:23-26 “And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

(24) Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

(25) And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.”

There seems to be a divided people in the church these days. Some who want no music and some who think it should all be music.

Do you think that we would be so divided on that if we worshiped with everything we had like Paul and Silas did? Football stadiums are full of people willing to scream and yell for their favorite team and in our churches we have people who know that Jesus came and died for us to be saved and we worship His greatness with lackluster hearts. Can you imagine a worship service like paul and silas had where God shakes your church and people are released from their burdens and shackles and where “EVERY ONE’S BANDS WERE LOOSED” ?

Praise and worship bring us into the presence of God  “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance” (Psalms 89:15)

The Bible says that God inhabits in the praises of His people (Psalms 22:3).
I love that because it says That when we praise GOD dwells in the midst of us. While praise is a reaction to His greatness it is also the gateway to ushering in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

Worship gives us the ability as worshipers to be creative in our expression as well. With dance, spoken word, singing, lyrics, the arts etc… We limit this creativity in worship when we limit the freedom of expression and range of emotion.

Worship in our services should be like a buffet line. It is self serve smorgasbord of all kinds of things. The church needs to stop waiting for leaders to force feed them and seek God in their own time. Sometimes just like in a buffet they are things you may not like. A worship leaders job is to not just hand you the comfortable mac-n-cheese every time or what I like to call happy meal worship. Sometimes he needs to go deeper. Sometimes he needs to break out the oatmeal and give you something sustainable. Other times he may need to break out the broccoli which he knows you may not like, but your soul desperately needs.

Worship is a Powerful WEAPON:

2 Chronicles 20

10 “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them.11 Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance.

12 O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”
13 As all the men of Judah stood before the LORD with their little ones, wives, and children,

14 the Spirit of the LORD came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.
15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.

17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!”
18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the LORD.

19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.

20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”

21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the LORD and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:
“Give thanks to the LORD;
his faithful love endures forever!”
22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves.23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other……
26 On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing,t which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the LORD there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today.
27 Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, overjoyed that the LORD had given them victory over their enemies.
28 They marched into Jerusalem to the music of harps, lyres, and trumpets, and they proceeded to the Temple of the LORD.
29 When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the LORD himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them.

Worship goes before the battle.
Praise and worship is our weapon in the battle.
We rejoice in the victory by praising the VICTOR.

How amazing is that section. Do we ever lead our worship services in the knowledge that this is MUCH more than singing? Are we praying for the insight and discernment to be aware that God may be using our praise and worship on the front lines of a spiritual battle?

This past sunday I was leading worship and felt a horrible spirit in the room. I felt like God was saying to change up the set list on the fly. I followed. What happened that most likely no body noticed is I was no longer leading worship, but was fighting a spiritual battle along side angels in the room with my praise to the King.

Praise and Worship are amazing and Not only is God worthy of our praise but its amazing what He will do through us and in us when we glorify him.

Questions:

Are you creating a culture of “surface worship” happy meal worship?

Are you teaching people to worship and the amazing power in it?

Is your churches time of praise centered around attracting people or Christ?

During the weeks that the Spirit doesn’t fall on the church like it’s pentecost does your team consider that their failure or do you teach the ebb and flow of the movement of God?

Are you In-Tune?

June 28, 2011 — 1 Comment

In 1995 I was sent to Kiev, Ukraine, with YWAM, as a missionary. In our first week there we found an apartment to move into for our stay. It was customary to have the church leader come over and pray over the new home or space. It can be compared to what we do in the US called a house-warming or house-blessing. We decided to invite the assistant pastor, of the church we were working with, over for dinner.

That night as we were preparing a typical meal of eggs, potatoes and ham there was a knock at the door.

It was the assistant pastor.

“Come on in” we said after a brief hug.

He stepped in and instantly froze. We were surprised of course by the abrupt interruption. He didn’t move and judging from his blank stare seemed to be engrossed in thought. The he looked at us.

He said in Ukrainian…”something is wrong here”.

He slowly walked into the apartment and towards the bedroom. He then proceeded to get on his hands and knees and reach under the bed. When his hand came back out again we were amazed to find him holding an occult book of some sort.

I was floored. Actually my whole team was.

I was at a loss for words and in awe of the power of the Holy Spirit.

How could he do this? Was this man was so in tune with the Holy Spirit that he could sense when things were not of God in a room

This story is a perfect example of how vital it is to stay connected with the Holy Spirit.

In 2 Corinthians 13:14, it says:
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all, amen.”

Staying connected with the Holy Spirit also gives us a third party. A tuning fork if you will for life that keeps Christians united to the same key. This is the importance of Christian Community. If the same Holy Spirit that leads me leads you as well we can walk together in agreement.

Getting in tune with the Spirit is a daily process. A few steps to this are:

Identity – getting rid of your old identity and finding your identity in Christ

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Prayer – Continuous prayer and putting God’s will first in your life

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Sacrifice – setting aside your own life

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8

Listening – too often we pray and never listen to God speaking or answering. Distractions can get overwhelming and it is simple to say “be still” rather than to actually be still.  The Spirit can help quiet the noise.

“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

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Questions to ponder:

How in-tune to the Spirit are you these days?

Have you ever been able to hear from the Spirit like the assistant pastor could?

Which of the 4 steps do you need to work on and why?

An excerpt from a book I am writing with Adam Fagan-Kela and Jack Osteen

Just Breathe

January 13, 2009 — 5 Comments

Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said.  – John 20:22

I need this verse right now…crazy things in my life I can’t go into just yet.

Breathe on me O breath of Heaven…Let Your spirit fall on me.