Into The Deep

At eight months old, my daughter didn’t know how to swim, much less hold her breath. Yet my husband would confidently carry her in his arms into the deep water of the ocean. This girl- who was still eating sea shells and sand, was fearlessly and joyously caught in the rapture of the moment. Why wasn’t she afraid? She was with her father.

WE can go into the deep with God. No more hesitation. No more excuses: you don’t have to be a Bible scholar…..you don’t have to be saved for a certain amount of time….you don’t have to know church etiquette…..and you don’t have to have your ducks in a row before venturing into the deep!  Let’ get caught up in the joyous and fearless wonder of Jesus Christ!! Don’t be afraid. You are with your Heavenly Father!

Take a moment in the Presence of God right now.  Click this link and let the words of this worshipful song become a prayer! Boldly go into the deep!!!

“Into The Deep” by Citipointe Live

Deep

VERSE
When my hands stretch out towards the sky
You never let me run dry
When I dive in-to the depths of You
My heart is made anew… Jesus in You

CHORUS
Your love is a flood and I’m
Caught in the current of Your living waters
It’s Your love… it’s Your love

Your Presence is a flood
And I’m caught in the wonder
You have taken me over
You have won… my heart

BRIDGE
Into the deep I will go with You
Sub-merge my feet… to my head in all of You
As your Presence falls
I am drowned in Your love
Immerse me….. immerse me

Overflow

We were created for worship. Each week worship leaders have the wonderful opportunity to use our gifts and talents to lead others into God’s Presence.  But let’s face it, Satan wars against us to steal the worship that God deserves. Satan will use anything to accomplish his goal. Sometimes he’ll use your own ministry to do it. We can get caught up in the “doing” of the ministry, that we neglect the founder of our ministry: Jesus Christ. From the beginning of time, our primary purpose has always been to have a relationship and to fellowship with our Creator. This is what we were made for.

In order to do that, God says to “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23). What’s in you will overflow into other areas of your life…..If we are filled with negative things like bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment; THAT is what will spill out of us. We have to be on guard because these things sneak up on us….slowly creep in….leaving less and less room for the Presence of God.

God wants us so full of His Presence that His goodness just spills out of us into our instruments and into our singing. But if we are filled with anything else, that too will spill over into our instruments and our singing.

My heart is overflowing with good news. I will direct my song to the King.
My tongue is a pen for a skillful writer. (Psalm 45:1)

So, how can WE keep our heart overflowing with good news? How do we stay full? Personal time with God is the answer: prayer, reading His Word and having our own intimate time of worship. But we have to be on guard because the enemy will try to invade that time and fill it with……life. Not necessarily bad things, just anything that will keep us from spending time with God.

We can’t help others hear from Heaven until Heaven hears from US (I’m referring to our personal time of worship). Sundays…we can’t wait to fill up with God’s Presence when we arrive- we need to arrive filled with His Presence!

When I prayed about this devotion, God gave me this word: overflow.

OVERFLOW:

  • To flow over the brim
  • To flow beyond the limits; to run over
  • To be superabundant
  • To have surplus; extra

I want you to imagine with me a pitcher full of water. Now imagine one glass full of water, and one glass empty or half-empty. The pitcher is God’s Presence-ready to be poured out. The glasses are worship leaders. When God’s Presence is poured over the full glass of water, His Presence will overflow to the congregation of worshipers in a way it never could with an empty or half-empty vessel.

There is another definition for overflow that I want us to focus on:

  • To be an OUTLET for what OVERFLOWS thus ALLOWING the SURPLUS to be RELEASED

God wants to MINISTER from the overflow: where WE are an outlet for His Presence where He can release Himself over the people, and fill the room. As we usher in the Presence of God He wants to MANIFEST in this overflow.

Peter was so filled with the Spirit of God that people lined up their sick in the street in hopes that his shadow would fall on them and they would be healed. For Paul, he was so full of the Presence of God that the sick were healed when they touched the same garments that had touched Paul. Now that’s operating in the overflow!

I also think of Obededom: the Ark of the Covenant rested at his home for 3 months. During this time He experienced the overflow of God’s presence so much so, that everything he owned prospered. So when David moved the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, Obededom and his family followed the Presence. Experiencing the overflow will create followers of His Presence.

Let’s allow God to use US as an outlet for His overflowing Presence, allowing His fullness to be released.

I want to end with a few excerpts from: THE OVERFLOWING CUP by Charles Spurgeon….. a sermon on Psalm 23:5 “My cup runs over.”

“Does your cup run over? Then call in your friends to get the overflow. Let others participate in what you do not wish to monopolize or intercept. Christian people ought to be like the cascades I have seen in brooks and rivers, always running over and so causing other falls; which again by their joyful excess cause fresh cascades and so beauty is joyfully multiplied.

If God fills one of us, it is so that we may bless others; if he gives His ministering servants sweet fellowship with Him, it is so that their words may encourage other to seek the same fellowship; and if their hearers get a portion of food, it is so that they may carry a portion home.

If you get the water for your own mill and dam it up, you will find that it is overgrown with rank weeds, and becomes a foul thing. Pull up the sluices, man, and LET IT RUN! Let It Run! There is more coming…. there is more coming.

