Having a Heart like the Psalmist
The Holy Spirit is moving powerfully through the nations, and worship has a key role to play. In the mid 1970's the Lord gave me a vision of fire spreading throughout the nation of Australia. It started with just a little flicker of flame and I knew that music and worship was involved somewhere but I didn’t understand it.
First, I thought we had to get ‘out into the world’ with evangelistic concerts. Through making mistakes and continuing to press into the Lord, God has been cleansing my heart and giving amazing insight. I realise now that what He was really showing me was the worship of heaven and the fire of the Holy Spirit being released into the earth.
The worship in heaven surrounds the throne of God which has seven flames of fire. Throne-room worship is invading the earth with that same fire. Worship is a very important and central part of spreading that flame of revival through the earth. Though not necessarily the way we think these connect.While worship is not only expressed through music, yet it has a vital part to play. This article addresses the heart of worshippers particualry as expressed through music.
Worship expressed through music is a unique vehicle to convey our love to the Lord. As we love Him and lift Him up, He does amazing things, both in us and for us-He does the work. Though we are yet to enter the fullness of such worship in the nations, yet the Lord has done amazing things in recent decades to advance our walk and understanding.
Into the twentieth century, we grasped the ministry of entering into His courts with thanksgiving and into His gates with praise. In the early decades of the twenty first century the Spirit is wooing us to worship in the holy place and the 'Holy of holies'. Here the ministry of the prophet and the ministry of worship merge together because the true ministry of worship is prophetic. The Lord wants to birth the prophetic song. Those of us that are mothers know how painful the birthing process can be - as in the natural so in the spiritual! But the joy is when the birth of that child comes. Are we prepared to endure the pain today to see the birth of the prophetic song in the Church? Have we open hearts to hear what God is saying? We have to have open hearts to receive and hearts willing to pay the cost to see this thing birthed in the Body of Christ. God is willing to move powerfully through the Body of Christ and I don’t know about you but my heart pants for revival.
In this move, God is bringing the Church to maturity, it’s time for us to grow up. Some things are tough but God wants to really stir our hearts and confront us with some things. Many of the songs that we have sung have been about who we are in Christ, but God wants to shift our focus to who He is and to worship Him so it is a challenge to song writers.
The theme and purpose of this paper is that we really need to have the heart of a Psalmist. If we are going to be effective in music and worship ministry in releasing and birthing in the Church then we must have the heart of the Psalmist. King David is referred to in Scripture as the sweet psalmist. There is much we can learn from the heart of David. Before we fulfil our ministry calling, regardless of what particular ministry or calling we have, firstly we must all be worshippers. It is only as we worship God that our ministry will flow out of that. To stress the point – we must firstly as individuals, be worshippers in our private devotions on a daily basis. It is not sufficient to go to Church and worship God on a Sunday. That is good and there is a special anointing and blessing when we come together. But God wants us to first worship Him in our devotional time.
For me personally I was challenged on this matter when I was in charge of a music team and I used to teach the members that they needed to practise the anointing at home. That terminology is terrible because we don’t practise anything, we are to just come and love the Lord. I used to tell them to do it but I never did it myself! Then one day, God stripped away everything and I never touched the piano for about two years. My thinking was that I could only play and worship the God in front of a congregation. The Lord challenged me and said, “No, I want you to go and worship Me at the piano at home”. This seemed so strange but in that same week God continued to challenge me and I received prophecy after prophecy that came in the mail which all said the same thing. i.e. that in this hour where God is bringing the Church, we will not survive unless we worship God in the privacy of our own home. Thus God challenged me and at first it felt strange sitting at the piano with just myself and God. However it developed into the most precious moments of my life. God did the most amazing things and still does. There are days that I miss doing this and on those days my husband says to me, “haven’t you been at the piano recently?....it’s time you got back there”. He notices the difference when I’ve been in the presence of God. Similarly, when we come into the congregation of God, the congregation know whether we’ve been in the presence of God or not. My challenge and urge you with all my heart, become a worshipper.
