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24/7 Worship


Increasingly, music has taken over and replaced the preaching of the Word. It has become so prominent that it dominates the whole church service. The worship time often consumes more than 75% of the service, leaving very little time for the pastor to preach the Word, to pray for the congregation, to give some announcements or to conduct Holy Communion.

There was once a pastor who had a conversation with a worship leader before hosting a week-long conference. The worship leader asked the pastor, “How long do you want us to worship? 30 minutes? 40 minutes?” The pastor said, “24/7. 24 hours 7 days a week.” The worship leader said, “I don’t think my fingers can last that long playing the guitar. My vocals will also become sore by the third hour.” The pastor replied, “Exactly. You are talking about music but I am talking about worship. Worship does not constitute music and singing alone. It is a lifestyle. It is when the singer becomes the song. It is when the music and lyrics become alive in living out the life for Jesus 24/7! Sometimes there are sounds. But most of the time, there are none. Just waiting on the LORD and listening to what He is saying. Be still and know that He is God.”

Today, we have a new generation of people seeking self-pleasure and self-satisfaction. This disease has spread even inside the churches. Most of the new Christian songs are unhealthily focused on rhythms and instrumentations more than melodies and contents. They are more likely to be disruptive and disjointed. Feeling good is what matters. The repetitive rhythms pulsate and pump through our soulish beings, compelling our fleshly bodies to respond to their heavy beats and overwhelming sounds. We forego our intellect and the authentic Biblical context. As such, many church services are in great disorder! We have forgotten that God is the only One Audience and He is the Only One we should worship and please! We are not the audience. The worship team is not there to please us. All of us are to please God and worship Him alone!

Many Christians like contemporary worship services. They like to feel God. They think that they worship God. But the truth is that they worship themselves. Assume that there is no music. Assume that there is no song. No worship leader. No beats. No disco lights. Nothing. In the backside of a desert. In a dry and parched land where there is no water. Dry throats and thirsty mouths. Moses was there, and he met God face to face. Jesus was there, and He overcame the devil through the Word of God and not by singing some songs! They knew and learned how to worship God without music. The genuineness of their worship is that they knew God and His Word!

True worship is beyond personal preferences and church denominations. Identifying worship as purely musical is not Biblical. The Apostle Paul taught us that worship transcends all the areas of life. Presenting our bodies as living sacrifices constitutes our spiritual worship (Romans 12:1). Worship styles and musical preferences should never be put forth as God's unique and authorized form of worship. Cultural expressions of worship will always be different. The central focus of true worship is an expression of the human heart towards a holy God.

In the last days, God is restoring the Tabernacle of David, which is the perfect pattern of praise and worship. Beyond countless prophetic revelations and prophetic acts, ceaseless spiritual warfare and encounters, God is looking for a man after His own heart! In Acts 13:22, God gave this testimony, and said, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.”

God did not say that David was a great singer who sang 24/7. Neither did He say that David was a prayer warrior who prayed and interceded 24/7. But He said that David was a man after My own heart, who will do all His will. David knew what God desired, and he did what He willed him to do. David was the kind of man God desired - a man who would do everything God wanted him to do.

How many of us are willing to do God’s will? Everything He asks or requires, we will do. More than a heart of worship, David followed after God’s heart. He lived a life that pleased God. When he was young, he was a good shepherd. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried away a lamb, David would fight with it and risk his own life for his flock (1 Samuel 17:34-37). When he was older, he was a good king. He fought for his people and cared for them. Beyond all his songs, psalms and music, David was a man who loved God and His people! He did everything God asked him to do!

In 2 Samuel 12:14-24, after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, God sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah’s wife. David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground. The elders of his household pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused.

Then on the seventh day, the child died. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He wouldn’t listen to reason while the child was ill,” they said. “What drastic thing will he do when we tell him the child is dead?”

When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshipped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate.

His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.”

David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”

Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child, and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded.

David knew when to fast and when to stop fasting, when to pray and when to stop praying, when to plead with God and when to stop pleading. Even when God’s will included the death of his son, David was willing to say, “Yes, Lord.” He was willing to do God’s will even though it caused great pain in his heart! By naming his new-born son as a beloved of the Lord, God was actually re-establishing and re-instating David. He was saying, “David, you have sinned. But I have forgiven you. You are now a beloved of the Lord! Now, go and sin no more.”

Many Christians today can only worship God in the “power-packed" church services led by “anointed” worship leaders. What if things went awfully bad at home, at work or some loved ones fall sick or are dying, can we still praise and worship God? What if visiting the hospital is an everyday routine? What if the finances run low, and there are no food on the table? What if healing does not occur, and the person dies? What if our prayers do not bring our desired results? What if this and that? What if God's blessings come in a different packaging? What if the Messiah comes as a little helpless Baby in a manger? What if the Messiah came and was crucified? What if resurrection happened only after dying 3 days and 3 nights?

