Category: Blog

Self Righteousness A Hindrance To True Worship

THE SELF RIGHTEOUS PROBLEM

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. ( Luke 18:9-14 )

 

Self-righteousness is a hindrance that affects true worship of God. In this parable Jesus shows us a Pharisee who has gone to worship at the temple. Now I want you to take note that the objective of the Pharisee when he went to the temple was to worship/pray. However when the Pharisee gets to the temple he strays from his objective because of self-righteousness.

 

 

Selfrighteousness (also called sanctimoniousness, and holier-than-thou attitudes) is a feeling or display of (usually smug) moral superiority derived from a sense that one’s beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person.

A self-righteous person acts superior to his peers because he believes his moral standards are perfect. This “moral smugness” is condescending by nature and is usually found offensive by others.

So this Pharisee starts showing off to God, meticulously explaining why he is better than other men. But hey wait a minute, I thought the objective was to worship God. That is the problem of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is in effect worship of self, it’s a mockery of the cross and the grace of God. LET ME BE CLEAR, BY OUR WORKS THE ONLY THING WE DESERVE FROM GOD IS DEATH. It’s a shame that this Pharisee did not understand that:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 )

 

The Pharisee however thought that his fasting and tithing where what justified him to come before the presence of God. He was way off the mark. He thought he was worshiping God but all he was doing was boasting to God of how good he was. But we know that Isaiah says our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). In being self-righteous we fail to submit to God’s righteousness as Paul indicates in Romans 10:3

For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

 

The second problem of self-righteousness is in despising others. In this parable Jesus explains how the Pharisee compares himself with the publican who is also in the temple at the same time. Today self-righteousness can exhibit itself in the person who looks next to the tattooed person in church raising their hands during worship and starts asking what right that person has to be in the presence of God. Well because in that persons mind they are better and deserve to worship God because they have never got a tattoo in their life. But hello have you not forgotten that the reason you went to church was so you could worship and not to look at the next person and deride them for what you think is wrong with them.

Self-righteousness can exhibit itself when we get so wrapped up in our own opinions that we begin to think we are better than others, that ours is the right way, even in insignificant matters. It exhibits itself in a person who thinks that because they have been doing something for x number of years then there is nothing you can tell them or teach them. There is such an account in John 7: 32-53

The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him.  And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. And every man went unto his own house.

 

The problem in the above passage is that the Pharisees thought their position was the only correct and since Jesus was speaking contrary to what they taught then he was in error. A self-righteous person always thinks that they are right, gets angry if anyone questions their way of doing things. Even after the Pharisees sent people to arrest Jesus who came back convicted by the way he spoke for they had never heard anyone speak like that before, the Pharisees derided these people as fools for they said: ‘Have any of us believed in him’   That’s self-righteousness right there. If I don’t believe what anyone says then it means they should be wrong! And that self-righteous attitude made the Pharisees miss God, they missed an opportunity to submit and worship the king of kings!

Another indicator is a questioning of the actions of others and the lack of compassion and mercy. Also shown in constantly looking out for the faults of others.

      And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.  And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. ( Mathew 9:10-13 )

 

At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. ( Mathew 12:1-7 )

 

So here was the issue: Why was Jesus associating with sinners. How foolish that is for them to forget that they were sinners themselves. Self-righteousness blinds you to the depravity that you yourself suffer from. In the second passage Jesus disciples were hungry but the Pharisees could not see that. All they could see were people breaking the Sabbath. They lacked compassion and Jesus said if you knew what it means for God to say he desireth mercy

I believe all of us should beware of self-righteousness, it’s a plague, it hinders us from truly worshiping God and we go home without having received from God’s fullness because of being so full of ourselves.

