I remember a time, not too long ago, when we opened each gathering with what we called "Call To Worship" songs. What are those? Songs that in essence say, "Hey everyone, let's go into the house of the Lord!" Or, "We are here, Lord, to give you ALL the glory!" The call to worship songs caused us to place our focus on Jesus as we rose higher and higher into His presence. These songs (about God's awesomeness) encouraged us to praise and worship Him, regardless of how we felt, or what we encountered on the way to the house of God. What happened?
Now too many churches attempt to "jump into worship after a few announcements", and forego the protocol given us by God's Word. "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courtyards with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name." (Psalm 100:4)
I remember a time, not too long ago, when our praise and worship was simple and honest. But it was also extremely powerful! The house lights were full on, and you could see what folks caught up in His Spirit looked like. It was more about giving Holy Spirit His place in our midst so He could do what Jesus said He would do: “He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you." (John 16:14) What happened? Now, instead of cherishing His presence, it's more about click tracks, music tracks, the light show, production, and presentation, all of which are not evil, but appeal more to the flesh than our spirits. Appealing to the flesh will draw lots of people, but it wont' draw Holy Spirit.
I'm not trying to be mean and critical in this post. But I remember. I remember the overwhelming, life-changing presence in our midst. I remember the manifestations that saved, healed, delivered, instructed, and changed us instantly in His presence. That stuff never changes my friend.
If we would just return to the simplicity of the praise and worship that compels Him to be with us. If we could just lay aside the production mentality that is driving us these days. If we would simply draw near to Him, He would powerfully draw near to us. Commit with me TODAY to changing our mindset from drawing people back to drawing Him.