Should we manufacture this “joyful shout or howl like a battle cry” as our religious duty to God?
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In many verses these same Hebrew and Greek words from Joy – BT4 for “joyful shout or howl” are used to describe an army’s battle cries! This kind of behavior is certainly not ‘subdued or solemn,’ so many of our churches would be quite upset if these very loud shouts of joy actually went on, saying “it was not decent and in order,” as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:40 that “all things [in a church service] should be done.” However, Paul was a Jew that would expect celebratory worship and the context has NOTHING to do with worship but the respectful ‘taking of turns’ in Body-Ministry.
You just can’t manufacture this kind of uninhibited exuberance through the emotional “might and power” of the flesh. I’ve seen so many charismatic churches try so hard to ‘whoop up’ the congregation, but when for a moment they took the loud music and the cranked-up microphones away for the congregation to hear themselves worship, the volume and enthusiasm of the congregation dropped to a whimper – like listening to people after they just got out of bed or after being in the desert starving for a week! In many churches you could really feel this “spirit of heaviness.” I have been so many worship-team meetings where they ‘programmed’ the music set list with lots of clapping and moving praise songs first to get them emotionally ‘over this hump’ before actually getting into worship songs.
I was recently at a prophetic conference where they tried everything to ‘whoop up’ the congregation into a frenzy but it was very limp! I begged God to show me what was wrong and He showed me The Great Wall blocking the Holy Spirit’s flow in the Church and reminded me that Jesus said: “The Spirit [in Christians] is actually willing, but the flesh (a) is asthenes beggarly-poor-weak-feeble-impotent” (b). This feeling I was hearing from the congregation and that I was feeling myself of “asthenes lack of vigor, feeling depleted, frail, feeble, sickly, without adequate strength, and lacking necessary resources” describes “the flesh” trying so hard to do the things of God by it’s “might and power external resources and internal abilities” but coming up short! So many church services are just that – people doing “works of righteousness” FOR God with their own “might and power,” making it no different than the old covenant or Law of the OT. <Notes> a) body and soul’s mind, emotions, will – see Identity, b) Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38; Romans 8:3.
Then God really opened my eyes about The Great Wall. This supernatural celebration of “loud joyfully shouting, praising, ringing out shouts of extreme triumphant joy/gladness, and shouting or howling out joyfully as with battle cries,” which the Hebrew and Greek describe in so many verses, can only occur from mere humans when they are actually in the presence of God. You just can’t fake this! A lot of churches rightfully want this, but they simply don’t get into the presence of God, so their worship may be FOR God, but they are not para with/close-beside God.
They justify their actions by quoting 1 or 2 verses they think says, “If we ‘sacrificially’ force ourselves to exuberantly praise God, then this will bring us into the presence of God.” They even say that’s why “praise” is different from “worship,” but the original languages and context make no such distinction and use them interchangeably as synonyms. They say “praise” should be done first to “wake the people up, and to get them into the presence of God so they can then worship God.” This is ‘borrowing’ psychology from the world! And so they have “worship-team planning meetings” to order the songs so that this will happen, and that’s really tough if the pastor only gives you 5 songs because he has to get his sermon in, which will take twice as long, so he can get the congregation out the door in time for lunch, or so that he can do 2 or 3 more services! This is all flesh! What they say they have achieved as “the presence of God” is actually emotional hype, or in many churches, no emotion at all except maybe boredom! I’ve been on 15 worship-teams since 1980 in hundreds of services, so I’m speaking from experience! But that doesn’t seem to keep them from trying week after week to do this with all their “might and power.” It becomes their religious duty FOR God to just keep trying the same routine, even if they don’t see any changes in results!
Prophetically speaking of Jesus, David sang in Psalms 21:6 “For You make Him most blessed forever; You make sharp to triumphantly rejoice/be joyful (a) Him in/by/with festive-joy-from-grace (b) with the [face of] your presence.” And prophetically in Psalms 45:7, “God has anointed You with the oil of exuberant, exulting joy/gladness (c) beyond your companions.” And prophetically in Psalms 16:9-11 “My heart is rejoicing/glad/cheery (d), My tongue (Greek) or My glory/splendor (Hebrew) rejoices (e), My flesh also dwells secure hope [of resurrection from Sheol]. . . . You make experientially, relationally known (f) to Me the path of genuine zoe genuine-life; in your [face of] presence [is] fullness (g) of festive joy (b); at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Nehemiah 8:10 tells us how powerfully-enabling this joy is: “The joy of/belonging-to Yahweh IS-defined-as/exists-as our fortress/rock (i)” in Hebrew or in Greek “endowed strength/power (j).”
<Notes> a) chadah: be/grow sharp, rejoice, make joyful; euphraino: have a merry/cheery outlook from inner triumph, b) simchah: joy, glee, gladness, mirth, gaiety, pleasure in festivity; chara: joyful awareness/recognition of God’s charis unconditionally-loving-favor-of-grace, c) sasown: exultation, rejoicing; agalliasis: intense, exuberant joy and gladness, d) samach: rejoice, be joyful, glad, exult or boast in; euphraino: have a merry/cheery outlook from inner triumph, e) gil: go round about with excited levity or joy; agalliao: to have intense, exuberant joy and gladness, f) yada, gnorizo from ginosko, g) soba: abundance; pleroo: filled to completion, h) simchah: joy, glee, gladness, mirth, gaiety, pleasure in festivity; euphrosune: merry/cheery outlook from inner triumph, i) ma’owz – see a vision I had about this on 12-24-2020, j) ischus.
Well, we could do a detailed study on all these other words used for joy but I bet we would get the same overall message: we simply can NOT produce this supernatural joy with our own natural “might and power” and God doesn’t want us to keep trying out of religious duty! We simply need to acknowledge “The Great Wall” and surrender-control. We can’t get different results until we do different things!