Self righteousness

How healthy is your music team

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A HEALTHY MUSIC TEAM

  • They are highly motivated – a healthy music team will find it easy to get its people to do what is required as everyone is enthusiastic about seeing things get done and God be exalted. Productivity is high and events are enjoyable and successful.
  • There is freedom to express the gifts – In a healthy music team every individual is able to creatively express the gift/talent that God has bestowed on them. The spotlight is not limited to any one individual but everyone has the same opportunity to bring what they have on the table.
  • Growth- A healthy team will grow in numbers, it will grow in skill. It will actually look for opportunities to grow, constantly going to seminars that will make them grow, sometimes even inviting those who are doing exploits in the Praise and Worship scene to come and teach their team.
  • Attracts talented and skilled individuals – even prominent and established musicians want to join this team because there is a positive vibe about the music team, there is something good going on and everyone wants to be a part of it.
  • Constantly innovating and doing new things- healthy teams know how to recognize and seize good opportunities, they know how to adapt to technological and operational changes and are constantly innovating their processes, stay ahead or in line with current music industry trends.
  • All age groups are represented – In a healthy team both the young and the old play and sing in the band and choir.
  • There is good leadership – Good leadership is one of the main characteristics of a healthy team. The music team will have a good relationship with the worship pastors and deacons, there is trust and when correction is needed the music team readily accepts it as it is given in love and without malice! There is a clear defined structure and the music team does not mind complying with any instruction given as they understand it and see the benefits of its implementation.
  • Works as a team – there is cooperative effort to achieve the common goal!

THE SYMPTOMS OF A SICK MUSIC TEAM

  • Highly demotivated – a sick team does not love what they do and just show up because they have no option or because you are paying them. It’s hard for any work to be done and people are usually threatened or arm-twisted for work to get done.
  • Constant excuses – the team constantly gives excuses of why they can’t make services or practices.
  • Absenteeism – the team is constantly not available for various ministry events even if notice is given way in advance before the event.
  • Attracts untalented and unskilled individuals – the new people who come to join the music team might just be people who are learning or people who can’t even sing or play.
  • Focused on an individual – only one person is dominant in the singing or giving of ideas and all other people are just there to do what the dominant individual require.
  • Focused on past exploits and no longer innovating – you constantly hear about the past and how things would be done in the past or how an awesome album was done in the past but then there is no mention about the future and how the team can innovate to be better and do new things.
  • Leans towards a particular age group – an unhealthy team will have one age group represented. Maybe it will just be the old folk and the young people won’t want to be a part of it because it will be old fashioned. The other extreme is just young folk and the old people won’t want to be a part of it because it is just noise and a lot of guitars.
  • There is no confidence in the leadership – Once a music team loses faith in its leaders or in the direction they are taking, then their loyalties are fray and they cease to wholeheartedly follow. There is no trust and the leaders themselves might not have a care and concern for the team but just a care for getting the work done.
  • Poor Communication and Blurred chain and unity of command – the music team is constantly confused, frustrated and are constantly guessing. There is no avenue to communicate back to leadership for clarification. Instructions come from different leaders and sometimes those instructions will be conflicting with each other and the music team does not know which to follow.

Worship set

Firing Musicians

How To Let Go Of Your Employees In A Godly Manner

It naturally follows that if you are going to hire someone there is a possibility that you will have to fire them. Now as Christians we are not prohibited from firing people, it is not ungodly, however when you do fire someone you want to ensure that it is done in a way that will bring glory to God and not cause scandals and or divisions. As Christians we should be sensitive to how firing someone will impact an employee, impact the employee’s family and most importantly how it will impact the church!

 

Let’s look at some reasonable causes for firing of musicians within a church or a band:

  • Breach of Contract
  • Involvement in illegal acts
  • Poor Performance
  • Not reporting for duty

Having looked at the reasons the next thing is the issues you need to consider before you fire your church musician or band member (I call it a termination checklist)

  • Justification for dismissal- the decision to fire someone should be based on objective facts and it is wise to put such facts in writing. This is especially so if the reason for firing is because of poor performance were you will need supporting documentation of performance appraisals, employee goals along with supervisor’s communication notes.
  • Timing of dismissal – you cannot just remove someone from their job unless if it was an act that requires immediate removal in which case you will require solid evidence or else it becomes a messy court case.
  • Communication of dismissal – Communicating that you have fired someone is probably one of the most complex and fragile things that an employer has to do as this is a life altering event for the employee. Also for us as Christians everything we do has to be done in love so the way you communicate that dismissal and your actions after that communication have to be in love. Furthermore you have to communicate to the staff, other band members, fans and the church about the termination. When you communicate the termination to everyone else do not lie as this is the fuel for gossip and a lack of respect from those who remain as they will be most likely aware of the events that led to the termination. Put everything out in the open so that the devil is not given any room. One thing the devil likes to ride on is a scandal so do not create one.
  • Procedure for dismissal – people are just not fired, a procedure has to be followed. Unfortunately the people who head churches do not understand this and usually fire their staff not based on procedure but emotions and in the spur of the moment. This of cause has disastrous consequences. If it’s a big church that has a human resource department, that department should have a dismissal procedure in place. If you are just a worship leader who has contracted a band member you should consult with some experts and have a documented dismissal procedure with you. In developed nations this is not mostly an issue but in Africa a lot of haphazard things are done.
  • The Labor laws of your nation

