When we are worshiping God – it’s important to be remembering texts such as those found in psalms that allow us to worship God for who He is. Therefore, when we are worshiping through music, the songs that we sing MUST be theologically correct. They should not be about us, but rather they should be directed to God – singing praise to his Holy name.

The Songs That We Sing MUST be Theologically Correct
A worship leader needs to be a theologian. He needs to know God and he needs to walk in the fear of God and holiness  probably even more than he who preaches the Word. It is a terrible thing what we do in churches in regard to worship. In our churches today we have let musical worship become consumed by what sounds and looks good, and we no longer stress the importance of having someone who walks in the fear of the Lord lead and direct our worship services. In the book of Leviticus, God kills 2 worship leaders because they did not worship Him in a way that was conformed to the scriptures. Of course it’s great to have a talented musician up on stage, someone who can play and sing and lead well, but it cannot be left at that as it so often is.

Worship is supposed to be a tool for teaching
Colossians 3:16
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your heart.” The purpose of singing in the church is FIRST and foremost to bless God. Worship God for who He is, praise his name alone. Secondly, worship is a tool for teaching, to teach those who are singing, to encourage them and admonish them and to even be a witnessing tool to those who are unbelievers. This is a problem in much of the modern music – not all of it, but a lot of it – they don’t follow these principles. It’s more about FEELING. Much worship in the churches today is nothing more than a celebration of flesh; it is an exercise in emotion. If you begin to feel the presence of God during the high emphatic notes of the song, when the rhythm has been lifted up, and the music is just glorious, and you only feel the presence of God then, it’s not the presence of God you’re feeling, it’s emotion. We should not depend on music, on glorious and amazing music, to worship God. We should not rely on music and musical worship to feel the presence of God.

The Spirit will not move more if the music sounds better
Our desire to worship God should not be limited to musical worship in church on Sunday morning. If we only ever feel the presence of God when emotions start to be stirred at a worship event – there is something not right there. It’s not wrong to have music that lifts your emotion, but be careful. When the presence of God is always ‘bless me, bless me, bless me, joy joy joy, dance dance dance’ – something is wrong. The presence of God should also convict us of our sins; it should open our eyes to how fallen we are. Once I was with a group and they said “God is here. Man, the music was going, God’s here!” I said “no, He’s not”. And they said “how do you know?” “Because most of you would be dead if God was here. Because He is a holy God. And you know the sin that is going on in this church. People get so in the flesh because they feel something.

The subject of our praise needs to be God alone
Successful worship does not need to end with people in tears, people with their hands raised, and people on their knees. Successful worship doesn’t have to have the entire audience clapping, people dancing and shouting and singing loud. Successful worship is allowing those in the audience to direct their prayers and praise to God alone. It allows people to worship Him and reflect on who He is and how amazing He is. Worship should not become about us, it should not be about the team on the stage, and it should not be about the light and sound systems. Worship should not be a show. How insulting is it to God that we turn an opportunity to worship Him into something about us.

Listen to this audio about Music in the Book of Psalm

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The Principle of Music in the Bible Psalm 95:6, Psalm 117:1-2, Psalm 29:2, Psalm 99:5, Psalm 66:1-4, Psalm 40:3, Psalm 34:9, Psalm 144:9, Leviticus 10:1-2, Colossians 3:16)

Paul Washer, October 7, 2012
Part of the Psalms series, preached at a Special event service

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