Summary: The greatest and highest use of music and song, of our voices and our bodies, are to express to the God who has loved us and saved us, pure worship. This message is part of a series that explores how we can reach higher in worship
A statement of our values of worship: We believe that God has blessed mankind with the gift of music and song, and that the highest use of this gift is to worship God. We believe that the church should be skilled, creative and enthusiastic in its use of music. We worship with contemporary songs and styles of worship, as well as the classic and historic songs that have shaped our faith and experience of God. In a world where music has the power to influence what people believe and how they live, we aim to recapture music and song for the kind of expressive praise and extravagant worship that leads us to an encounter of the love and greatness of God.
Today I want to unwrap some of the meaning of these values but to also urge you to reach higher in how YOU express your worship to God. I want to challenge the indifference and apathy that our ignorance can create and encourage you to stretch yourself beyond any naturally inhibitions that have restricted your worship.
• HEAVEN’S WORSHIP - Pictures from Revelation
John saw into this celestial dimension. He saw the worship of heaven for himself.
What was the first thing he saw?....... a THRONE with someone sitting on it - 4:1-3
What was happening in heaven?...... WORSHIP - 4:8-11
Heavenly creatures SINGING A NEW SONG - 5:9,10
Innumerable Angels SINGING IN A LOUD VOICE - 5:12
Every creature SINGING - 5:13
In heaven the throne is the focus and worship is the activity.
Note how music and song is the foundation of heavens worship.
There are a few important characteristics of this worship that are important for us to note.
IT IS AUDIBLE - These heavenly creatures and the saints are making a noise, sometimes loud noise. There is singing, speaking and shouting. Their worship is an expression of their revelation. What they are seeing is inspiring what they are doing.
IT IS ANIMATED - They are falling down on their faces, laying down crowns and waving palm braches. They are responding with physical actions to what they are seeing.
It is this revelation that John had that gives us greatest insight into what is taking place in the eternal presence of God.
However, to understand the significance of worship on the earth today we MUST examine what happened before time began and its effects on the earth today.
• THE THEFT OF WORSHIP - Satan’s ultimate plan
Before creation and time ever existed, there was a dimension of reality in the presence of God. Created orders of angels worshipped God lead by an archangel named Lucifer.
He was created as the ultimate musician - 28:13 (KJV) “…the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created”
Tabrets and pipes were musical instruments (Gen 31:27; Isaiah 5:12). These, it seems, were part of Lucifer’s design, built into him.
His musical excellence and created beauty lead to pride and arrogance and his rebellion against God - Isaiah 14:12-15 - When Lucifer fell, his musical ability was not taken from him, but it was corrupted.
LeMar Boschman (The Rebirth of Music) “The day Lucifer fell, music fell. Music that was once used to worship almighty God became music of an earthly nature. He still has that same powerful ministry to create worship, but now…Lucifer uses that ministry to get worship for himself, because he craves it.”
Luke 4:7 (The temptations of Jesus) “So if you WORSHIP me, it will all be yours”
Lucifer (Satan) has endeavoured since his fall to corrupt music from its highest call and to steal worship. Not ALL music is demonic in origin or content, that’s the subtlety of our enemy. But much of contemporary music is serving a purpose he has intended.
He steals worship by DIVERTING it to lesser gods.
For two generations now he has used music to create icons and gods. From original Rock ‘n’ Roll to modern Rap Satan has used music to blind millions to almighty God by the creation of false gods (music, film, sport, fashion etc)
He uses music to destroy innocence with sexually explicit lyrics and images, he uses music to destroy hope with suicidal inducements, he uses music to destroy peace with violent suggestions.
This ipod generation is being moulded by a being who envies the worship that God almighty rightfully receives.
He wants WORSHIP, and will use any means to get it. He wants YOUR WORSHIP.
He will use any means, not just music, to turn your attention away from devotion to and worship of God.
We must recapture music and song for its intended use!
• THE WORSHIP OF GOD - Man’s highest call
Within the article of faith of the Anglican Church it states: It is the chief aim of man to worship God and to enjoy him forever.