There are times when unjust decisions are carried out. If you are a church employee or a member of the band and you are fired unjustly there is reprieve for you in the law. I will look at the following cases:

  • Constructive Dismissal

In employment law, constructive dismissal, also called constructive discharge, occurs when an employee resigns as a result of the employer creating a hostile work environment. Since the resignation was not truly voluntary, it is in effect a termination.

It is important to note that with constructive dismissal the employer does not dismiss the employee but the employers conduct is such that no reasonable employee can be expected to put up with it i.e the employee is left with no other option but to resign.

Constructive dismissal is hard to prove though and the employee has to prove beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that this was the case.

  • Unfair Dismissal

Unfair dismissal is a term in labour law to describe an act of employment termination      without good reason, or contrary to the country’s specific legislation.

I will dwell more on this one. This is very common in churches and Christian bands as many decisions are made based on feelings and sometimes erroneous doctrine with no regards whatsoever to the laws of a nation, objective judgement or the employee’s welfare.

As an employee this is what you have to do if it’s unfair dismissal. You have to notify your employer/supervisor/ the HR Department of the act. I advise you to use an email that you can then use as evidence in the labor court if the matter fails to be resolved. With church things we don’t want to be taking one another to court, it’s a poor witness to the world but if your employer is unreasonable you will be left with no choice especially if it’s done by your leadership who you should go to for arbitration. 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 lets us know

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

 

If your leadership is the one which perpetrates the illegal act then it is not wrong for you to seek an arbitrator of your issue outside of the church as Romans 13:1-4 lets us know that rulers are not a terror to good.

 

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Band equip 2

The Issue Of Paying Musicians

 PAYING MUSICIANS

There are people who believe musicians should not be paid because music is a ministry and therefore it must be done with volunteers. For others they claim that they are small churches and their budget does not allow them to pay anyone. Topics that have to deal with money are never treated lightly and people become emotional when it comes to money issues.

Some people claim that it is the devil who has swept through churches causing musicians to want to be paid for their service of playing. Some musicians go to the extreme of not playing if the money is not there. Though I do not advocate for such an attitude, I believe that musicians should either be paid, receive a love offering once in a while or at least transport money to help them in the work that they do.

It is biblical to pay musicians for the work that they do in the church. I believe this helps the musicians to focus on the ministry and prayer as they are not busy trying to make money and serve God at the same time. In some churches they pay their musicians and have no problem doing so. However in Africa that’s not the case. Musicians are not paid and yet expected to be fully committed to the ministry. This does not make sense.

1 Chronicles 9:33 says and these are the singers, chief of the fathers of the levites, who remaining in the chambers were free: for they were employed in that work day and night. And in Nehemiah 11:22b-23 says of the sons of Asaph, the singers were over the business of the house of God. For it was the Kings commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for everyday.

Yes these guys were employed to do God’s work. It’s not about doing it for the money but let’s face it no one can live without money!

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:9-10

For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.

Some will argue that this scripture is talking about teachers of the word and does not apply to musicians. A musician is actually a teacher of the word through song when you actually think about it. This I have put for those who would us that argument.  

The question arises: When should a church/ministry start considering to employ full time musicians?

