Raise Your Voice

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph.6:12

So much hatred.  So much anger.

I’m reading the articles about the people calling for assassinations,  ranting, rioting.  It’s not the first time I’ve heard this.  We create enemies and feel so justified in our treatment of each other.

There are many reasons we worship.  God deserves our praise no matter what it changes, or even if it changes nothing at all.

But it does change us.  We can’t help but be changed as we focus our hearts and minds on the God of the universe.  We can’t keep further away as we bow our heads and bend our knees to such a great King.  As we breathe Him in, our hands naturally open  against the clinging, grasping, clutching that divides us from each other, and from Him.

So raise your voice!

When you hear the cries of accusation, the shouts of anger and hatred, shout your praise.  When you hear the confusion and fear that would tear our homes, this land, to pieces, sing your heart out.  When you can’t see a way through, when peace seems so far away, pray.  Pray out loud.  Pray hard.  Cry out to God!

Healing, unity, love are still possible.

Singing and Dancing

Singing and dancing have been a part of Christendom, a part of our Judeo-Christian culture since its inception. I don’t mean liturgical singing. I’m talking about loud voices proclaiming the greatness of our King, shouts and hosannas that have a melody but are much more about our passion for Him than the sound of our own voices.

Dancing has been stolen by the enemy, demeaned into something you do to get a girl. Dancing used to be a physical celebration of life and the Giver of life.

Too many voices will start shouting at this point. “We don’t do that in our church. We’re not like crazy charismatics.” Some will even say they can’t dance or that they’re bound by some infirmity.

Change the way you’re thinking!

Our worship is to be more than a mental exercise, more than repetition of what we know. It should engage our hearts, minds, bodies, souls and spirits. You can’t hold on to what’s safe, what’s expected and experience God the way He intended. You cannot be shaken if you will not move.

So sing, with everything inside of you, making yourself hoarse with the effort you put in. Dance, jump, move, swing your arms, tap your toes! For His sake, move your eyes from side to side!

He is worthy!

“I am only a man…”

I’m not sure if it’s true, but the saying is, “the greatest trial of man is the praises of the people around him.”

I stopped at the library yesterday to read books and play with my grandson. He was having a tough day and just needed to get out of the house. While we were there, I saw one, then two, then several of the kids that go to our church. I am their worship leader so I often have children coming up to me, some that I don’t even know.

Children are such loving creatures. They were delighted to see me and let me know that they knew me. Their smiles were so beautiful as they let me know that I go to their church. We talked a bit and then they moved on to wherever their minds and a building full of books would take them.

I love to see them, to talk with them, hear their laughter, be blinded by their smiles, but I am joyfully reminded that I am only a man. In Acts 9, Peter refused the reverence of Cornelius with those words. And inside, I refuse the temptation to think that I am something more than I am.

As worship leaders, as ministers to the church, we can hear the affirmation of those around us and see ourselves as “above” them, more important, special, blessed by God. We are blessed to serve as we do. But it carries a weight, a responsibility that we can not carry and don’t deserve.

It is a great place to be where you love what you do. It is sweeter still to rest in the hands of the one who placed me there, knowing that it is His glory that is evident, not mine.

Zealous

So, in Nehemiah’s day, the people of Israel are rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. They were literally working and fighting for their lives at the same time.

Baruch , son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section (Nehemiah 3:20)

Now, I would think that this would be a given, for everyone. The enemy was out there and they weren’t just aiming for Baruch. They were all in this together. So what made this one guy stand out?
Fast forward to today.
We are surrounded by humanism, satanism, witchcraft, pornograhy, gambling, divorce, infidelity, alcoholism, selfishness and so many other things. At the heart of it is a force of evil, not trying to show you a good time. The goal of satan and his allies is your death.
Where do you stand? That’s critical. Do you believe in Jesus or not?
Then, you might want to look at how you’re standing. There are people that are counting on you, looking to see who you are. They want to know who you are, what you’re made of, what you believe. And it will mean so much more if you actually believe what you say you believe.
And, on a side note, it is interesting to me that the one who is zealous is named Baruch.
Praise. I think it may be saying to us that those who really believe can’t BE anything but people who worship.
And hey, in battle, it seems to often help to stick close to the crazy ones.
Be worshipers. Be crazy! Be zealous!!

We Give You

I write because I want to share what Jesus has done for me and through me.

I sing because I can’t seem to stop.

I laugh because God brings so many wonderful, silly, amazing things into my life.

I tithe because I don’t think this stuff is mine.

I practice because I want to get better.

I don’t quit because I know, one day, I’ll get through.

I pray because I know God hears me.

I read because my mind can’t slow down, can’t hear God’s voice.

I wait because Jesus is worth waiting for.

I don’t understand.  I hurt.  I get confused.  I can’t hear, can’t see, can’t believe.  But, God will make things clear.  He will show the reason for why, the purpose behind everything.  And I will trust Him, because He is ALWAYS faithful.