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The rivals of worship and the battle for human affections

We were made to give ourselves whole heartedly in love

  • It is impossible to discuss healthy attitudes related to worship and not view the sermon on the mount as one of our primary sources of healthy instruction.
  • Our human emotions and affections were meant to be given. You have heard some say “I have an addictive personality” That is not an isolated problem, that is a human problem.
  • There are many things in life that battle for our affections. Entertainment, people, hobbies. its a real war. The Father and Satan are fighting for your effections, and you determin the winner.

The fathers is seeking for worshipers.

People who will bow their hearts, minds, souls and their strength to the Lord regardless of circumstances. ie: bad sound, bad mix, too loud, too quiet, favorite songs, feeling emotionally drained, ashamed etc. None of these excuses hold weight before the throne. You might as well say this

“I didn’t worship the king because I was too busy observing the circumstances.” The father wants Revelation 4 worshipers, not critical observers.”

John 4:23

But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

  • The father is seeking those who will worship him. It is a priority to his heart. In our human thinking we often get caught up in human process for building the church, ministries and worship teams. The Father is seeking those who will connect with him at the heart. This is the number one invitation to humanity.

Matthew 22:37-38

And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and oremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

  • Its said that if you focus too much on your relationship with God you will forget to Love people and participate in the great commission
  • It is the opposite. Throw yourself into Loving God with all your heart and you will burn for lost people, burnt out Christians and the nations. The more your affections are in tune with Gods affections the effective you will be in inspiring people to Love Jesus wholeheartedly.

Rivals of a vibrant heart in worship

Shame

Zechariah 3:1

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.

  • We can observe the old testament principle of how the Lord responds when the enemy accuses us. If the Lord rebukes the accusation, then we must also.
  • The enemy strives to keep believers in sin cycles in order to keep us preoccupied with our own failure. If we are overcome by shame we cannot be free to love and worship Jesus with confidence that is gifted to us by the holy spirit

False expectations

Zechariah 4:10

For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth.”

Unmet false expectations are one of the primary reasons believers lose zeal for their assignment. Obstacles such as finance, people level of influence can derail the believer if our hearts are not prepared to deal with the disappointments that come with working for ministry.

We must get a vision for giving ourselves fully to our assignment in the Lord regardless how small or big it gets. We have to own our part of the branch and be all in to be most effective.

Story: People wanting melissas position as worship leader because of notiriety

Envy

James 4:2-3

You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

  • Being envious of another person’s gift that creates quarreling and fighting. Gaining prestige and position for our own pleasure has impure motives.
  • We have to trust that the Lord will position us according to his will, and the position he wants us in is our highest possible assignment. It requires humility to fully give our energy under someone who is less gifted than you are.
  • We do not have to unseat or block people from ministry positions.

Offense

Proverbs 19:11

A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.

  • Being offended is actually a much deeper issue related to the character of the person that is offended.
  • We lost all of our rights to be offended at the cross because Jesus has paid for every offense
  • This does not mean that we can’t have healthy disagreements that involve tender communication, mercy, humility and forgiveness. Ephesians 4:2-3

Story: The time I yelled at Ben during worship practice.

Dull heart

Isaiah 6:10; Matthew 13:15

‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’  “Render the hearts of this people insensitive,
Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.”

  • We can become spiritually bored when we are not pressing into God for extended periods of time. Time in the word, prayer and personal worship is critical to effectively ministering and pouring into others. You cannot give to others what you yourself do not have. Shame is one of the primary factors that play into spiritual boredom.

Story: Many days I have showed up to worship practice or worship sessions spiritually unprepared. It is easy to hide on a worship team and be spiritually dull. But you can’t fake the holy spirit out.

Slander

Mark 7:21-23

 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,  deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.  All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.

  • Slander defiles our inner man and hinders us from connecting with God in the necessary ways to lead others in worship. Criticism shifts our dialog with God from being God focused to people focused. Getting free from every form of criticism frees our hearts to connect with God and people in more effective ways.

Pre-occupied mind.

