A while back I posted about building a spiritual fire in worship ministry, followed by a post on bringing the heat. I used the “fire triangle” as an analogy. To have a fire, you need fuel, heat, and oxygen. Remove any one of the three, and you no longer have a fire. The fuel for worship ministry is technical excellence, the foundation on which we build everything else. The heat is the excellence of heart, the passion and the energy we bring into our ministry.
My worship pastor pointed out that even with both technical and heart excellence, we still require the action of the Holy Spirit in order for worship to be meaningful and effective.
“Apart from Me you can do nothing” – Jesus.
The movement of God is absolutely a necessary part of the “fire triangle” of our worship. And every worshiper I know is well aware of that fact.
What I also note is, so many act like we have to beg God to show up and then hope for the best.
We often use terms like “leading people into His presence” or “taking the congregation somewhere we’ve already been” in terms of going somewhere else to get to God. We speak of inviting or welcoming God’s presence into the sanctuary or place of worship. We ask God to come join us.
We forget: God is in us.
The big change in the New Testament gospel message isn’t simply that our sins are forgiven. Don’t get me wrong, that’s huge and I’m grateful. But that was a means to an end. Our sins separated us from God (see Isaiah 59:2). The cross does away with them. Our salvation by grace through faith in Christ unites us with God – puts His presence right inside of us, which was the promise all along. Emmanuel, God with us.
Everywhere we go, God is there. Not just in the sense of “omnipresence” like God is invisibly but spiritually everywhere and there’s no place we could go where He cannot (Psalm 139 speaks to this).
No, God is alive and active inside of His people. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit; God is working in us, Christ in us – the hope of glory.
So the question isn’t “Will God show up today?” or “Did we welcome His presence properly?”
The question is, “Did I set my mind on Him? Did I recognize His already-present activity in our midst? Did I come here with my agenda and idea about how things would go, or did I set all that aside with the recognition of His presence among His people?”
One of my pastors spoke of invoking the presence of God on a daily basis – not that we have power to command God to show up, but we have the ability to remember and remind ourselves that God is already here.
He would ask, using 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Don’t you know?” And the question is valid, because so often our words reflect that we’re not appreciating this spiritual reality.
Oxygen is all around us. Sure, there are ways to smother a fire, just as we can quench the Spirit. And there are special moments where God moves in a powerful and unexpected way, breathing on our embers and causing a flame of revival or a deep response to spring up from the smallest fire.
But if we’re committed to living for God, we’re going to be experiencing His presence as routinely as we breathe in and breathe out. He becomes a part of our lives.
<blockquote>”19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NASB</blockquote>