To understand the Tabernacle of David, it is more than just 24/7 prayer and worship. It is doing God’s will. It is bringing the gospel to the Gentiles! Yes, preaching the Word! The Great Commission!

In Acts 15:12-18, the whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. When they finished, James spoke up.

“Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for His name from the Gentiles. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up; so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord Who does all these things.’ Known to God from eternity are all His works.”

From eternity, God desired all men to know Him! From eternity, God desired all men to worship Him. Not just the Jews but also all the Gentiles! God desired to set up the Tabernacle of David so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by His name.

David knew this heart desire of God! He knew that God desired man to dwell with Him. He said that His house would be his home as long as he lived. In Psalm 27:4 (NLT), David declared, “The one thing I ask of the Lord - the thing I seek most - is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in His Temple.”

What does it mean to dwell with God? Assuming that we are going to stay in the Royal Palace with the King. If the King is awesome, righteous, holy, great and mighty, glorious and powerful, how are we going to live our life in His palace? We will have to align with Him, and not Him aligning with our dreams and wishes. Even if He loves us very much, He will not allow us to do things which are contrary to His character. As we align with Him, we will soon become more like Him. It will become easier to live with Him as the days go by. We begin to know what He likes or dislikes. We also begin to know the desire of His heart.

As David delighted in the Word of the Lord, meditating on it day and night (Psalm 1:2), God revealed His eternal purposes. In Isaiah 56:6-8, God openly declared that His house will be a house of prayer for all nations! For the Jews and also for the Gentiles.

“Also the sons of the foreigner
Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him,
And to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—
Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And holds fast My covenant—
Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
Will be accepted on My altar;
For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says,
“Yet I will gather to him
Others besides those who are gathered to him.”

This Tabernacle of David will include all nations! Not just personal worship and personal soaking satisfaction. But having a heart of passion for the Lord and a heart of compassion for the lost! Not just feeling good in dwelling in His presence but feeling great in bringing others to come into His house. I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122:1) Yes, let US go into the house of the Lord. Not me alone.

The restoration of the five-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11) is important. Every one of the five offices, namely the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, are essential and valid. One without the other is incomplete. Thus we should not exalt the apostle above the rest! The kingdom of God is not the same as the kingdom of this world!

Matthew 20:26
Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.

Matthew 23:11
But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Someone told me recently that he had an apostolic calling and he now did only apostolic prayers and worship. I asked him to show me how. I was astonished to see how Christians were easily deceived by the flood of false teachings we had received from all over! I told him that I had a more powerful prayer. It was called the Lord’s Prayer. It is the prayer the Lord taught His apostles how to pray! The Lord is more powerful than the apostles. His name is above all other names! His name and His name alone! His kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Another Christian told me that she only listened to the rhema Word of God. She was not interested in the logos. In her understanding, the rhema is alive and the logos is dead! To her, the rhema is the spoken Word from God to each individual or to a people today, whereas the logos is God's written Word as we have it in the Bible. She did not read her Bible. She just listened to this prophet and that prophet, this apostle and that apostle! I told her that if she did not have the logos, she did not have any rhema. Rhema is the logos becoming alive! In John 1:14, the Word became flesh (alive) and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Rhema occurs when the written Word of God becomes alive or is fulfilled! Rhema is not what this or that preacher says, this or that prophet proclaims, or this or that apostle mandates! It is the written Word of God becoming alive! No logos no rhema!

One thing I know God is looking for a man after His own heart. In Ezekiel 22:30, God said, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”

God is also seeking for true worshipers who will worship the Father in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). God is not looking for a man-made program that runs 24/7 praying night and day, day and night. Not looking for people to dethrone principalities and powers over this or that region. Just look at Israel and America.  If it is so easily done by waving this or that banner, declaring this or that prayer, performing this or that prophetic act, these nations will be totally transformed for Jesus by now. But it is not so.

God is also not looking for repetitive praise and worship round the clock. Empty rituals, long and extended, praying that God will somehow and somewhat show up. Any kind of physical manifestations perceived or felt would easily endorse the presence of God, signifying His approval in the meetings! Somehow it has become God doing our will and not we doing God’s will! So sad.

24/7 worship is simply the New Covenant in motion. God will put His law in our minds, and write it on our hearts; and He will be our God, and we shall be His people (Jeremiah 31:31-34). We will present ourselves to God because of all He has done for us. Let us be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind He will find pleasing and acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.

1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1 Corinthians 6:19
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

And our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us! And we will be led by the Holy Spirit to do the will of the Father. And we will be led by the Holy Spirit to worship God in spirit and in truth, in our sleeping, in our waking, in our talking, in our eating, in our living, every moment of our life 24/7. No rituals. No repetitions. Just simply living for Jesus. We simply live for Him. A life of true worship 24/7.

 

Written on 19 June 2012