so, we left off with a cliffhanger! i love them. anyone who watches "Lost" loves a good cliffhanger! in my last post, i had some ideas as to why we may feel disconnected from worhsip. i didn't get into them, but i told you i had them. so, here it goes.
i said that all throughout the bible, we find talk about intercession. Moses interceeded on behalf of the Isrealites, the book of Samuel talks about the Philistines being defeated through intercession and sacrifice, and Joel prophesied about the intercession of worshipers, moving in front of the army. AHHHHH! now that one really interests me. why? well, because i'm a worship leader. so, me and some of the people from my praise team got together for lunch the other day. we had a great talk about what was going on at The Journey. we've had some incredible worship these last couple weeks. everyone has been telling us how much God has been ministering to them. and we've felt it too. but this Sunday, it was different. and it's happened several times. here's how it goes: we meet in the morning and pray together, before we do anything else. during that prayer time, we ask God to use us however He sees fit. we ask him to help us remove ourselves and just be a vessel that He can work through. and what do you know, we begin to lead worship and everything feels weird. the band's firing on all cylinders. the tech team is right in sync with us. the atmosphere is great. the people we're looking out at have their hands raised, their eyes are closed, and they truly seem to be worhsiping. but we feel completely disconnected. so why don't we feel that annointing, that saturation of God's spirit? after the praise set, we all meet out in the hall, before we go take our seats to hear Erik's message. it's unanimous. every one of us feels like we were pulling teeth up there just to get through it.
guys, this has bothered me in the past when it's happened. i never talked about it with my team, cause i truly felt like there was something that i did wrong; that it had nothing to do with them and i needed to deal with it. i would search my mind. relive the past week. where did i fail? did i not spend enough time in prayer? did i spend enough time in preparation? is there something in my life that's standing between me and that intimate place with God? am i the only one who felt like that? well, this week, i found out. i wasn't the only one who felt it. the whole team did. and they went through the same questions that i did. so what's the deal?
as we talked about it, God started to reveal some stuff to me. and it was really cool because, as soon as He gave me the thought, someone else would immediately confirm it. God was telling them the same thing at that exact moment. and not just one or two of them. i'm talking everyone!
The Journey is a church that is trying to reach the unchurched. we have been blessed with many spiritually mature Christians, but we have a lot of people who are new in their faith, or are just plain spiritual infants. and i've talked to a bunch of them. as they grow, they are struggling with decisions that they need to make on a weekly basis. whether it's actually becoming a Christ follower, or just learning what it means to be obedient. whatever the case is, they're in a vulnerable place. this is because our enemy wants nothing more than to attack them and make them feel unworthy. if he can cause confusion in their minds, then he can make them doubt that they are worthy of growing, or even accepting grace. THIS IS SPIRITUAL WARFARE, for any of you who are oblivious to what's going on around you! And they are not equipt to deal with it just yet. (well, they are, but they may not know how. that's a whole nother blog series we'll get into another time!) thus, intercession.
as Joel prophesied about the worshipers interceeding for the army, we too are interceeding for those who are in our congregation who may not be aware of the war going on around them, or just don't know how to combat it themselves. remember, we asked God to use us however He needed!
i believe, and this is what God has revealed to me, that when we feel that stress during worhsip, that disconnect to the rest of the audience, it is because at that time, in our pure worship, we (though maybe unknowingly) are waging the war for those who Satan is trying to attack. Pure worship is something that cannot be defeated. it's what we were created for. strangely enough, it's what Satan was created for, as well. some of you are saying, "WHAT????" i promise, it's true. i'm gonna talk about it in the next post. if we are in that place of true worship, without even trying to, we are paving the way for the angels of the LORD to rage their battles. and i think this is where the disconnect comes from. we are sensing the tension of the battle going on around us at that time. i truly believe that if God lifted the veil for us to see the realm in which this war is being fought, we would see it litterally in front of us, in the sanctuary, around the non-believers, and immature. want proof?
this week, a woman gave her life to Christ during our service. my wife had the pleasure of talking to her a little, and praying for her. the woman told her that she had been struggling with her life all week. she'd been in a place of confusion, doubt, hurt, and not knowing which end was up. she said that by the time we had gotten half way through our worship, it all went away and she knew she needed to come forward and ask someone to pray with her. she needed to give her life to Jesus, and she wanted to know how!
talk to y'all soon! God bless,