King David was a worshipper before he became king and that caused his kingship to be fruitful, a blessing and anointed. He had a heart for God and that is why God chose him. When Samuel went to choose a king, the Lord said, ‘I don’t look on the outside, I look on the heart’. David is a role model, 1 Samuel 16 says he was handsome, a man of valour, a skilful musician – the best in the land. Even so God was looking at the heart. Samuel was looking for someone tall, eldest etc., but God was just looking at the heart. In Acts 13 it says, “David is a man after My own heart because he did all My will”. The psalmist was the one who sang praises to God, in fact the book of Psalms is a collection of songs written in such a way that can be sung easily. King David was aware of his personal relationship with God as much as any of the New Testament Apostles.
The Tabernacle of David did not have the sacrifices associated with Moses’ tent of meeting and Temple worship. David was pre the Cross. He had sacrifices for when the tabernacle was dedicated but after that there was only praise , worship and thanksgiving in Tabernacle of David. The Jews would go to Mount Gibeon to make their sacrifices in the Tabernacle of Moses and then they would travel over to the Tabernacle of David to worship the Lord. As David said in Ps 51:14 :- ‘the sacrifices God receives are a broken spirit and a contrite heart’. David knew that it was not sacrificing bulls and goats that God was needing. David was anticipating the Messiah and there are so many references in the Psalms of looking forward to the Messiah. David knew that he needed to be broken before God, (Ps 51:14). Similarly, if we are going t o be worshippers and we want to see the glory of the Lord in the church, we have got to be prepared to be broken before God. Acts 15:16 states that the Tabernacle of David is going to be restored. The tabernacle of Moses was replaced by Jesus’ death. The book of Hebrews tells us very clearly about the replacement of the Tabernacle of Moses. David’s tabernacle however, is not going to be replaced, it is going to be restored. It is being restored and I believe this is a physical restoration in Israel and also a spiritual restoration in the house of God. One of the things that God wants to do is the restoration of the tabernacle of David. It says in Acts 15:16, “…after this, I will rebuild its ruins and I will set it up so that the rest of mankind will seek the Lord”. Do you see the significance for all the Gentiles? This was the word that the Lord gave them to show that He was ministering to Gentiles as well. David’s Tabernacle was filled with only praise and worship day and night, what a commitment for all the musicians! However, they were released from every other duty and all they had to do was worship the Lord.
In the first chapter of my book, ‘Restoring True Worship’ I state that the real battle is for worship. The Father seeks true worshippers (John 4:23,24). He is seeking above all things for you and I to come into His presence and worship Him in Spirit and truth. This is His desire, are we going to meet His desire? The very first command that God gave to Moses was ;- ‘you shall worship the Lord your God’. The Lord was dealing with worship. The first thing that the devil attacks is worship.
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, the 3rd temptation from the devil was to ‘bow down and worship me’. Jesus replied, ‘You shall only worship the Lord your God and Him only’. Worship is a key area of battle. In another chapter in that same book I write about the music department…the department of ‘war and peace’! One of the reasons this is so is because it is war in the heavenlies, and that is the basis of it. Lucifer was given the music ministry in heaven . He was a cherub and as such he covered the throne of God. The worship that he presided over covered the throne of God but he saw the glory of the Lord and he wanted it for himself. God will not share his glory with anyone else and so Lucifer go kicked out of heaven. As I ponder this scene, I ‘see’ a gap over the throne of God and your worship and my worship covers that gap and so covers the throne of God. It is an awesome thought. No wonder the devil hates worship because not only have you and I been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb and redeemed from Satan’s rotten kingdom but we have also replaced him. We have replace his ministry in heaven. The ministry that he had has now been given to the Church, to cover the very throne of God. No wonder it is a battle-ground! We have got to be prepared for war and for the painful birthing involved for this to come.
Worship is the central theme throughout Scripture. In revelation, we see the anti-christ wants worship and he sets up his throne. It states in Rev 13:4, ;-‘ they worship the dragon and they worship the beast and who is able to make war with him? What blasphemy! Revelation is a wonderful book for worshippers. It is filled with the praises of heaven. In revelation, the bowls are filled with the incense, i.e. our prayer and worship. Our prayer and worship is then poured out as judgement upon the earth. What an awesome responsibility that God has given to the Church. There is worship around the throne and then there is judgement poured out upon the earth. All the way through Revelation this is the pattern, worship then judgement. We have to take note of the time that God is bringing us into and the responsibility that God has given the Church. Yet so often we think it’s just coming to play a few songs. We really need to take hold what this ministry is about. We are dealing with the very presence of God and we need to get a holy fear of Almighty God. A holy fear.
