PSALMS 107:41-43: “But he rescues the poor from trouble and increases their families like flocks of sheep. The godly will see these things and be glad, while the wicked are struck silent. Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.” NLT
OBSERVATION: Dear Worship Leader…
Before I begin my thoughts I want to make two very important statements. First, I love to worship the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Second, I love worship leaders who devote themselves each week to leading God’s people to the throne of grace to offer praise, worship, and experience the presence of God. The following comments must be weighed by these two statements.
There are two statements that I would like to ask worship leaders to think about. The first is,
“We need to get used to worshipping the Lord because when we get to heaven we will be worshipping at His throne 24/7.”
This first statement shows the passion of the worship leader for what they are doing. However, it lacks a true Biblical basis in its premise. While we can glean from Revelation chapter 4 that there is always worship taking place around God’s throne, we cannot interpret this to mean that all we will do in heaven is stand around the throne and worship. The text is not meant to convey this idea and the balance of Scripture does not support it.
If God created man to be industrious before his fall into sin, can we imagine that God will have a different plan when He restores us from sin? The Scriptures tell us that the saints will be engaged with Jesus in ruling the nations. It sounds like we will be very busy in the new heavens and the new earth with the purposes and will of God. Work is not a product of man’s fall into sin. Work, sanctified work, creative work, fulfilling work, is the gift and call of God for mankind.
- “To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them, I will give authority over all the nations. They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots. They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star! “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” Revelation 2:26-29 NLT
The second statement I want to ask worship leaders to consider is the statement,
“God is good!”
Many times it is suggested that all we need to do is say “God is good” and all our troubles will simply be washed away. Is God good? Absolutely! Is God good all the time? Yes, every moment of every day! Then why do I have trouble with this statement?
Can I be honest? Sometimes I don’t feel like God is good. My circumstances don’t seem to mirror this truth. My emotions don’t echo this truth. I need something more than just a faith cheer to restore my heart in faith. I think if we are really honest this is true for all of us. Many times in their exuberance worship leaders will dismiss doctrine for a move of the spirit. Doctrine is not important. Our emotional response is all that matters.
To this, I would humbly suggest,
- Worship without doctrine always leads to extremism.
- Doctrine without worship always leads to legalism.
We need both!
- “But he rescues the poor from trouble and increases their families like flocks of sheep. The godly will see these things and be glad, while the wicked are struck silent. Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.”
The Psalmist calls us to worship and be glad in the Lord. Yet, he also states how those who are wise will do this. They will see in their history (the record of God’s Word) the faithful love of the Lord!”
- Worship without truth will never sustain the hurting heart.
- Truth without worship will never fire the hungry soul.
We need a balance of both!
- “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 NLT
So, dear worship leaders. You are appreciated. You are essential. We need you to lead us to the throne of grace in spirit and truth. We need to sing songs that are filled with substance and call us to remember the covenant of hope we have in Jesus Christ. We need to proclaim the cross and celebrate the resurrection. And, we need to proclaim the hope and joy of heaven to come knowing that as He is, we will be!
While worship most certainly is not what we do for 30 minutes on a Sunday morning, while it is the totality of a life lived for Jesus Christ, what we do for these 30 minutes is essential. It is the difference between wandering in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water and coming to a refreshing stream where our bodies, souls, and spirits are refreshed in the presence of God.
Dear Worship Leader – Thank you for allowing me to share these thoughts. I pray you will receive them in the love in which they were intended. May the Lord continue to bless you in your ministry and anoint you with a new song as you lead God’s people each week!
In Jesus Name!