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aware of the verse that says "God inhabits the praises of His people" but as that was in the old testament is it not superceded by God never leaving us at all?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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  The one most important truth that I've come to finally realize, is that it is all about relationship with God.  Worship, prayer, studying the Word, giving and fellowship are most powerful when they are relational with Him in nature. Even the struggle with sin is designed to pull us toward the Great One who will bring victory. I struggled with lust and bought Playboys for 30 years. Eventually I came to a certain level of control - I no longer bought or picked up the magazines or went to porn sites on the computer by getting real with my brothers, bringing light to the darkness and playing a lot of Christian music. But I did not find victory over lust in the ordinary places - the gym, the sidewalk, the store, (even church) 'till I got relational with the Holy One in those places. As a result I am back in full time ministry giving a couple of seminars, Spiritual Battle Plan and Be Transformed. The main point of both is leading others to intentionally get relational with God.

Look at Moses, he went to the tent of meeting regularly for special time with God. God spoke to Moses "face to face, as a man speaks with his friend" Ex. 33:11. Moses was not alone, Joshua would be with him and remain there after he left. After doing this a while Moses begged God to show more of himself to him. God granted him such an experience on the mountain that Moses' face shone for some time. Make no mistake, though God's presence is everywhere and his glory fills the earth, we can experience his presence and glory in greater measure when we get relational with him.

My goal in leading worship is to bring myself and others to draw near to God so he will draw near to us. By this we will experience him and his presence in greater measure and grow in our relationship with him.

What you say about relationship makes a lot of sense.  Thanks for sharing your personal story.

I'm thinking what you have been through  surely makes you more better able to minister to hurting people

and help them find their way to God's healing strength.

 Thanks Diana, I actually than God for my long struggle, as it brought me closer to him and gives me a much stronger purpose. If anyone would like to read more of my story, visit my blog, www.resetpreacher.com

Diana and Kent--

Thanks so much for sharing this (and for all on resurrecting this important thread!).

I think that as worship leaders--people who are on different levels of their walk with Christ--we need to continually strive to be better spiritual leaders.  Some of us are just starting out and learning what this means, some of us have been doing it for years and still don't understand what this means.  I think there is an important element that all of us can share, regardless of denomination.

The Godhead, three in one.  The cross, the sacrifice, how grace changes everything, praising the name and the wonder of God the Father.

Our job?  I was in a workshop with Rick Muchow (former worship leader of Saddleback church with Rick Warren).  He said a good worship leader's job is to LIGHT the fire.  What fire?  The fire of the Holy Spirit, the quickening of the Holy Spirit.

Yes, the Holy Spirit lives among us as believers.  But we STILL invite the Holy Spirit to fill us, to open our mind, to give us energy and song to praise the names of the Father and the Son.  The Holy Spirit is like a fire hose of the goodness of God.  Let us drown in that shower.

That is what corporate worship is all about.  We come together as a family to all join in as one voice for these things, for we can not do any of them, or life very successfully, without the Holy Spirit.  Jesus said it is better that I go away, for if I do not, then the Holy Spirit cannot come.  

We can now call upon the Holy Spirit at will!

Steve

This is exactly why it burdens me to see the song "Holy Spirit" at the top of the CCLI list.  A beautiful song, yes, but such bad theology.  The Holy Spirit dwells within me, therefor He can neither "come" nor "fill the atmosphere".  It burdens me that so many churches are allowing this kind of bad theology into their worship gatherings.

Nate

Hi Nate--

I do completely hear what you are saying.  Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would be with us when we believed.  And if you take the song in the context that the Spirit is not here now among believers as they worship, then I agree with you.

But I don't think that this was intended by the writers of the lyric.  There are plenty of songs where the writer wishes we are showered with the presence of the Holy Spirit and for us to ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us during our time of worship.

The Holy Spirit does dwell within us, but the Holy Spirit also has the power to be in multiple locations as well as increase and decrease at will.  And because of our own stubborn free will, we have the power to ignore the movement of the Spirit.  And so the exclamation, "Come" can also mean that we wish for us to decrease as the realization of the Spirit within us increases.  We miss so much because we tune out.  All of us.

This lyric could be classified as 'feel good' as opposed to 'gospel'.  It might be said that this lyric is theologically incomplete.  If you think that this lyric is misleading, then I understand that.

Steve

******
Verse 1
There's nothing worth more, that will ever come close
No thing can compare, You're our living hope
Your Presence Lord
Verse 2
I've tasted and seen, of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free, and my shame is undone
In Your Presence Lord
Chorus
Holy Spirit You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your Glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your Presence Lord
Bridge
Let us become more aware of Your Presence
Let us experience the Glory of Your Goodness



Nathan Lawrenson said:

This is exactly why it burdens me to see the song "Holy Spirit" at the top of the CCLI list.  A beautiful song, yes, but such bad theology.  The Holy Spirit dwells within me, therefor He can neither "come" nor "fill the atmosphere".  It burdens me that so many churches are allowing this kind of bad theology into their worship gatherings.

Nate

And, I'd have an issue with all of those songs.

Steve Cass said:

There are plenty of songs where the writer wishes we are showered with the presence of the Holy Spirit and for us to ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us during our time of worship.

People have differing theologies. It's the sad truth of the state of the church today.

Yes, there is ONE true theology - God's.

Unless and until we're all willing to "sharpen" one another to seek that out with our whole hearts, we're going to disagree on tertiary issues like these.

Without that desire and intent, are we accomplishing anything discussing it further?

It seems to me in this threat that we're all just displaying our own biases, not searching for real truth.

$.02

And yet there seem to be instances of the Holy Spirit coming in power on Spirit-filled believers, from the disciples at pentecost (Jesus breathed on them and said "receive the Holy Spirit" before He ascended) through to more recent times when the Holy Spirit has manifested in meetings.

Curiously I'm not a fan of the song, and found something jarring when I first heard it, though it might have been the cirumstances (big loud band, smoke machine, coloured lights) more than the song itself. From a personal perspective I would rather invite the Holy Spirit to move us and to express a desire for us to cooperate with Him. But I'd not see inviting Him to come among us as bad theology - it's more a case of semantics, since it is generally asking God to make Himself tangible than going from a state of 'no God' to 'with God'.

When Paul urges us to be filled with the Spirit in Eph. 5:18, he is writing to those who have the gift of the indwelling Spirit. He indeed is with us all of the time, living in our hearts (2 Cor. 1) But it is clear to me that at times he choses to "fill" us in a more powerful way than normal. This is something we obviously should desire. For me personally, this has nothing to do with speaking a special language, but rather his working in me powerfully, beyond the norm. This includes while worshiping.

The first person mentioned in the Bible as being filled with the Spirit was Bezalel. He was given by the Spirit all knowledge and ability to work with metals, wood and fabric to complete the tabernacle. This inspires me to request a special filling even while on my watch bench, trying to finish the watch I'm making. I really need to do so to help support my ministry. I consider this just as possible as the filling he's given me while writing and giving my seminars.

The Spirit blows as he wills. This means he may challenge our preconceived notions of how he works at times.

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