SO WHAT IS WORSHIP?
It is dethroning self. The Old testament word, Shachar, which means to prostrate in homage to God, to crouch. The New Testament word – prosth means to kiss, like a dog licks it’s masters hand. It is an expression of love. The devil used that same word to Jesus. What the devil is after, even in the Church, is our worship. To worship God is a love relationship and it is a physical response to that love relationship. In our love relationships we like to express them with a kiss, hug and so forth. Our physical expression of worship to God is to bow down, raise our hands, bow our heads. To sing music is a vehicle with which we can worship God and through which we can love Him. It is a unique gift that God has given us. Even in the secular world we notice that music can be known as love songs. Even the world recognises that music is a fantastic vehicle to express love better than anything else. God has given us the ministry of music to express our love to Him.
God is restoring the 1st love in the Church, everywhere I’ve gone in the last twelve months, the message has been about restoring our 1st love. We need to forget the programmes, all the trimmings and trappings we put around the Church and get back to intimacy with God. Christ is drawing us into intimacy with Him and if we going to have a heart of the Psalmist we have got to come into intimacy with God. To have a successful worship team we need to be in that place of intimacy.
King David knew that to have a clean, pure heart was essential for being in the Presence of
God and he sought after it. Ps24:3,4 We would all be excluded but for the precious Blood of Jesus. It is a miracle that God has done all so that we can come into His presence. Not only has He saved us but He calls us into a great place in Him and enables us to come. When it says, ’he who has clean hands’, this represents our actions, the things we do as musicians, singers and related ministries. It also involves our music, may our music be cleansed. It’s important to discern Godly music. Reference to pure heart implies the motivation of our heart. Many people use this and other Scriptures to say:- “It doesn’t matter about the music as long as your heart is right”. However, Scripture says that our heart is desperately wicked and deceitful (Jer 17) and we can use excuses to cover up what really is in our hearts. Only God searches the heart , only He knows what is in our hearts and only He can reveal what is there. Sometimes we get a bit shocked when God shows us what is in our hearts. Let us not say we have a clean heart before we’ve come to the Lord and let Him search it. Jesus really had a ‘go’ at the Pharisees, but He can be saying the same thing to us also. He says, “These people draw near with their lips but their heart is far from me. In vain they worship Me”. If the Lord came walking through our Churches today, to how many churches would He be saying that same word? How many of us would He be saying that to? We go to Church so easily, the overheads are there, the automatic swing into singing but do we mean every word? Jesus says it is in vain – a waste of time – if our lips and our hearts are not as one in loving God. In Ps 19 we see the heart of David. This echoes what Jesus was saying. David was asking God to save him from hypocrisy. That what he said with his mouth and thought in his heart would glorify God. When we ask God to cleanse us from secret faults – He does so! God’s way is that we confess and then He cleanses us. Don’t pray the following prayer unless you’re willing to do business with God. For those of us who are sincere in wanting to come as true worshippers and have a pure heart before God then we can pray as follows:-
“Who can understand his errors. Cleanse me from secret sins. Keep back your servant from presumptious sins. Let them not have dominion over me and I shall be blameless and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord my strength and my Redeemer.”
Now don’t be surprised at what happens in the next few days.
In 1 Chron 18:12, David sought to bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem. The law of Moses required that the Priests sanctification and setting apart for God should firstly be by cleansing of blood. It had to be sprinkled on the right ear, the thumb and the toe. Secondly the priests had to be bathed in water and thirdly anointed with holy oil. But they were only anointed in the places where the blood had first been placed. We are also Priests of our God and the Ark represents the throne of God, the presence of God – the very glory of God and the fullness of the God-head manifested in us and in His Church. God wants His presence released in the Body of Christ today. There is a desperate need for the manifestation of God’s glory in the House of God because we cannot do the job, only God can. We need God by His power and might and by His Spirit and if we are going to bring in the presence of God then we too must be cleansed. Firstly by the Blood of Jesus which cleanses us from all sin. Then we are washed by the water of the Word and anointed by the Holy Spirit. Just as the oil was placed where the blood had been, soothe anointing of God only comes where we have Jesus to cleanse us of sin. He will not put His anointing on sin and very often we think we’re Christians, we have dealt with all our sin, but we know that we fail and there are things that we haven’t dealt with and so we have to come before God.
