Monday, November 1, 2021

Hallowed Be Thy Name

Looking back at how praise and worship has evolved (maybe not a good choice of a word), many have noticed a difference in the lyrics. In many songs today the lyrics have switched from acknowledging who God is and what He has done, to being focused on self. Revelation paints a glorious picture of the worship that take place before the throne of God, “The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!" Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created." (Revelation 4:8-11)

We see further, “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth." Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, 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 who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor 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, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!" Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.” (Revelation 5:9-14)

Although this praise and worship is taking place in heaven, it no way infers that praise and worship should be different on earth. The point in this is, true praise and worship comes from a heart that is filled with great reverence, awe, fear, joy, adoration and exaltation that is directed to the Lord. We are to praise and worship Him. If you listen closely to many contemporary songs that have filled many congregation today, it has become somewhat difficult to know whom the song is addressing. The name of Jesus is hardly ever spoken and there is rarely the acknowledging Him as Lord. There are also many songs that do not contain scripture in the lyrics, but many of the songs that use scripture in the lyrics tend to take the scripture out of context, which twists their true meaning. Another unfortunate aspect that we see in many contemporary songs today is the words, He, Him, His have been replaced with me, my, I.

It seems that once again in order to reach the lost soul, the church has cut the Lord out of the equation. Music is a very powerful medium and if the church is not willing to worship God in Spirit and Truth with their focus on exalting Him, then we cannot blame our children for listening to secular music that focuses on the works of the flesh. This is not to say that contemporary music should be eliminated from the church, but that those responsible for music in every congregation should scrutinize the lyrics of every song before they refer to them as praise or worship songs. This also does not insinuate that hymns are the only songs that are pure worship; on the contrary, some of the sweetest sounding hymns also have lyrics that are not focus on the Lord but on the believer. In addition, many hymns place the focus on the afterlife for the believer. Examples of this are, “When we get to heaven we will have the victory;” “When we get to heaven we will be new;” “When we get to heaven we will have rest;” yet God’s Word assures the believer of their victory, new life and rest in Christ right here on planet earth. Regardless of which style of music individual congregation’s desire, the church today must put its focus on the Lord if it is going to truly worship Him.

The church must never exclude an intimate time of ministering to the Lord through praise and worship. We must refrain from placing a limited time of praise and worship in our gatherings. We must reject songs that are not the Word of God as well as songs that do not directly exalt the Lord. To abandon true praise and worship for any reason is to say that God is not worthy of our admiration and we do not need His presences to have a successful church service. Again, church leaders must scrutinize songs so that the music and lyrics is completely God focused. Otherwise, we cannot say that we are worshiping the Lord. Church can no longer fall prey trying to please men instead of God or just sing nice songs if we truly want to experience the glory of the Lord in our congregations. I want to challenge you the reader to take time everyday in praise and worship to the Lord. "Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals.Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!" (Psalm 150)

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