True worship is born of and directed by the Holy Spirit. When a group of committed Christians who have never been together in a gathering, worship the Lord in a flow of beautiful harmony that lifts those who are worshipping into the presence of the heavenly worshippers, a casual observer might think they had been meeting together for years.
This flow of worship is not the result of any learned ability, but rather, it is due to their respect for, and response to the presence of the Lord, and the resultant lifting power of the Holy Spirit.
Pure worship produces the unity that releases the Holy Spirit to impart the enabling power to lift corporate worship into a flow of harmonious expression - the heavens open and the presence of the Lord is released upon the gathering. Also, worship hinders the functioning of demons and principalities and aids deliverance, where and when needed.
Our worship will bring the Spirit of Revelation into a Christian gathering. It releases the anointing, and the lifting power of the Holy Spirit upon the worshippers. As we respond to the presence of the Lord, we will experience an increased purity and flow of Spirit and begin to receive prophetic revelation.
This ability to flow together (harmony) in audible worship relates to the fact that we received, at the time of our salvation experience, a prophetic ability to express worship to the Lord. This “spirit of worship” abides deep within each of us, and awaits an opportunity for expression. All that is needed for us to begin to worship the Lord is the proper atmosphere and some encouragement.
“Worship” is the expression of pure adoration to the Lord and increases our desire to be in His presence. It is a key to our becoming sensitive to His presence, and to our learning to recognize His voice. As we are faithful in our expression of worship to the Lord, we will become increasingly more aware of His abiding presence, and we will more easily discern His voice. Our vocal worship will do much in helping to develop these spiritual qualities within us.
“Praise” is thanking the Lord for all that He has done for us. In a worship service, drums stir the soul and those present begin to get excited and shout. However, when we become quiet in an attitude of worship, the Holy Spirit will begin to worship the Lord through the worshippers, and an expression of worship in harmony will lift those present into a higher realm of divine presence - this is impossible with the beat of loud drums.
This “beat” will reduce us into praise, while the harmony of pure worship will lift us into union with the eternal worship of the choirs of heaven. Satan knows this, but very few worship leaders do.
There are many different levels and expressions of worship within the Body of Christ. The first time I attended a Full Gospel meeting, I was disturbed by the loud audible praise, and attempted to leave. I understood “blessed quietness,” but I had never heard everyone in a service singing and worshipping the Lord loudly and freely. Today, I am eternally thankful that the Lord had His way, and that though slowly, I entered into this same spiritual freedom and expression of worship.
Moses both knew and valued the presence of the Lord.
“And He (the Lord) said, My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest. And he (Moses) said to Him, If Your presence go not with me, carry us not up here.” Exodus 33:14-15
This intense desire within Moses to have the presence of the Lord abide with him did not just happen. It came about through circumstances that caused him to diligently seek the abiding presence of the Lord.
Though Moses was “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:22), he failed in Egypt and fled into the wilderness. Here, while keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, he pursued the call that rested upon his life as he journeyed toward the mountain of God. As he traveled, he noticed at a distance, to the side of his path, a bush which burned with fire, but was not consumed.
“And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” Exodus 3:2
As soon as Moses noticed this burning bush, he said, “I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned” (Exodus 3:3). He responded quickly to this visitation from the Lord - “I will now turn aside.” This speaks of something within Moses that desired and was responsive to the presence of the Lord.
Notice that the Lord appeared in a bush that was a “distance to the side” of the path that Moses was taking, even though he was moving toward the mountain of God. This is because the Lord desires to be wanted. He seeks a response from us that indicates our desire for His presence. He chooses to reveal Himself in such a way that it requires a deliberate action on our part as an indication of our true desire for His presence.
This “spiritual aptitude” toward His presence does not come easily. It must be actively sought after and cultivated. Worship is a key to developing this spiritual sensitivity and aptitude for His presence.
“And Moses said, I will now turn aside... And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I” (Exodus 3:3-4). Although Moses was intent on moving toward that which pertained to God, he desired the presence of the Lord so much that he willingly responded to this manifestation of the supernatural. He was obedient to the voice of the Lord, though at the time, he did not understand what was taking place.
Each of us are affected by the worldly environment that surrounds us. As a result of this, we develop varying amounts of sensitivity to earthy things. When we were “born again,” we received the capacity to know and respond to eternal things. Through the working of the Holy Spirit within us, we began to understand that we are now a new creation, and that we have entered a new and higher realm of life.
We learned that the purpose of the Lord is not only to build up the temporal, but also, to introduce us to the spiritual. This deeper understanding will help us to turn aside from lesser things, and to focus our attention on eternal things by cultivating an increased sensitivity to His voice and presence.
Due to the present spiritual climate in our country, there is an urgent need for an increase in the quality of our worship. As the presence of the Lord increases in our meetings, those who are spiritually hungry will be drawn by the manifestation of His presence, and will turn aside to worship the Lord with us. The presence of the Lord will draw those who are truly spiritually hungry.
I learned a very important spiritual principle from one of my teachers. It was very simple, yet profound. He said, “The Lord appreciates being appreciated.” This may not seem special, but it expresses something that is very close to the heart of the Lord. We all desire to be appreciated, but the Lord uniquely appreciates being appreciated. He shares His presence with those who appreciate Him, and who let Him know that they do, especially through their worship.
This means that when the Lord has moved in some special way in our gathering, or has blessed us with His presence, we should be very careful to take time, after we have enjoyed His presence, to say, “Lord, You are here, and we want to let You know that we know that You are here, and that we like it very much.” Our worship is tremendously important.
Our music, our worship, everything that we do in a gathering should be directed toward our coming into this dimension of His revealed presence. We should develop this sensitivity to His presence so we will be able to recognize His presence, and know when to turn aside to lift our voice in pure worship.
When Moses responded to the Lord’s presence in the burning bush and turned aside, the Lord spoke to Him and imparted the instructions that led to the deliverance of His people from bondage. The Lord enabled Moses to lead them into a land that was flowing with milk and honey.
The value of our worship is far more than we may realize. It releases the Lord to move in intervention as when we worship, the Lord works in our behalf. And, although the Lord has all the choirs of heaven to lead in heavenly worship, He responds and inhabits our praise and worship.
“But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him.” John 4:23