David prepared a place for the Ark of God. We too need to prepare a place for the presence and glory of God as we sanctify ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to purify our hearts. This is our preparation to bring in the presence of God. The main battle is over worship. The devil had this ministry of worship. The spirit of anti-Christ hates true worship, absolutely hates it. Unfortunately that spirit of anti-Christ is very prevalent in the Church. We must allow the Holy Spirit to deal with all anti-Christ things that are hidden in our hearts or else we will never be able to worship our God in Spirit and truth. It may surprise some that anti-Christ elements may dwell in the heart of those of us who love the Lord. The Lord called me into a 3 day Fast, on the second day I started to resent being without food and what started to rise up in my heart was a hatred toward God. I was a born again, Spirit filled believer and here was this hatred toward God rising up in my heart because He was making me fast. There were hidden anti-Christ things in my spirit that only came to the surface through fasting. I repented before God and the issue was dealt with. I shared this with a dear friend of mine, a very mature Christian who moves in prophetic ministry and is close to God. She recounted a similar incident, that one time when she was fasting the Lord showed that she had a hatred in her heart toward the Blood of Jesus. This revelation shocked her. We do not realise what is there even though we love God, but it is this thing in our nature that hates God.
With the release of my book as I have been ministering round churches there has been a violent reaction from some people because there are undealt areas in hearts that indicate an anti-Christ spirit that works hand in hand with the devil. We can work hand in hand with the devil or with God. As this spirit of anti-Christ rises up, it will prevent rue worship from being in the Church and right at this hour God is wanting us to deal with the anti-Christ spirit and have it revealed. This same spirit can even be over a church, it can be the spirit over the church and it will oppose the worship of the Lamb of God. As a result we see a struggle for true worship to be birthed because the counterfeit of it is entertainment. That is what comes instead because it is the enemy who wants to be worshipped. He will do anything to get us Christians to do it his way and if we don’t deal with the anti-Christ things in our own hearts we will go that way too. Only by God’s gracious working in my heart did He stop me from going down that path. God wants us to worship Him in Spirit and truth and we cannot do this with the anti-Christ spirit in our hearts.
Some of the anti-Christ manifestations are :- mockery of Holiness. The devil HATES the Holiness of God . This spirit rises up and is so jealous of the Holiness of God and comes against it. Selfish ambition, spiritual abuse and idolatry, the religious spirit are other indications of anti-Christ spirit. God wants to reveal His glory in His temple, that is – US! We are the temple of the Holy Ghost . However, how can He if we have this other rubbish in our spirits? How can we function as the Church if this spirit is over the Church?
When Solomon built the house of God there was a wonderful dedication service which is a motivation for me. They lifted up their voices in one accord and there was unity of the Spirit, it wasn’t a matter of agreeing on doctrines. God is drawing His Body together in a very unique way. During the time of the Charismatic movement in the 70’s we tried organising meetings to ‘get the Body together’. God is doing something different at this point of time, we are starting to relate to people in other denominations on a one to one basis, and sharing what God is showing us. For Solomon and his people, they were in unity and one accord. As they praised God, the house of the Lord was filled with the Cloud so that the Priests could not continue ministering because the Glory of the Lord filled that place. This is the vision that keeps me going….Oh that the Glory of the Lord would fill the house of God and the Priests were unable to minister. There is coming a day when this will happening and it is already starting to happen at times. The Word will be revealed not preached, as we will just continue to praise God . Hallelujah! The Glory of the Lord revealed in the Church. Evangelism etc., will come out of a Church that’s worshipping. God will do the work.
The vision of the Psalmist, ( Ps 17:15 ). “ I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness”. Will we be satisfied when we awake in God’s likeness ? Is that the burning desire of our hearts?
