Friday, May 11, 2007

Revelation and Response

(Title of the post taken from Matt Redman's book, Facedown).

The greatest challenge I face as a worship leader is this; how to help lead our congregation into the presence of God when we all speak a slightly different "worship language." The thing we have to understand is this: I don't lead worship, the Holy Spirit does. I love this definition of worship I heard many years ago from Dave Williamson (a writer/arranger of music):

"Worship is all that we are, responding to all that God has revealed Himself to be, empowered by the Holy Spirit."

There are some key points for us to see here!

1) "Worship is all that we are..." Worship requires ALL. We sing songs about this all the time, but I'm not sure if most of us (including myself) "live the talk" and "walk the walk?" Songs like "I Surrender All," "Take My Life," to name a couple. Worship is not something you can do "half-way." It's ALL that we are. This includes your emotions, your brain, your actions, and perhaps most challenging, your mind/will. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength..." - remember those words? That's Jesus talking. Heart (emotions), soul, mind (your will) and strength (your actions). In short, worship requires EVERYTHING.

2) "...responding to all that God has revealed Himself to be..." Worship is a response! Matt Redman paints this picture beautifully in two short books he wrote; The Heart of Worship Files and Facedown. Put simply, however, worship (what we do) is a response. We don't initiate worship, God does. We simply respond to Him. This begs a couple of questions;
- Is your worship an appropriate response to who God has revealed Himself to be? Do you worship whole-heartedly?
- Do you have an accurate picture of God or are you settling for something less? If you're like me, perhaps you often digress into a limited view of God. The 'dream-crusher' or 'joy-taker' or 'un-involved one.' Click here for some help on recapturing a true image of God.

3) "...empowered by the Holy Spirit." We do NOT initiate worship, God does. We cannot get to Him through our own efforts. The lyrics of a popular worship song help to put this into perspective:
"This is a gifted response,
Father we cannot come to You by our own merit
But we have come in the name of your Son
As He glorifies You
and in the power of Your Spirit."

Again, the question that must burn in the heart of every believer; "is your worship an accurate reflection and response of what God has done for you?" Or, put another way, if watching us worship were the thermometer of how great our God is, what would the reading be?

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