FAITH in Praise and Worship
Early Saturday morning, both Tina and I awoke with a song of worship on our lips…
Tina awoke singing a great old hymn,
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come
Our shelter from the stormy blast
And our eternal home.
Simultaneously, I awoke singing a great new chorus,
So let go, my soul, and trust in Him;
the waves and wind still know His Name…
It is well, with my soul… It is well, with my soul…
It is well it is well with my soul!
Later that morning, I was diagnosed with colon cancer…
Praise and worship is an integral part of every Great Awakening, as the Holy Spirit pours out new songs and empowers again old ones. We read a powerful portion of Scripture this week (II Chronicles 20) that helps us understand why…
King Jehoshaphat called all Judah to pray and fast as a huge army approached to destroy them. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You, the King prayed. The Holy Spirit responded, Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. As the people began to sing and praise, two great things happened:
1) The people of Judah were comforted, and;
2) The enemy was so confused they destroyed themselves!
The Lord used praise and worship to bring great comfort to both Tina and me on a difficult day last week. He uses the very same thing to confuse the enemy and turn it on itself!! We are confident concerning the outcome of this battle!!!
But notice one thing true praise and worship does not make people: Comfortable.
Spirit-empowered Praise and Worship is a great comfort, because it surrounds us with the Presence of God Himself, but when singing has become comfortable to our flesh and sensibilities, it is no longer worship. It is just singing—and “just singing” does not confuse the enemy; rather, it invites him!
I have spent 24 years helping church folks move from being comfortable in singingto being comforted in offering true praise and worship. My heart has broken often as I realized many people would rather be comfortable than comforted; oppressed by the enemy rather than awed by God’s battle plan. Still, my call as a pastor is clear and in fact even more impassioned as we move into Awakening!
So as the battles become more intense, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus in praise and worship. Though the enemy is real, the comfort of God’s presence is more real; though the enemy is strong, the battle belongs to the Lord! But whatever you do, do not settle for being comfortable…!