God wants us to be like Him. A worshipper will do the will of God. The blind man in John 9:1 said,- ‘ if anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will, He (God) hears him. Jesus’ words too, “only those who do the will of the Father will enter the Kingdom of God. David was a man after God’s own heart who did all the will of God. We can only do the will of God if the door of our heart is open to the Lord. The Psalmist says, “ I have set the Lord always before me. David’s heart was open to God and was a dwelling place for the Lord. Is your heart open to God, is the Spirit of God speaking to you? Can you sense His pleasure as well as His displeasure? We are to be like Him and so must walk in Holiness. “ Be Holy for I am Holy” God has provided a way for us. Holiness is not a set of rules, it is not legalism. Holiness is seeking to be like Him whom we love. Not a set of rules, but having an open heart to the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin so that we may repent of it in order that we may be cleansed. Repentance sets us free, I used to think that all my sin would be exposed but I realised that Jesus doesn’t come to condemn but rather to give us life, eternal life. When we come in repentance He cleanses us a s clean as a whistle, as white as snow. Released to do what God wants us to do and He gives us His power to do it.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness, how can we do that unless we are holy? We become like those we worship. Have you noticed the animal lovers who start to look like their pets? Psalm 115 mentions that those who worship and make idols become like them. We become like the thing we worship, e.g. obsession with football, money. Idolatry is when we replace our love and affection for God with other things. The Lord wants to challenge us, where is our focus? Have we replaced the Church of the Lord instead of the Lord of the Church? If our focus shifts from the Lord Himself we begin to idolise the Church. I got a shock one day when the Lord showed me that I was in idolatry to spiritual leadership. I saw a vision of myself bowing down and the Pastor was on the throne and God was nowhere in the picture. It was a horrible thing to discover but it released me out of something gross. There are a lot of people in Church today who are in idolatry. Yes, we must respect leadership and the gifting that God has given them but they are not God. We must learn to know the difference. Get our focus off the Church and on to the Lord, off the Pastor and on to the Lord and it’s even possible to idolise the Word of God instead of God. There was a Jumbo jet that got shot down over Russia. The computers that were being fed in got shifted too soon and therefore just shifted the course of the Jumbo jet. At the start it didn’t matter but as they got further and further away it did matter. The same thing happens to us, if our focus shifts off the Lord for just a tiny little bit, we can get away with it today but tomorrow it will be deadly. I believe this is happening in the house of God and God is saying, ‘Get your focus back on Me’. If our focus is shifted a little bit we will be susceptible to every fad that is going through the Church:- latest doctrine, latest thing.
Even in the present move of God there is a bit of a fad with it. Manifestations are good but what is the fruit, we need to see what God is doing in the heart rather than just enjoying the experience. However, when I hear that God is restoring the First Love, I say God is working. When we hear of God moving in Siberia when no-one has been there I know that God is moving. When God is changing hearts I know that He is doing something but when all I hear about is people giggling and rolling around and that is all they want to talk about, I question whether it is God.
There are all sorts of fads going around. If our focus is upon the Church then we start saying that the Church has to be successful and we will orientate our music to be a successful church. However, when we look at the ministry of Jesus, we see that His focus was on doing the will of the Father. The people wanted to claim Him as king but He ran from this because He knew it wasn’t His hour and His father’s way. But Jesus also looked a failure at the Cross. If this had been us we might have said, ‘God has blown it, Jesus has failed’. The devil rejoiced believing this was his moment of triumph when in fact it was God’s greatest triumph. Often what looks like a failure to us is His greatest triumph. If our eyes shift off the Lord even just a little bit, we can get caught up with success/failure mentality. If we get into fads and programmes instead of what God wants us to do we will give up when the appearance of failure comes. I thought I had hit rock-bottom in the things that were happening but now I realise it was the time of greatest triumph. God delivered me from idolatry and set me on the course for which He has called me.
Let’s keep our eyes on the Lord so that we don’t get caught up in the fads. When we shall be like Him we will love Him first and foremost and we will worship Him. This will require renewal of our first love which I have referred to earlier. The Psalmist desired to be in the Presence of God. The other desire of the king was to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of His life and to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire of the Lord. Is it your desire to be in the very presence of God. The presence of God is a wall of protection around the worshippers when we worship God. Once again, care is needed, because the fruit of worship can cause us to get our eyes off the Lord again and we can start to worship the fruit. However, there is a fruit that comes out of worship and this includes a protection around our souls. In this day and age in which we live we do need protection. We will only get that when we are in God’s presence – there is nowhere else where we can get it. “In the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion, in the secret place of His tabernacle, He shall set me high upon a rock”. Ps 27:5 There is great protection in the presence of the Lord…in the secret place of His presence. Another scripture refers to the ‘strife of tongues’. How we need to be protected in the secret place of His presence from the strife of tongues and the plots of men!