It may be that God sent YOU the running over on purpose so that those who were ready to perish might be refreshed” (Spurgeon).

References
Spurgeon, Charles. The Overflowing Cup. 2017. Web. 2 May 2017. <answersingenesis.org>

If You Want A Bonfire, Why Are You Collecting Twigs?

I love it when my husband Mike builds a fire for our indoor fire place or outdoor fire pit. The first thing he does is prepare. He walks around our yard gathering dry twigs and small sticks, also known as starter wood. He places the small twigs atop balled up newspaper and poof! Fire! But my husband doesn’t leave the fire, he watches and tends to it, because starter fires don’t last long as those dry twigs are too quickly consumed. Next step is adding larger pieces of dry wood to maintain a healthy strong fire.

I also love it when my husband shares with me spiritual nuggets he received during his private time with God. This devotion is one of his spiritual nuggets.  In sum, we all want a nice roaring spiritual fire at our churches. But we aren’t willing to put in the spiritual preparation time outside of church. That’s right, the fire at church doesn’t originate at church: it begins within the hearts of each one of us. But many people blame the Praise & Worship Team or the Pastor for not stoking their twiggy fire! If you want to experience the fire on Sunday, stop bringing twigs!!

“Fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out.” Leviticus 6:13

It is our responsibility to fan the flames; to keep it burning by adding fuel; and then to lay down our sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15)! Spending time daily in the Presence of God is like cutting substantial pieces of fire wood that we can bring with us on Sunday: it keeps the fire continually burning!

Do we eat only once a week? Gas up the car only once a year? Tend the lawn only once each summer? Sleep only one night a week? Surely you see where this is going? We need to tend to our spiritual needs DAILY, just like we tend to our physical needs! No one else can do this for us. When we neglect the Presence of God, our flame dies out. If you want the fire, you’ve got the gather wood!

Worship Is More

Worship is more than music, lyrics or rhyme

It’s about the place I spend my time

Not whether I kneel, sit or stand

Or lift my hands

It’s where I am: at His feet

 

Be still and sit at the feet of Jesus

Knowing His love is what frees us

Shut out the noise of the daily grind

Forget what lies ahead & what lingers behind

It’s where I am: at His feet

 

You don’t have to say or do a thing

Because He knows the heart we bring

Worship is more than outward expression

It all comes down to my position

It’s where I am: at His feet

 

Hearing ‘The Word’ & not saying a word

Listening more than I am heard

Soaking in His presence

Shutting down the interference

It’s where I am: at His feet

 

Worship is more than music, lyrics and rhyme

Worship is where my heart is all the time

At His feet-that’s the position

Learning to wait, be still & listen

by Tracey Ray

 

 

The Most Important Trait of an Effective Worship Leader

I don’t go skating often, but when I do, I rent a pair of skates that countless others have worn before me. The result: the skates never fit well because they are not my own. They’ve been worn out by countless others before me.

Because I’m not practiced at skating I feel awkward, and stumble and fall a lot.  As I hug the wall of the rink, I look very much like an insect that has made an unfortunate connection with the windshield of a vehicle traveling at high speeds.  I shimmy around the wall until I feel brave enough to let go, and venture slightly closer to the center of the rink. It’s obvious to everyone around me that I do not routinely roller skate.

Let me introduce you to another group you will see at the skating rink. These people know exactly what they came there to do. They don’t hug the wall, or in any way hesitate.  They don’t need coaxing or convincing: they go for it! Straight to the center! These are the people that brought their own skates with them.

I want so much to be like them; to be free and have the fun they are having. So I observe them, and it’s not too long before I begin to let go of the wall, and try to follow what I am seeing.

We should be like those practiced skaters when it comes to worship service:  boldly venturing straight into the center of God’s presence without hesitation; without being coaxed; without wearing someone else’s worn out skates. Bring your own skates!

Bring your worship with you to praise and worship service. Bring the worship with you that you’ve been engaging in all week in your home; in your car; at your work place! Help someone tear themselves away from the wall so they too can learn what you have learned: how to be in the center of God’s presence.

As worship leaders, we should influence and inspire those around us to do what we are doing, and go where we are going. And this doesn’t just apply to the congregation. I’ve seen fathers and mothers skating alongside their little one: holding their hand and gently leading away from the wall. Without this encouragement and reassurance, their child would probably get discouraged and want to take off their skates and never go back the rink again.  Not only are we leading a congregation to the center of God’s Presence, we should be investing in and training up the next generation worship leaders.

But let’s not neglect our own preparation time. Those skillful skaters would lose their proficiency if they ceased to put on their skates. We need to put on the garments of praise in our private time. It is vital to have our own consistent and intimate time with God. How can we teach others to value the Presence of God if we find ourselves hugging the wall: too unpracticed to make it to the center of the rink?

In John 15:5 Jesus tells us, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” In order to be effective worship leaders, we must remain in the Presence of God or we will fail!!  We need to position ourselves in the center of God’s Presence before we position ourselves on center stage.

This article on…… Music Ministry Coach You can find this article published on Music Ministry Coach’s Website in addition to other music ministry articles, videos, tutorials and more by using this link. In the upper right hand corner you will see tabs for general music, singers or musicians.