As Christian musicians, are we going to twist 1 or 2 verses so that we can justify ‘faking it until we make it’ in worship, and thus end up back in the “might and power” religious duty FOR God from the palaios “old, antiquated, worn-out, useless” covenant? Or are we going to enter into the para WITH/CLOSE-BESIDE God “by My Spirit” completely-different-in-kind NEW Covenant? If we do the latter, we certainly will NOT be “decent and in order” in our worship but “joyfully shouting or howling as with a battle cry,” maybe so “loudly people can hear us from far away.”
Just as we can’t ‘borrow’ the old covenants ‘work FOR God out of religious duty” approach to worship, we also can’t ‘borrow’ the world’s ‘the end justifies the means’ approach by trying to ‘psych ourselves out’ and having worship-teams program the song list using the world’s psychology to emotionally manipulate the congregation into ‘a state of worship.’ Turning the music up doesn’t get people “in the Spirit!” If you have the ‘blues’ and simply can’t find joy in worship, the “sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise” answer of ‘just do it and the feelings will come latter’ is a lie – see Joy – BT1. This is all still “might and power” flesh that “opheleo oudeis absolutely in fact useless or profits nothing” according to Jesus! Both of these create The Great Wall to quench the Spirit.
No, the answer to the ‘blues’ is to “Worship by [singular] Truth” by totally surrendering our ‘blue’ feelings to the Lord through confession. It doesn’t cover up evil, but “brings it into The Light of Jesus who is The Truth.” Yes, we are to “celebrate the festival, but not in possibility with the palaios ‘old, antiquated, worn-out, useless’ leaven, the leaven/yeast of kakia inward-evil/spite/malice-even-if-not-expressed and/coupled poneria ‘pain/evil resulting in hard, menial, or monotonous-work,’ but instead with the unleavened (unmixed with yeast) bread of [singular] pure-sincerity and/coupled [singular] Truth” per Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:8. We aren’t supposed to “white-wash tombs of dead men’s bones” like the Pharisees who celebrated the Jewish festivals of worship to hide who they really were. This ‘fake it until you make it’ is repulsive to God – it is religion!
In the parable of the soils, Jesus is looking for “a kalos beautiful-harmonic-symmetrical-praiseworthy – 39 translations says honest – and/coupled agathos good-natured-useful heart” and the “kalos beautiful-harmonic-symmetrical-praiseworthy soil” that will then “bear fruit with patient-endurance.” In other words, Jesus isn’t looking for ‘quick fixes’ that are hide the truth of who we really are with “white-wash.” Dishonest with God and others is NOT “beautiful nor good.” <Notes> a) kalos: “1) to make beautiful physically or morally, this is distinctly the ‘beauty’ that comes from harmony or proportional symmetry and thus completeness, or 2) to make excellent in nature or character, thus well adapted for its use, and thus praiseworthy and noble, b) agathos: “good natured, pleasantly joyful, excellent or distinguished and thus useful, upright, or honorable.”
The solution to any form of inward evil, including depression and unforgiveness, that blocks our ‘prayers’ and naturally closely-related in meaning ‘worship’ isn’t denial, suppression, masking, deflection, or sublimation as the world teaches, but taking it ALL to the cross for Jesus to destroy the evil by His blood so we can be free from its dominion. This is brutal honesty and tough love – see Unconditional-love – BT21. Then having ‘bound the demons’ by nailing their accusations to the cross, we can ‘loose the Holy Spirit’ to fill us with His character to replace our sin. So by “worshipping by [singular] Truth” through sincerity before Jesus, The Truth, through confession and “cleansing from all unrighteousness,” we can be supernaturally enabled to “worship by [singular] Spirit” – and this is actually “the worship the Father is eagerly seeking.” The answer isn’t more flesh, but death to the flesh so we can have the Spirit. If this goes actually goes on in a worship service, a lot of people will be on the floor crying, knocked out by the Spirit for ‘major surgery,’ or when actually filled by the Spirit exuberantly worshipping with loud shouts of joy and wild dancing – just like King David did! When you have the real thing, there will be A-Z going on during the worship. You cannot control it, but you can surrender control to it!
Lord, free us from terrible translations of the bible, terrible doctrines that came from them, and preachers who keep these imprisoning lies going. Lord, you never promised more holy writings or teaching of them for the completely-different-in-kind, superior NEW Covenant, but You did promise us “One is Your Teacher” Holy Spirit direct teaching of your will to us by prophetic rhema-words. Lord, we will not hide our feelings from You anymore when we come to You in worship. We will surrender the truth about how we feel, confess our sin, get cleansed by Jesus, and then relentlessly ask, seek, and knock for your Holy Spirit to routinely fill us with your abundant fullness. And we will hold our hands up to you, even as a little child yearns to be picked up by their loving parent. Or we will fall flat on our face in confession!
We will no longer ‘go along with the crowd’ or insistent ‘whooping-it-up’ cheerleading of the pastor or worship-team and all their emotional gimmicks to produce an ‘end result’ that they desire, but listen to our hearts and present them honestly to You in true repentance and confession. We will wait with patient-endurance for ‘the real thing’ – zoe genuine-life to come from You. We will no longer play the game of ‘fake it till you make it’ or ‘just do it Nike’ commercials preached to us from the pulpit! We will no longer play along with their mass psychology/sociology manipulation. We aren’t going to ‘blend in’ any longer! We are going to be honest before You and others – no more white-washing of our tombs of dead bones. We will cry out to You in supplication and confession and then patiently wait, knowing that when You come then we will genuinely worship because we will have zoe genuine-life by the means of Your Spirit! Lord, we want to adore You. Free us so that we can adore You more and more!
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