by Wade E Taylor
“Pure worship” relates to the Lord Himself, far above all that is earthly.
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims… and one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah 6:1-3
In heaven, there is a “harmony” that flows upward to the Lord sitting upon His throne, and fills heaven. As we worship in pure harmony – “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord,” we are lifted into the flow of this heavenly harmony, and into the presence of our Lord. It is as if we have gone through the “sound barrier” of all that is earthly, to partake of that which is eternal.
In earthly music, especially rock music, there is a sound of “discord” that flows downward to the satisfaction of the sensual. This discord finds its expression in the beat of drums, and sadly, is all too prevalent in Church worship services.
When a group of committed Christians, who have never been together before in a Gospel meeting, worship the Lord in a flow of harmony with the expression of pure adoration, a casual observer might think that they had been worshipping together for years.
This flow of worship is not the result of any ability that they might have, but rather, it is due to their submission and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. They have been “lifted” from the expression of the earthly, into the eternal flow of the harmony of heaven.
Pure worship brings unity into a Gospel meeting. It releases the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon the meeting and creates an awareness of the Lord’s presence within those who are worshipping. Worship both hinders and displaces the functioning of principalities and demons, as worship creates an atmosphere that is conducive to spiritual warfare and deliverance.
Therefore, when the music and atmosphere is favorable, the Holy Spirit readily “lifts” those who are worshipping into the manifest presence of the Lord, in which the quickening power of the Holy Spirit transforms lives.
This “Holy Spirit imparted” capability of flowing together in audible worship, relates to the fact that at the time of our salvation experience, we received the enabling ability to express worship to the Lord. This “spirit of worship” abides deep within each one of us, and awaits an opportunity for its expression. All that is needed for us to begin to worship the Lord in prophetic harmony, is anointed music and a little encouragement.
There are many different levels in the expression of worship within the Body of Christ. The first time I attended a Full Gospel meeting, I was disturbed by the loud audible praise, and attempted to leave. I understood “blessed quietness,” but I had never heard everyone in a service singing and worshipping the Lord loudly and freely. Today, I am eternally thankful that the Lord had His way and that, though slowly, I entered into this same spiritual freedom in the expression of audible praise and worship.
Worship increases our desire to experience the presence of the Lord. It is a key to our becoming sensitive to His presence, and to our learning to recognize His voice. As we are faithful in our expression of worship to the Lord, we will become increasingly more aware of His abiding presence, and we will more easily discern His voice. Our vocal worship will do much in helping to develop these spiritual qualities within us.
Moses both knew and valued the presence of the Lord.
“And He (the Lord) said, My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest. And he (Moses) said to Him, If Your presence go not with me, carry us not up from here.” Exodus 33:14-15
This intense desire within Moses, to have the presence of the Lord abide with him, did not just happen. It came about through circumstances that caused him to diligently seek the abiding presence of the Lord.
Although Moses was “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:22), he failed in his attempt to deliver Israel from Egypt and fled into the wilderness. Here, while keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, Moses pursued the call that rested upon his life as he journeyed toward the mountain of God. As he traveled, he noticed at a distance to the side of his path, a bush which burned with fire, but was not consumed.
“And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” Exodus 3:2
As soon as Moses noticed this burning bush, he said, “I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned” (Exodus 3:3). He responded quickly to this visitation from the Lord, “I will now turn aside.” This speaks of something within Moses that desired and was responsive to the presence of the Lord.
Notice that the Lord appeared in a bush that was “a distance to the side” of the path that Moses was taking, even though he was moving toward the mountain of God.
This is because the Lord desires to be wanted. He seeks a response from us that indicates our desire for His presence. He chooses to reveal Himself in such a way that it requires a deliberate action on our part as an indication of our true desire for His presence. This “bent of spirit,” or “spiritual aptitude” toward His presence does not come easily. It must be actively cultivated and sought after.
Worship is a key to developing this spiritual sensitivity and aptitude for His presence.
“And Moses said, I will now turn aside… and when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.” Exodus 3:3-4
Although Moses was intent on moving toward that which pertained to God, he desired the presence of the Lord so much that he willingly responded to this manifestation of the supernatural. He was obedient to the voice of the Lord, though at the time, he did not understand what was taking place.
I can personally relate to this action of Moses in turning aside. I stood within this “Full Gospel Church” disturbed by the loud audible worship and the emotional response to the presence of the Lord, which I did not understand. I attempted to leave because it was so different from anything that I knew. However, the Lord hindered me. Gradually, I began to see that there was something special about this, and I “turned aside” from the liturgy to which I had been accustomed, in order to stand in the presence of this audible worship, and receive from the Lord.
All of us are affected by the worldly environment that surrounds us. As a result of this, we develop varying amounts of sensitivity to “earthy things.” When we became “born again,” we received the capacity to know and respond to “eternal things.” Through the working of the Holy Spirit within us, we began to understand that we are a new creation, and that we have entered a new and higher realm of life. We learned that the purpose of the Lord is not to build up the temporal, but rather to introduce us to the eternal.
Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). Earthly music cannot bring us into the realm of the heavenly. A so-called “Christian rock group” utterly fails at this point, as they seek to sanctify earthly music.
Due to the present spiritual climate in our country, there is an urgent need for an increase in the quality of our worship. The Lord formed man from dust, and breathed life into him. In this creative act, man was given the capacity, and a deep inner desire to worship the Lord.
As we approach the end-times, the presence of the Lord is increasing in our meetings. Those who are spiritually hungry will be drawn by this manifestation of His presence, and will turn aside to worship the Lord with us.
While I was in Bible school, I learned a very important spiritual principle from one of my teachers, Walter Beuttler. It was very simple, yet profound. He said, “The Lord appreciates being appreciated.” This may not seem special, but it expresses something that is very close to the heart of the Lord. We all desire to be appreciated, but the Lord uniquely “appreciates being appreciated.” He shares His presence with those who appreciate Him, and who let Him know that they do.
This means that when the Lord has moved in some special way in one of our meetings, or has blessed us with His presence, we should be very careful to take time, while we are enjoying His presence, to say, “Lord, You are here, and we want to let You know that we know that You are here, and that we like it very much.” Then we should lift our voices in harmony and worship Him.
Our worship is tremendously important, far more than simply preparing us to hear the message. Our music, our worship, everything that we do in a meeting should be directed toward coming into this dimension of His revealed presence. Each one of us should develop a sensitivity to the presence of the Lord, so we will be able to recognize His presence, and “turn aside,” when He manifests His presence in our meeting.
When Moses responded to the Lord’s presence in the burning bush and turned aside, the Lord imparted to him the instructions that led to the deliverance of His people from bondage, and into a land that was flowing with milk and honey.
Moses turned aside from his ability – from being “mighty in words and deeds.” As we also turn aside from the discord of our daily struggles, and lift our voices in worshipful harmony, the deliverance that we so desperately need will be released, and we will enter the place of eternal satisfaction in the Lord’s presence.