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We hear a lot of churches talk about worship, but in many cases the practice of it takes a backseat to almost everything else. I’ve played drums in at least 15 churches for 40 years, big and small, and in almost every service, worship was definitely not the highest priority, and prayer was even below that! In some cases the announcements, or “church business” meetings or collection of money took longer. But for sure, the focus is almost always on the sermon! However, you won’t see that in King David’s days, the earliest Church records, or historical accounts of revivals. You do see an obsession with “homilies” or “sermons” by the early Catholic Church that the Protestant Church never reformed!
The Lord really drove this home to me. I will never forget this long dream God gave me. A bunch of us reporters were asking “The Preacher” who came to save America how He was going to do it. After all, we have had millions of bibles, churches, preachers, sermons, and programs for a very long time, and America is actually much worse than 20 years ago! We asked, “What are You going to say that hasn’t been said millions of times? What are You going to do that hasn’t already been tried millions of times?” He didn’t answer, but just pointed to this black woman from Africa who looked like a Queen with such fine, brightly-colored orange and brown dress and a fine jade necklace. She was playing an instrument from every limb while singing the most beautiful adoration to God that you could imagine hearing. We stood in absolute awe for quite a while, but then we asked the same questions. Again, He didn’t answer but pointed us to Her! This time we were drawn in closer to Her, but after a while we pulled away and asked Him the same questions. Again, He just pointed to Her! This time we were drawn in very close to Her, impossible to pull away, and before long we were all joining in praising God at the top of our lungs! Then we knew His answer!
This was how The Preacher would save America – by drawing us into the presence of God through worship! When I woke up from this dream, I was really set straight on the priority of worship, because I’ve never fully surrendered control to it, even though I’ve had many incredible experiences in worship. My scholarly background in exegetical theology has always led me to be more focused on ‘the sermon’ to insure it was accurate – I’ve found that many pastors haven’t spent much time validating their own sermons. So the Lord is setting my priorities straight and this BLOG is a result.
Watch and listen closely – you will soon see the Lord shifting the priorities of the Church to increasing conversational-prayer, even intercession, and worship. Watch and listen! Why? Because the Holy Spirit is tearing down old structures of our kingdoms, even our church-ianity kingdoms, to bring about His Kingdom to prepare the way for the Lord’s return. Watch and listen!
Lord, I pray that the worship of you will be my highest priority. I know that you will save us by delivering us from sin and restoring us back to wholeness by the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit, and that this happens after being drawn into Your Presence during conversational-prayer and worship. More “might and power” churches, programs, sermons, bibles, and study sure won’t, but only “by My Spirit, says Yahweh of hosts!” Guide me NOW as I read these other BLOG topics. Amen.
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