Matthew 6:22-23

The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

  • What we allow into our eyes affects our minds and our hearts. We can fill ourselves up with darkness if we are willing to look upon that which is impure.
  • There is a growing trend amongst believers, that those who are mature in the faith can handle watching tv shows that are promiscuous and provocative. As society is taking a radical and aggressive turn for publishing immoral material the church must take a radical stand for purity and holiness
  • Our minds meant to be occupied with information. The Lord specifically designed us to be fascinated with the knowledge of him. It is easy to be swept in the secular narrative of what is pure, right and good. Proverbs 2:1-8

Story: It’s okay to have other things that we enjoy in life, but they cannot dominate our thoughts. For years I allowed sports to navigate my schedule and commitments even if it disrupted my assignment in the Lord.

Practical principles for the biblical worship order.

The first thing David did when he became king was prioritized worship in the nation of Isreal.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

25 Moreover, David and the commanders of the army set apart for the service some of the sons of Asaph and of Heman and of Jeduthun, who were to prophesy with lyres, harps and cymbals; and the number of those who performed their service was: 2 Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah and Asharelah; the sons of Asaph were under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied under the direction of the king. 3 Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun with the harp, who prophesied in giving thanks and praising the Lord. 4 Of Heman, the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti and Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, Mahazioth. 5 All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer to exalt him according to the words of God, for God gave fourteen sons and three daughters to Heman. All these were under the direction of their father to sing in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, harps and lyres, for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman were under the direction of the king. 7 Their number who were trained in singing to the Lord, with their relatives, all who were skillful, was 288.

Separated for the service: David set apart singers and musicians to a full-time occupation.

  • Set a structure that makes it difficult for any person to join a worship team. People generally gravitate to serve on worship teams because it is a ministry that gains personal attention. Require commitments that go beyond simply showing up for practice and worship sessions.
  • Create a vision that worshipers, singers, and musicians will buy into.
Who should prophesy: We seek to operate in the prophetic by giving expression to impressions given by the Spirit.
  • Prophesy is simple if you keep it biblical. Repeat biblical phrases and allow the holy spirit to rest on them.
  • The temptation to wait for something incredible or supernatural to happen will prevent you from flowing in the spirit. Don’t over think it.
  • Prophesy with your instrument. (Testimony of guitar part at Jubilee Assembly of God)
  • Creating melodies or musical tension according to the declarations that flow from the word
  • Simple phrases and bible verses. The Lord is already in agreement with them.
Music:
  • There is a remarkable connection between the Holy Spirit, the human heart, and music
  • Music gives expression to the emotions of God and human beings.

Praise:

  • Worship is about magnifying Jesus. It is not a ministry to people or a congregation but an offering from the body to the Lord.
  • Worship is is a ministry to the Lord. We aim at ministering to him in song, love and adoration.
    1 Samuel 2:11;

Under the direction of:

  • Being under the direction requires a family interaction and dynamic. Those on worship teams should be personally invested into each other and challenge each other to go deeper in the Lord.

Instructed:

  • Taking instruction requires humility and submission.
  • Understanding team dynamics, relationships, honor systems
  • training program. Submitting yourself to a leader for correction and instruction
  • Biblical studies and understanding of biblical themes, so you can effectively communicate during times of worship

Skillful : Skill is necessary for creativity to flow. Artist s will not thrive without being creative , as t his is where the fun and energy are . The creativity of music with Holy Spirit interaction is powerful. Without relational flow in a worship team, creativity will not reach it s highest potential.

Practical responsibilities of worship team members.

Committing to a sermon on the mount lifestyle will position your worship team to be the salt and light that will usher people to the throne of God with minimum resistance.

The human heart is generally bothered. If the worship team is bothered and then the congregation is filled with people who are bothered, it becomes more and more difficult to be lead by the holy spirit during corporate worship. Unforgiveness, bitterness, criticism, hard hardheartedness make it difficult to connect with the Lord and the long term effects are spiritual boredom and a dull heart.

  • Accept the smallness of your assignment
    Zechariah 4:10
  • Submit with humility (Related to skill, gifts and popularity) James 4:10
  • Honor your commitments (Do not waiver with poor excuses)Matthew 5:37
  • Be reliable in small and great tasks Luke 16:10
  • Resist bitterness, criticism and slander (team, team members)Matthew 5:22
  • Commit to consistent prayer times, fasting, the word and personal worship times. Matthew 6:5; Matthew 6:16
  • Nobody can hold you back from your assignment (Potential)
  • Prepare for mundane. Commit to faithfulness regardless how it feels. Revelation 2:10