Check Your Lyrics

Their sound was polished, the music well-done. But something felt wrong.

The worship band was singing about God, even incorporating Scripture into the songs. The chanting, applauding crowd seemed oblivious to what I was seeing and I noticed that I was the only who had sat down after the second song.

The crowd was on its feet, responding as the band wanted them to, but something was wrong. My spirit began to rebel.

I was attending a Night of Worship with one of my favorite worship leaders, Kari Jobe. I had not known another worship band would be leading off--one I'd never heard of--but I had eagerly prepared to enjoy them too.

I hadn't expected this internal resistance. Spiritual resistance.

"What is it, Lord?" I asked over the noise of the place. "Am I being overly-critical? Maybe they're just not my style."

That wasn't it.

I began to study the lyrics beamed high on the screens. Nothing wrong with them, exactly. Or was there?

Was I being too harsh? I didn't want to be. I had come expecting to worship the Lord with a group of strangers who were my brothers and sisters in Christ. Instead, my heart thudded uncomfortably as the first band charged into their next song, whipping the crowd into a lather.

It wasn't just the first song. Or the second. Song after song, the theme became painfully obvious:
The focus of the entire hour was about harnessing the power of God for MY purposes rather than seeking the person of God for His purposes. God was presented as a genie, obligated to respond to my requests because I had faith.

I began to pray against the spirits that were present. Some of them were not from God.
I prayed for the gullible people who may never realize the error in their theology until the god they thought they were worshiping let them down one day.

When Kari came onstage an hour later, everything changed. The whole spirit of the place calmed. Her very presence seemed to usher in a new kind of Spirit. Though some of her songs were upbeat and the crowd responded with excitement, the evening was spent exalting the name of Jesus rather than what He could do for us. Her focus was on lifting Him high, worshiping at His feet, praising Him for who He is.

I continued to think about it for days afterward. Was I correct that the first band was not what God had in mind when He commanded us to worship Him in spirit and in truth? Or was I being hyper-critical?

We can worship God in a million ways, not all of them understood by everyone else. We have different styles, different needs, and different ways of expressing our hearts to God. But the end result of true worship is always the same: exalting and glorifying the Lord--not demanding that He bless us, favor us, and demonstrate His power to us when we so desire.

Sometimes we can get a little too familiar in our relationship with God and we start to believe the cart is pulling the horse. We get pumped up on sermons about "faith that moves mountains" and start to worship the power of our faith rather than the Bestower of it. It's a subtle deception that Satan enjoys, because it robs a Holy God of all the adoration due Him.

Have you found yourself caught up in this switch-game? You thought you were worshiping God, but now that you think about it, your worship was directed at yourself and all you could be when God finished gifting you.

Are you singing joyfully along with lyrics that command Almighty God to reveal Himself to you? Bless you the way you want? Increase your profit margin? Is the God of your worship being depicted as a genie-in-a-bottle, there for your personal use?

Satan is the father of lies and will not flinch at inspiring well-meaning musicians to weave a few into their lyrics if it means robbing his Enemy of the glory due Him.

Check your lyrics. Do they present the God of the Scriptures as He really is or as our egos want to perceive Him?

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