Recently I attended beyond the walls “sifa afternoon,” an interdenominational praise and worship fellowship. It was powerful in a way that can only be possible in the Spiritual dimension. Now…
There has been big debates surounding praising God in regards to songs sung by mortals with the intention of expressing their Love towards any immortal deity. Around the Christian fellowships Jesus Christ, the Son Of God says in John 4:24 “…God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
This verse carries three most important aspects of worship that any believer must grow into. Even though the word worship here does not singularly speak of singing but the entire aspect of expression of adoration to God our creator.
A. God is Spirit
We must acknowledge that God is omniscient, He knows our hearts, He knows our intentions, He knows our words even before we speak. Therefore it is not about the sweet words and melody that we voice in cathedrals, synagogues, homes or fields. It is all about the heart. The attitude behind the voice. God is Spirit is also an acknowledgement of His omnipresence. As you sing that hymn He shares the page with you audibly voicing the words therein with you. Question is? Does He Feel you, do you feel Him. Are religiously singing memorized tunes that mean nothing or do we relationally pour out our praise to Him? When we fervently shout that praise He shares that microphone with you, question is, is it His voice in yours or Just yours? We must surrender all that is ours for all that is His and offer Free-Flowing Praise to God.
B. Man Must Worship spirit and truth
My friends, God is Spirit and we MUST worship Him in our spirit. This second spirit must not be mistaken for the Holy Spirit! What!? I know! Just read on. Well, we are body, soul and spirit. In Romans 8:16 we read “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. In simple terms the Spirit Of God who is God, communes with our spirit and confirms to us that we are Children or sons of God in regards to redemption. In the same way we MUST, according to Christ’s own emphasis, allow our worship to come from the spirit in the fullness of the truth within us, freely flowing upwords to God. The body and soul expressing what the spirit dictates. Wether prostration, waving, bowing, crying, clapping, dancing etc. But the Spirit-filled spirit remains in control. Let no flesh glory in His Presence.1 Corrinthians 1:29.
C. Those Who Worship Him
Worshiping God is not denominationalised. However and whatever way we have chosen to praise God, we should bear in mind the need to be pure and pius. The instructions are do it “in spirit and truth”, without grudging and judging. Just as faith is not apportioned to any one denomination but all who believe so are praises wether we praise His mighty works or praising the beauty of His presence, our spirits must be guided by His Spirit, saturating out hearts with the Gospel truth and lifted towards Jehovah most high.
I HAVE BEEN THERE…
I have been privileged to worship in congregations that use hymn books and encountered God’s presence. I’ve praised God with the Turkana in the scorching sandy villages of Naapetet and encountered God. We praised and worshiped in their tiny twig-huts and yes, their bony hands accompanying their spirit-filled hearts and saw God’s Joy beaming brighter than the desert sunshine in their eyes. I have been to Believers Fellowship Tabernacle Church, where the prowess of music is unmatched in Kisumu and still… the Presence of Jehovah was there. The list is endless. Let’s not idolize “our way of praise” and vilify “their way of noise”. Let us focus on God Who is SPIRIT and worship Him in truth.
David answers Key questions in regards to Praising God in Psalm 150
1. WHERE PRAISES COME FROM?
“Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!”
All songs of praises must be inspired by his Presence. Let our songs be filled by the testimony of the Gospel. Declaring His Person, Purpose and Power in the simplicity of Language so that the congregation can sing and say amen. Songs are meant for us to align our Emotion to God’s Emotion and Express them in love as Free-Flowing Praise. This can only be achieved if it all comes from God Himself. Songs are powerful invokers on emotion. Let them be Godly.
2. WHY DO WE PRAISE?
“2 Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!”
What if all our songs were filled with His mighty works and not our bragging? What if all our worship songs were filled with the exceeding excellence of His presence? And not our jewelry and shiny shoes? It’s good to dress well in service of God, but in serving Him, He should shine forth more, because His life is the light of men. Worship leaders reduce, that He may increase!!! When you increase out of your own pride, your fall shall be as fast lightening. We praise not because we are professionals, but because we have encountered The Christ in Person or in power
3. How Should we Praise.
“3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!”
I have a question for you. Do you have any of the above? Yes, so do I! Let’s grab them and hit, strum and pluck on them as we praise our creator. Instruments are not evil. Dancing is not evil. However, let us remember that when Elisha son of Shaphat chose to prophesy out of respect for Jehoshaphat in 2Kings 3, he said “15 But now bring me a musician.”
Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him.
This must teach us that not everyone is an instrumentalist! cee all clap hands, let us clap in harmony, however, when it comes to playing these other instruments let’s try diligence so that our services don’t sound like a superstitious community chasing away what Luos call Nyawawa (evil spirits from the lake)
4. WHO SHOULD PRAISE!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
Jesus said if men stopped praising Him the the stones would praise. One way or another Jesus, the Christ is always praised. Verse six uses the permissive word let, you and I have got the choice to praise for the simple reason that we have breath. The breath that was breathed to the soil Adam and he became a living soul. Even if you have the tiniest bit of a heart beat, Praise the Lord. Even if you are on life support equipment, praise the Lord. The walls of your Jericho may Just come down …
Believers of all tribes and nations, let’s praise the LORD, beyond the walls of our prejudice.
God bless you.