  1. If the church desires to maintain and establish a prestigious standard of music (especially churches that write and record their own music ). Such churches have a music director, several instrumentalists and choir members on a payroll to be able to achieve this because when a person is paid, the church has a right to expect a higher level of commitment and excellence
  2. If the amount of time needed to do the work of the ministry exceeds what is reasonable for a typical church member to give then the church should definitely consider employing
  3. If the churches musicians are constantly giving excuses that they cant make it to practices and services because they are looking for money a church might want to consider paying. There is an insight in Nehemiah concerning this particular situation. In Nehemiah 13:10-11 it says And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.  Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.

 

If you start paying your musicians:

  1. Please pay them on time
  2. Do not promise what you cannot deliver
  3. Review their salary with time depending on value and where they are in life ( e.g if you employed the person while they were young but now they are married and have a family you need to consider that their needs have changed, also maybe you employed them when they had no qualification and now they have attained a musical qualification or skill consider that )

 

GUIDELINES YOU CAN USE FOR EMPLOYING MUSICIANS

  • Ensure the musician has your church at heart and is not just in it for the money- this is very important because you need someone who loves the church and wants to serve. In this regard it will be wise to employ from within the church, from someone who has been serving already on a volunteer basis because you know they should have a genuine love for the ministry otherwise they would not have been in the church in the first place. I strongly advise against hiring a musician who is not even part of your church even if they might be a professional musician because most of the times the only reason that person will be coming through is because of the paycheck and not out of a love for the church and they will have a lower commitment and loyalty to the church than a volunteer who can then be trained to get to this professional level.
  • Establish a mentoring program- even when you employ musicians you need to be constantly training more musicians, especially the younger crop so that there can be continuity if the employed musician desires to move on with their life. You might even make training the next generation part of the employed musician’s job description. Ensure though that the employed musician does not see his mentee as a threat to his job security because then the employee will struggle to build a culture of development as they might see this person as a replacement.
  • Clearly define your musicians Key Result Areas. Many churches after employing musicians start feeling as if they are just paying people to sit and practice then play in a service. You have to lay out your expectations and to avoid just paying people to sit I advise you add some administrative duties on top of the obvious one of playing and singing in a service. Get the musicians to draft reports and plan services way in advance and then also doing things like chord charts. Also for songwriters they can start writing songs for your church for the purposes of recordings that you can then use to raise money to pay the musicians.
  • Find out the vision and direction of the musician you want to employ. As much as we might not like not everyone is meant to stay, certain people come into our lives for a season. Before you employ someone find out what they want to do with their lives, find out if they feel called to the music ministry and if they are called to your church for good or they are available for a season. Even if they are going to leave after a season don’t use that against them so you don’t employ them, just employ them on a short contract. This applies especially for kids who have just left school and are looking for something to do before they go to varsity. In the case of such an individual ensure that they train a replacement who can do the same tasks they were doing.
  • Some musicians will want to do their own recording projects. This is not a bad thing. So many ministries might feel threatened by someone who is entrepreneurial fearing that they might eventually leave the ministry or have their commitment waver because of their projects. This is not even the case, it’s actually good to employ such people. I do my own projects but am fully committed to my church, I think also of Israel Houghton who travels all around the world and has done various projects and yet is committed to his home church Lakewood!

 

 

 

CONTRACTS

A wise musician will seek a contract if they are employed or if a church starts to desire paying them unless if the church is working on a love offering basis. This is because without a contract you will be taken advantage of, yes even churches can be oppressive and you will become a slave if you are not wise. The bible says be wise as serpents and yet harmless as a dove.

Why contracts?

  1. A contract clearly sets out what is required from you as an employee and also what your employer will do for you
  2. A contract gives you security, you are assured of income for a specified period of time.

Band equip

Bringing Heaven Down On Earth

THE SOUND OF HEAVEN

Heaven is a glorious place. I may never have been there but from what I see in the bible I can only imagine. As a worship leader/ instrumentalist/vocalist/choir member our goal should be to hear from heaven and echo what we hear in our worship. We have to be like a power cable that connects to the source and transmits that power on earth.

