Worship Revolution by Carol Kiger-Rice
We are called to give the Lord everything we have. Our lives belong to Him, as does our heart. He is worthy of everything we have. As I share what I feel the Lord is showing us regarding worship in this day, my primary concern is in addressing our corporate times of worship, and, later, the worship community itself. May it be said that our whole life is an act of worship unto the Lord our GOD. It doesn’t start or stop with our corporate expressions. This is, however, a time when the larger community of Jesus Christ, can potentially come together & see lives changed & the atmosphere of heaven invade the place where we are. I truly believe that a revolution occurs within a persons’ heart & soul, when they encounter the Living GOD, both inside, & outside of the church. So then, IS that happening when we gather? That is the question to be asked for our purposes in these next articles. My ultimate goal in documenting, what I’I’ve felt the Lord to be saying, is to address four areas of concern for the worship ‘revolution’ today, in hopes that people will encounter the Living GOD & He will receive the glory due His Name.
Number one: Worship should be a priority.
Number two: Worship should be prophetic.
Number three: Worship should include relationship between people rightly related to each other.
Number four: Worship should be creative, because we worship the Creator of the Universe.
In this particular article, number one will be addressed, with the other areas being addressed in future articles.
Worship as a Priority
First, let me say that I believe all of the above are related and interconnected. In my opinion, you can’t have one without the others. Worship should be a priority, I believe that is Biblical. It should be prophetic. That, I believe, is also Biblical. And the very act of worship itself, implies some level of creativity. Without creativity in worship, it becomes stagnant, & unchanging. If our times of worship are stagnant & unchanging, are we then allowing the Holy Spirit to come & speak prophetically as He sees fit? And without authentic, committed relationship, often the atmosphere for the prophetic and the creative flow of worship is unsafe, if not nonexistent. Everything we do, as Christians, should include honest, loving, accountable relationship. True life flows out of such. After all, the GODhead itself, is a relationship in the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. So, I believe each area is of primary importance to the flow of worship in these days.
Now, on to addressing the idea of worship as being a priority. Let’s start with the source of everything we do–Scripture. Look at I Chronicles. This book of the Old Testament, which generally seems so dry with all the lists & so on, is full of information about the priority of worship in both the tabernacle of David, &, later, in the temple. It is here, where we see David appointing worshipers to work full-time. Note I Chronicles chapter 15, verses 16 through 24, which speak of the appointment of singers & musicians. Next see I Chronicles, chapter 16: 4-7, which, again, speak of the appointing of worship leaders. Also, verse 37, which states that King David (a man after GOD’s own heart), left Asaph & his relatives before the ark, to ‘minister continually, as every day’s work required.” Check out verses 41 & 42 of the same chapter. Now look at I Chronicles 23, verse 4. David appointed 4000 Levites to praise the Lord. By the way, note that David made the instruments used for giving praise! Basically, we get that worship was a REALLY important thing to David. So much so, that he made thousands of instruments just for that purpose!!
The Psalms are an excellent example of the importance of worship in the culture of the Hebrew nation. Psalm means song, & here we have 150 of them! And, the warrior king, and sweet psalmist, David, himself, wrote over half of these psalms. You might particularly want to check out Psalm 108: 1-3; Psalm 149, especially verses 3,5,6,and 7; and Psalm 150, as these psalms, or songs, are full of the praises of GOD.
Notice Isaiah 30:31, 32. This is a revelation of the importance of warfare through worship. As is II Chronicles, chapter 20, where the godly King Jehoshaphat, sent out the worshipers before the army. And, while they were “singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes” against the enemies of Judah, & they were routed!!
Also, look at how the godly kings of Judah, reappointed the worshipers for the service of the Lord, after the ungodly kings allowed idolatry to invade the nation. See II Chronicles 29, verses 25 – 36 and chapter 30, verse 21 through chapter 31: 2. These passages relate how King Hezekiah brought about the restoration of the temple worship. Chapter 35 describes Josiah’s reign, as another godly king, & how he reestablished the Passover, the priests and Levites to work in the temple, & the singers to their ‘stations’ (35:15).
Later, after the exiles return to Israel, note how Ezra restores worship to the people in Ezra 2 and 3. And in Nehemiah, 12, notice how significant the worship of the Lord was in dedicating the wall in chapter 12. Nehemiah even records the fact that:
“Judah rejoiced over the priests & Levites who served. For they performed the worship of their GOD, and the service of purification, together with the singers & the gatekeepers in accordance with the command of David & of his son Solomon. For in the days of David & Asaph, in ancient times, there were leaders of the singers, songs of praise & hymns of thanksgiving to GOD…” (vs.44-47).
It’s just everywhere, the priority & importance of worship. And, lest you think there isn’t’t much in the new testament about worship, look up Ephesians 5:19, 20, Colossians 3:16, and I Corinthians 14:26. Of course, we would be totally remiss if we didn’t notice exactly what is going on in heaven, day & night, night & day, 365 days a year (as if heaven has any time concept…hmmm…food for thought??). Try reading Revelation chapter 4 and 5. The four living creatures, never cease saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord GOD Almighty, Who was, and Who is, and Who is to come.” In other words, these guys never stop worshiping!!
Then notice chapter 7, verses 9-12. You’You’ve got people from every tribe, tongue & nation, all the angels, & the 24 elders, all falling on their faces & worshiping!! There is so much in this book. It’s FULL of worship activity!! You get the idea!! The very activity of heaven is WORSHIP!! So, when we pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, here on earth, as it is in heaven,” do we really understand what that means?
See, the thing is, we seem to know worship is important. But how important is it? Why do our “worship” services focus more on the spoken ‘message’, then on the worship of the Living GOD? That’s not to say that a message is not important. It just seems, more often than not, our time of worship is only viewed as the prelude to something “more important”. Why is that? Does that even seem Biblical? Or maybe it is something that has just become a ‘form’ we’ve gotten stuck in over the centuries How much of a priority, in reality, is out time of worship? Do we give it the weight that Scripture seems to? What if, as we relinquish our programs, & give ourselves over to radical, passionate, life-changing worship, the Lord comes & moves in our midst? What if people’s lives are changed during this time? What if, by our very act of worship, the atmosphere of our city is changed, & people who wouldn’t normally, find it easier to think about GOD, & Jesus Christ? (Revolution!) And yes, this is something that should be going on in our lives, both corporately, as well as, individually. How can we NOT make worship a priority in these days? If the Lord truly inhabits the praises of His people, as His word says, wouldn’t we want to give Him more to inhabit?!! By the way, since all Christians now have the Holy Spirit living in them, what about the idea that everyone can participate in worship at a whole new level? Check out Gary Goodell’s articles on that very subject.
I know that’s a lot of questions to answer. But we must be willing to ask the hard questions, if we want to see people’s lives radically changed for the glory of GOD. I don’t know about you, but we can’t settle for anything less… …revolution…..
Thanks for being interested. I can’t think of anything more important than giving the Lord of Hosts EVERYTHING He is worthy of. Can you??