God will call you as a worshipper to also be an intercessor. I remember God calling me specifically to a ministry of prayer. Worship, Intercession and prayer all go hand in hand.
Ps 149:6 states the high praises of God in my mouth and a two edged sword in my hand…..we shall bind kings with chains and there are a lot of demonic kings that need binding with chains. It is not just for the Pastor or other authoritive roles but all the saints have this honour. That is to take the Word of God in our hands and worship of God in our mouths and as we pray, intercede and worship, they are linked together. To be a musician in the house of God the first thing is to get on one knees – if you refuse to be a pray-er then the musician should reconsider his position. We’re dealing with the presence of God and unless we are serious we are going to be in trouble. Consider Uzzah when he touched the presence of God , when he inadvertently touched the Ark – it killed him. Similarly for us, it is not something to play with. As musicians we are dealing with the presence of God and we need to have the same priority of God in our lives as the one who is going to bring the Word from behind the pulpit. That same mantle must be upon us. It is a high set task but what we are dealing with is much more than accompanying the singing.
In the presence of God you will hear the secrets of God and know God’s heartbeat. This is so important, whether God has given you a prophetic word, or has asked you to go and witness to somebody, whether He is just asking you to fulfil your ministry. If we have been in the presence of God and heard God’s heartbeat, we are going to bring that word or that ministry forth out of compassion and love because we will have heard God’s heart on the matter. We will see people as God sees people. Sometimes we can come with a sledge-hammer and because we don’t see people as God sees them we tend to judge and condemn, unless we have been in God’s presence. I we bring that word or fulfil that ministry without being in God’s presence it will come in judgement and it will bring death because we come as a sledge-hammer. However, we can come with the gentleness of the Holy Spirit as God does when He ministers to us. We don’t appreciate it when someone comes to us like a sledge-hammer, all it does is splinters stuff all over the place. Rather, we appreciate God’s gentleness and if we are going to have that same fruit of gentleness, we need to be in God’s presence, knowing God’s heartbeat. When we are in God’s presence we see Him weeping for the lost so our evangelism is motivated by the compassion of Jesus. The high priority is to be in God’s presence so that we bring life instead of death, hope instead of condemnation, and compassion instead of legalism.
The presence of God destroys the enemy – the enemy melts like wax before the presence of the Lord. God inhabits the praises of His people. In 2 Chron 20 we see the whole of Israel surrounded by enemies. God set His people to fast and pray. He sent the musicians out before the army. Can you imagine the Government sending out the orchestra and choir before the F1-11’s and the tanks?!! They began to sing—Give thanks to the Lord—the song of salvation and God sent ambushes against the enemy. God did the work. This is what I mean about God intervening and doing the work supernaturally. It took them three days to collect the spoils. Here are some true illustrations that show that God does the work.
A young lady wanted to get out in Jerusalem, to evangelise. The Lord said, ‘you honour Me, you worship Me and I’ll do the work. As they began to worship God He showed them the area of Jerusalem in which to minister.
I was at the piano worshipping with friends. One of the ladies had a vision. It was of an unknown location and there was a man standing at a 2nd story window. He had opened the window and was just writing a letter of Goodbye. He was about to jump. As we began to worship God, the man closed the window, crumpled up the note, got on his knees and started repenting. The Lord revealed that he was an evangelist that had got so crushed that he was going to give up. Instead as we worshipped God, he was restored and God was sending him out to the streets and God would bring in the multitudes.
I was with another friend one day, just the two of us and we were interceding for another situation. I felt led to go to the piano and begin to play. The Lord was giving us various songs to sing. All of a sudden my friend was delivered in the lounge room as I was playing.