In Revelations 5

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.   And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.   And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

 

Here are some observations I made from this scripture:

  • The 24 elders are musicians, they all had harps. That lets me know that music plays an important part in the worship in heaven. As such music should play a pivotal role for us to be able to release that sound of heaven here on earth!
  • The new song is a vital part of heavenly worship. As such I encourage worship leaders to start believing God for new songs, there is a heavenly atmosphere that a truly God inspired new song can bring to our congregations and to our worship experience!
  • There is the voice of many angels, it was not just the 24 elders singing but many angels singing with a loud voice. If in our worship we can get every individual involved and singing with a loud voice that is near to the example set for us. Worship is not just for those on stage, everyone has to be involved; singing with a loud voice!
  • There is a lot of bowing and falling face down that takes place in the heaven. I think this is a lost art in our worship.

The most amazing thing for me though is that as all this is taking place in heaven, at the end of the scripture it lets us know that every creature on the earth, and under the earth and in the sea responds to this worship that will be taking place in heaven. Nature itself responds in praise as worship takes place in heaven. That just blew my mind!

Every Christian should be in tune with what God is doing. It’s time we start listening out to what God is doing and move with that tide. We can’t let the rocks cry out in our place! We have to hear the sound of heaven and respond in resounding praise to the King of Kings!

For worship leaders the ability to be in tune with heaven will enable us to pull down and write amazing songs that come straight from the throne. For instrumentalists this will lead to us discovering amazing tunes and melodies hence creating a sound that pierces through the darkness and releases the glory and presence of God!

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Worship in the tough seasons of life

WORSHIPPING IN HARD TIMES

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

 

Life is not a smooth road. It’s easier to worship God when things are going well, when the money is flowing in, when people are singing your praise but the test of whether you love God really comes through when tough times hit. Can you like David boldly claim that I will bless the Lord at all times? Let’s look at some of the tough seasons of life :

  • WHEN A LOVED ONE DIES

I believe one of the hardest times any person ever goes through is when a loved one passes away. This is a very trying time and in such cases we usually start questioning God. The thing we should always be aware of is that God is not caught off guard by our circumstances, rather than being angry at God we have to go to him so that he can heal us and give us strength to move on. Let’s look at what David did when a loved one passed away:

 

2 Samuel 12:18-23  And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

 

How many of us would respond to death by worshipping God? The honest truth is many of us would curse God, or maybe that’s the season we say we don’t want to hear about God, we don’t want to go to church and so on. David response amazed me. Surely this is why he was a man after God’s heart.

 

  • WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR JOB

It’s always easy to worship when things are going well but when things go south it is hard to worship him. However this is the time that we have to worship him even more than before. I know when you lose your job you start thinking: how are the bills going to be paid? How and when will I get another job? Why did this happen to me? In the midst of all these questions worship God and look to him for the solutions. I find that in my times of worship I get ideas, I get direction and I get strength.

 

  • DURING A DIVORCE OR A BREAK UP

Your wife/husband has just left you, this is not an easy road and worshipping God might be the last thing on your mind but through it all you have to look up to him.

 

So you break up with a girl/boy you thought you would spend the rest of your life with. GET OVER IT, worship God.

  • DURING SICKNESS

When your body is hurting and you cannot understand why that sickness is in your body, that’s the time to worship God. Believe God for healing and in the process worship him, thanking him for the healing.

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. ( Psalm 103 :1-5 )

 

 

It is important that we worship God during hard times because if we remove our focus from God it’s very easy for us to fall into sin, it’s easy for us to charge God foolishly not understanding that the enemy is orchestrating hard times in an attempt to disconnect us from the Father. Take Job as an example of one who worshipped in hard times and did not get disconnected. This was his response to his situation:

 

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,  And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. ( Job 1:20-22 )

 

Yes hard times will come, trying days will come but like David let us declare:

 

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. ( Psalm 27:4-6 )

 

Take note that we do not worship God for the hard times but we worship God regardless of the hard times.

 

In Acts 16 we have a story of Paul and Silas who are beaten up and thrown into prison for casting a demon out of a girl. I mean surely when you are beaten and thrown into prison for doing a good deed you are not in the best of moods, surely you will be low on motivation and so on. We can only imagine what Paul and Silas were going through. Let’s pick up the story from verse 25-26

 

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

 

What does worshipping in hard times do for you?

  • It shakes the foundations of your problem
  • It opens doors for you
  • It loosens chains binding you
  • It shows other people the glory of God
  • It brings Salvation

Worship