We are blessed to have such a wonderful team of people coming together to make Journey Church Detroit all that we know God desires it to be. This week's blog comes from one of those team members. Joel Keith and his wife Kate are moving to Detroit this fall to be a part of our launch team! Joel is a gifted musician, a lover of Jesus, and will play a key role in Journey Detroit's worship team. Krista and I are thankful for this couple and we love their heart. A few weeks ago, I asked Joel to share some thoughts on worship...this is his response. I pray that it impacts your life today!
Ps Bill Comai
It’s Sunday morning, you are up and getting dressed to go to that church that your co-worker wont stop talking about. You are only going to get them to stop inviting you because you are too nice to say no. So there you are in church. The countdown ends. Lights go up. Everyone simultaneously stands, leaving you delayed and awkwardly stumbling to your feet. Everyone is singing loudly and most of them are off key. To make it more confusing, they have their hands up as if some mascot is going to run out on stage with one of those t-shirt guns you see at sporting events. Oh yea, and to top it all off, the big guy on your right with all the tattoos, and the single mom on your left are crying their eyes out and you have no idea why.
As funny as this story is, it is something many have experienced on a Sunday morning. This is a beautiful moment though! People from all walks of life uniting in WORSHIP! But why do we worship? Why does the music come before anything else? Why is it important to sing about God? There are many reasons on why this is, but don’t worry, I will keep this short.
Psalm 100:4 “Enter into His presence with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.”
First, before anything, we are worshippers to the one true King. When we come together as a church to learn and hear from God it is important that we recognize FIRST that we need His presence. We must come expectant to hear what He wants to say. That is our ultimate goal. God is a gentleman and He likes to be invited. Worship is how we invite Him and align our heart and spirit with Christ. Once we are aligned with Him, then we can hear what He wants to say.
The people lifting their hands during worship were confusing to the first time attendee in the story above. I know even some of us “seasoned veterans” aren’t sure why we lift our hands in worship. Let’s be honest, it’s not exactly comfortable. We can feel as if we are drawing too much attention to ourselves, but the lifting of hands makes numerous statements. There are seven words for praise in the Hebrew language. And they are something beautiful. I will list a couple of my favorites here. The first word is “YADAH” and it means to extend the hand, therefore to worship with extended hand.
Psalm 63:1 “So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will (yadah) lift up my hands in thy name."
This is our outward expression of worship. This is just a way of letting Christ and those around know that you are in worship with the one who deserves all the praise. Something I love about worship is that everyone worships Christ differently according to how s/he was designed, but the lifting of the hands is a universal sign saying, “God, I am worshipping you.” “TOWDAH” is our next word and it means an extension of the hand in adoration. It was used in the Psalms to thank God for things not yet received. WOW! Imagine what our lives would look like if we spent more time thanking God for the things we have not yet received instead of complaining or stressing out about what we don’t have. The intention behind worship opens so many doors for God to move and speak in our lives. It is wonderful to be able to worship a God that will respond back to you.
The reality is that we face spiritual battles on a daily basis. There is war going on that exists whether we acknowledge it or not. This war takes place here on earth in the hearts of all of us. The bible says we struggle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. In this war we need transportation. God needs vessels to deliver the ammunition to allies to be used against the enemy. In the physical realm, we would use warships to deliver ammunition and fight against the enemy. In the spiritual realm, our WORSHIP is our WARSHIP! United as one, giving praises and adoration to God, we supply the kingdom with ammunition against the enemy. So this is how we win, when everybody’s hands go up.