I shared these concepts in Java, Indonesia some years ago. The pastor there believed that he was to hold a seminar on worship and even though he did not have a speaker, he got together all the ministers from outlying districts. We just happened to be in the country at the time. I didn’t particularly want to go with this plan because it meant a change in our agenda, but this pastor wasn’t going to change his plans! He had it set, he called in his leaders from all over. Using an interpreter, I shared the principles I have outlined here and told them that God would bring in revival because as they worshipped, God would destroy the enemy. Their job was just to focus on God. I received a report twelve months later that they were building new churches because they couldn’t contain the people.
In that same place in Indonesia I was ministering in a Bible school. There was a dullness amongst the people, most of the students weren’t even Spirit-filled. I taught them in the morning and said that in the evening we were going to put these things into practise. I didn’t know it but the students were scared of what I was going to get them to do. God did a sovereign work and the next morning, and several mornings after that, these same students were up early filling the chapel to pray. Revival broke out among God’s people. I am believing for more and more.
This is a prophecy that my husband Laurie gave and because it is pertinent to this message I share it here.
“For all eternity you’ll be praising and worshipping Me. The highest purpose for which you have been created is to praise and worship Me. Every other gifting, every other function is secondary to that higher purpose, and no-one is truly satisfied unless they are fulfilling that higher purpose. The praises of the Angels, as glorious as they are, cannot satisfy Me. Only your praises can satisfy Me because only you, not the Angels are created in My image. Praise is never traditional, praise is always radical and always requires a denial of the flesh and a taking of a step of faith. The powers of darkness are confused and scattered when My people praise Me because I inhabit the praises of My people. When My people praise Me, worship Me in Spirit and truth, they enter in behind the veil into My very presence and there enjoy sweet communion with Me.”
PRAYER OF RENOUNCEMENT
Heavenly Father, we thank You that You love us and wash from our sins by the blood of Your Son and that You have made us Your kings and priests. Lord, I come to you with a deep desire for You to dwell in me to be Your holy dwelling place. Let the sanctuary of my heart be purged of every defilement of flesh and spirit. Holy Spirit, reveal to me secret sins of my heart. Show me the things that would hinder me from coming into intimacy with You. I take these things (name the sins)_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ out of the darkness and expose them to Your glorious light and I place them in the fire of god. Thank You Lord that as I confess my sins, You cleanse my heart with the precious blood of Jesus. I renounce and break all ties to religious worship and ritual and hatred of the power of worship in spirit and truth. I pray for the baptism of fire to burn away the scaffolding of empty religious ritual and activity. Let Your power be the credibility of my life, my home and my church. Thank You for sending Your Son to die on the cross and to take the force of the anti-Christ religious spirit so that I can make the exchange and come free from all bondage and death over my life, my family’s life and the life of the church. Thank You by faith for my full release and my full freedom from this stronghold so that I will have an open heaven over my life and the blessings of the Lord with that open heaven. I loose the power of Your Word over my home, ministry and church, that where we have been sitting in darkness and the shadow of death in irons of affliction, You promise that You will break in pieces the gates of brass and cut asunder the bars of iron. I claim the promise of Abraham – that we will possess the gate of our enemy and Jesus’ Word that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church of God.
I renounce all mockery of the holiness of God, of the throne of God and of true worship. I repent of all ungodly entertainment and worldliness. I release my household and my ministry to go right into the Holy of Holies and the throne of God and to be transformed into the image of God, even His holiness.
I repent and renounce the shifting of my focus off Jesus. Forgive us for putting doctrines about church government and administration over our love for You. We cry out for the restoration of Your glory to the Church. Forgive us for trusting in our programmes and ideas instead of the wisdom of God. Cleanse us Lord with the blood of Jesus from the effects of false religious traditions. Grant us unrestrained passion for You and You alone. Restore our First Love that we may worship You in spirit and truth. I renounce all idolatry in which we have replaced our love for Yours. Help us Lord to abide in You, the true vine, the only source of true nourishment, wisdom and life. Help us Lord to put our roots down into the river of God, that we may be trees of righteousness that bring shade and good fruit to a needy world.
I declare that I will love You with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength and all my mind. Holy Spirit, I ask for a full release of my character to be formed in the very likeness of Jesus, into the fullness of His abundant life. Oh Lord, we pray that the glory of the Lord would again fill the House of God. Show us Your glory, we need You and You alone. AMEN
[This article was first written around 1996. A few minor revisions have been made to include developments since then. Ruth Webb]