- Considering all the books, all the seminars, all the courses, all the tapes, and all the technology, methods, and programs, we have not reached the level of spiritual life that was expressed through the believers of the first-century Church.
Worship is the response to the presence of the Lord, and evangelism is the natural outgrowth of a life of worship. They are two sides of one coin. Mark wrote,
“And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.” (Mark 3:13-15)
How we have labored. How we have tried. How we have cried for the masses of lost and dying souls to eat the bread of life and live. Along with sorrow and grief at the rampant death-producing blindness filling the world, many in the Body of Messiah are frustrated with a sense of impotence. Considering all the books, all the seminars, all the courses, all the tapes, and all the technology, methods, and programs, we – generally speaking – have not reached the level of spiritual life that was expressed through the simple believers of the first-century Church.
Perhaps our emphasis is misdirected. Perhaps we are looking for the fruit before tending to the root. One single factor can make up for whatever might be lacking, and it cannot be replaced by all the wisdom, resources, and riches the Creator has placed in the hands of His children: the Presence of the Lord. It is both the end and the means to every hope, dream, and longing of the human heart. If we are abiding with Him and He with us, He will do the work and fight the battles. Ours will be but to gather the spoils into the barns.
A Stiff-Necked People
God created us that He might be with us. We don’t need to beg Him to fulfill His own desires. If we are not experiencing the conscious manifest Presence of the Lord in our lives, the reason may be in God’s interchange with Moses in Exodus 33:3,
“…for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”
Could it be that God in His mercy is not coming too close because we could not survive the heat? His love cannot be separated from His holiness. He is a consuming fire.
Maintaining an attitude of worship is a very sensitive balance. Prayer certainly has its place, but it is not what we would call pure worship. The heart of God could possibly be the most neglected “mission field” in the world. For the most part, we come to Him with some request or other. It’s not that we shouldn’t, but we need to come also to present ourselves as an offering, seeking only that He would be blessed. Though worship is expressed in many ways, music and singing being the most thought of, worship is essentially an attitude of the heart. With that basis, let us consider worship as the ultimate warfare.
Worship – The Ultimate Warfare
Throughout the Scriptures, the armies of Israel were preceded by singers, musicians, or priests blowing shofars. In Exodus 17:10-11 we read,
“So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.”
Here, in this historic moment of the first battle Israel ever fought, God made a statement for all time: the battles are the Lord’s. Our part is to trust Him with radical abandon, even— and especially — in the face of the enemy’s taunts, threats, and attacks. The key to victory in the heavenly realms is not in engaging the enemy, but rather in engaging the Lord. As we draw nearer to the close of the age and the desperation in the kingdom of darkness increases, we will be pitted against demonic principalities and world rulers. There will be times when only the Presence of the Lord will accomplish the victory.
In the life of King David, we most clearly see the marriage between worship and warfare. The son of Jesse was both the quintessential worshiper and warrior. The Hebrew language testifies to the interwovenness of these two elements. From a root word meaning eternity, “netzach,” comes another word, “menatzeach (lit. “from eternity”), which means both “orchestral conductor” and “overcomer.” As the chief musician and conqueror are in a sense the same person, we have a foundational insight into the weapons and manner of our warfare.
Combating Bullets With Notes
To further understand the power of music and worship from a Biblical perspective, it is important to note that satan was the “covering cherub” and was himself a source of music. Within him were pipes, strings, and timbrels. He essentially covered the throne with music. Second to the Word, music is probably the most powerful and influential force in the hands of man. When our hearts are tuned to the Lord of light, our notes become lethal weapons against darkness. Even more importantly, as we worship, we build a throne, and the Lord inhabits our praises. In the light of His radiant glory, darkness flees.
The natural mind has difficulty connecting spiritual solutions to physical problems. Combating bullets with notes is a hard concept to lay hold of. But then, so is God having no beginning, or matter having been spoken into existence. It’s simple. When the Presence of God comes to us who await His appearing, our hearts respond with worship and adoration. In the face of spiritual darkness which is passing away forever, if we respond as when we behold Him, we cover the darkness with light, the visible with the invisible, the temporal with the eternal, and prepare a place for the presence of the Lord.
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Arni and Yonit Klein immigrated to Israel from the US in 1992. For over thirty years they've shared extensively in the Land and the Nations about worship, ministering to God and the centrality of Israel in Father's heart and global strategic plan. Arni spent some years leading worship in a Tel Aviv Congregation until they were called to establish a center for worship Tel Aviv in 2000. They subsequently moved to the Judean Hills and currently reside and minister in the Galilee. The essence of their work can most simply be described as...Preparing a place for the presence of the Lord. Being positioned in Israel has afforded a frontline watchman's prophetic perspective on what is presently unfolding on the world stage.