As Worship Leaders Do We Lead People Into The Presence Of God?

Lots of people refer to worship leaders leading others into the presence of God.

What do we mean by this?

As far as I understand it, under the new covenent, God will never leave us nor foraske us, He lives IN us and we in Him.

I'm aware of the verse that says "God inhabits the praises of His people" but as that was in the old testament is it not superceded by God never leaving us at all?

I still cringe when people pray "be with us Lord tonight" - God isn't going anywhere!

One more thing, Hebrews tells us there is now one mediator between God and man - the man Christ Jesus. We need to be careful that we don't think of ourselves as the mediator between God and the congregation.

Having said all this, I do realise that sometimes there is an almost tangible presence (although rarely do all those present 'feel' the tangibleness (is that a word ;-) ) which isn't always the case.

What are your thoughts on this?

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No, we don't "lead people into the presence of God." You're right, he's always there. I think our role is to help people to be aware of God's presence, and also to be aware of our community as we gather for corporate worship. Thanks for the reminder. :)
We do bring people to the point where they are aware of God's Presence we shouldn't but we probably will until Jesus comes back. Really the congregation should already be there and all we should do is conduct (order) the praise.

David Bull.
Well, ya know, if you "lead a horse to water," that doesn't mean the water moved, it means the horse did. So "leading others into the presence of God" does suggest that it's the "others" who need / do the moving, not God, so in that sense the answer could be "yes we can..." uhh, make that "yes we do" :-)

As far as what "the presence" means... hmm, well, to explain that I would probably have to tell you about some of the Grateful Dead concerts I went to, and I see that out of 1200 members, I'm the only one who lists the Grateful Dead as a favorite secular band. So I'll let somebody else tackle that one. My Pod XT does have a "presence" control and I like to keep that set pretty high :-) It doesn't mean the guitar is physically closer to the listener, it just makes it FEEL like it is :-)

Charles
I know what you're saying, for I too think we don't "think" before we speak. We have all heard "God we invite you here to be in our midst" or some other variation, but God is always present. I think perhaps a better way would be for us to ask God to reveal himself in a fresh way or to ask him, who is already in us, to be poured out that He may receive glory.
There is no question that God's glory has fallen on his people; we only need to examine the revivals of the past to see His glory revealed.
Matt Redman likes to use the phrase (not verbatim) "revelation and response!" We wil never worship (respond) without God first revealing himself, He is the one who initiates the relationship, not us.

Good Q Phil!
I believe it is important to "invite" the Spirit to move as He wills in a service. Just like prayer, maybe it's more for our benefit than His, but it places all who hear it in a right place of allowing God to lead His service, not us leading ours.

This idea, and that of leading people into God's presence...I will do more research on it, you have me intrigued. I have always felt that we do in fact lead people into the presence of God...The Bible speaks of people waking away from God, etc, and this would seem to support that fact...I don't think it's in the same sense as would limit God's omniscience, but in a different sense altogether...A more personal sense.

But hey, I could just be used to it, as this has "been the way" at my church for a long time. I will research it and be open to new interpretations.

Thanks!

~M
I agree with Charles on this. God didn't go anywhere just like the water doesn't go anywhere. I don't know about any of you, but the thing I have experienced with people is that somehow we always tend to wander away from God. It may be due to work or family or anything that allows us to lose focus on God. As much as we all know that we shouldn't put anything above God, for most people they have a really hard time not doing so. So I do believe that part of my job as a worship leader is to "lead people back into the presence of God." In other words its my job to help the congregation snap out of its focus on the world and get its focus back on God.

I like to look at my job as a facilitator of Psalm 27:4
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
Ok, I'm guilty as charged :o) I used the expression 'guiding people into the presence of God' in a discussion I posted.The context being that, in worship( as in, a time of meeting together to collectively praise God), I hope that by following the prompting of the Holy Spirit, through the choice of songs and sharing Bible verses etc. that people are guided to a position where they feel drawn closer to God or feel that God is speaking to them, to encourage or convict them ( of a personal sin or issue ) . I believe in faith that God is working within the people and I believe also that His presence never leaves us ( 'never will I leave you or forsake you') but yet there are times where I don't 'feel' that either because of some sin that I havn't yet confessed or because I feel ill or just 'out of sorts' with myself.
Engaging with God in a time of praise, helps me re-discover my place and my responsibilities at the feet of Jesus. Likewise, when leading a time of worship/praise , I hope to assist in helping people to 'that place' where they feel renewed by His presence and re-affirm the promises we made to follow , obey, worship.

That's my thoughts on this, I am open to correction if I'm in error but this is the only way I can explain it.

God bless all,

Phil H.
I've often heard that phrase about God inhabiting our praise. I can't find it in the Bible and no one that quotes it has been able to show me where it is found. Can you enlighten me please?
I think the prayer of asking God to be with us is not as literal as you make it out to be. It is more asking God for His guidance and direction with His presence being felt in the presentation.
God bless you.
hymnsinger ><))/*>
The role of a worship leader & the worship team is to LEAD, to INSPIRE and to DRAW-OUT true worship leading by example. The role of the church (including the worship team) is to enter into His gates with THANKSGIVING & into His courts with PRIASE ... and into His holy of holies with WORSHIP (Ps 100:1-2)

True, although our God is omnipresence but more importantly the goal of praise & worship during corporate gathering is to welcome His tangible presence; and that's when our praise becomes a platform not only for His visitation but for Him to dwell (Ps 22:3) ... just like when God's glory cloud came down to the tabernacle (Ex 40:34) and temple of Solomon (2 Chron 5: 13-14)

I like bro. Charles Wolff''s illustration of "leading a horse to water," that doesn't mean the water moved, it means the horse did. The key here is ... are we thirsty or hungry for desperate for His presence? John 4:23 - 24 tells us that God seeks (yearns, longs) for true worshipper who will choose to worship Him in spirit & in truth. \0/\0/\0/

Another thought provoking oldie that's well worth reading and commenting on.

Yes, God's presence is everywhere. But this passage, Draw near to God and he will draw near to you (James 4:8) indicates that movement on his part occurs as well as ours when we draw near to him. 

Yes, interesting old thread ...     One verse that comes to mind is I think in Romans chapt 8, about the Holy 

Spirit interceding for us when we don't have words to pray.  Prayer and worship are pretty closely related so

its not a stretch for me to believe if the Holy Spirit helps with our prayers, He probably helps us in worship as

well.  Whether we can feel that or know that, I'm not sure is any of our business. 

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