Psalmody: Origins of Music
Let me make something clear to you. Worship requires no talent. When I was eleven years old, I could pick up my drumsticks and play to the Lord with a simple beat.
It may not have been the most talented drumming in the world, but I had passion. Worship does not require talent. It requires passion and heart. Why? It is because worship is unto the Lord.
Worship is for the purpose of you baring your heart to the Lord, and Him speaking back to you and filling you up again. However, when you minister using music, that changes things a little.
You need to keep that anointing, but it helps to sing a bit in tune so that your hearer can bear to listen to you. Yet, I never quite made that transition for many years, from worship into ministering in music.
Music is a Force
Firstly, music is a force. It is not just a sound in the wind or a concept. It is a spiritual force.
Job 38:4-7 says, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if you have understanding. Who has laid the measures of it, if you know? or who has stretched the line upon it? On what are the foundations of it fastened? or who laid the corner stone of it; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
The Lord is speaking here of when earth was created. He says, “Where were you when I created the earth? Where were you when the morning stars, the worship angels were singing and the sons of God shouted for joy?”
God created the earth to background music. Imagine the Lord standing over the earth that is without form and void. Then suddenly you hear a drum roll, as it starts to build up in the spirit.
Then, you hear the choir in the background as the sound of a low hum as they begin to sing in harmony, louder and louder. All this is going on right there over the waters.
As that sound bursts forth, the Lord speaks through that and says, “Let there be.” Music is in the foundation of the earth on which we stand. It is the essence of what spirit really is.
It is all around us. It is in the birds that sing, the wind that blows, and in the heartbeat of a mother that the baby hears in the womb. Music is more than just a sound. It is a force.
It is a force of creation and because of this, it has a powerful effect on the soul of man. I am not only speaking about believers here. When I say that music is a force, I do not mean that it is a Christian force.
It is a force like gravity. It is a law like sowing and reaping. It is something that exists in this realm in which we live. Whether you are saved or unsaved, music has power.
How do you think believers and unbelievers can be moved by music? It is not a case of it just being Christian. It is a force that exists in this earth, whether you believe in it or not.
You just need to look at the music industry to put two and two together and to realize that there is something about music that affects the soul of man. It affects our mind, our emotions and our will.
Have you ever wondered why a national anthem has so much power over an entire people that when they sing it together with pride and conviction, they feel an emotion stirring up in them? They feel unity.
Why? They feel it because music is a force and when you understand this, you will start to understand the key of how to minister in music and why it is so powerful.
Words and Melody
The reason why music also carries such power is because it comes forth from our spirits. Our words carry what is in our spirit.
Think about music. Music is not just words. It is both words and melody. Do not tell me that animals have melody. They have sounds. The mockingbird is the closest that you will get to a bird that will sing the songs of another bird.
Yet, it does not originate a melody like a human can. If you hear the sound of an animal, you realize that it is a mockingbird, a canary, a lion, or whatever. Each animal has its own unique melody and sound, but it takes a human being to create a melody that has not been heard before, to put a tune together.
Why is this you say? It is because we have a spirit and melody originates from our spirit. Think about it. If words have power, how much more power do words and melody mixed together coming from our spirits have?
When we go back to creation, we see why there was so much power there. It was because the morning star sang and there was the melody. Then, the Father spoke. As the words came forth, there was light, earth, man and everything else that He spoke forth.
You need to understand that music is such a force that it creates. It can create an emotion, a thought, or a foundation in our hearts. The foundation that will be laid on your heart all depends on who you are listening to, or from what you are receiving.
What we need to be asking ourselves is, “What spirit is in the music that we are receiving? What spirit is in the music that we are ministering forth?” If both words and melody are coming from your spirit, what is the spirit behind it?
It is a force whether you like it or not and whether you believe it or not. It will have an affect on you. When you open up your heart to receive that music, what are you receiving into your spirit?
That is the foundation of the principles that I am sharing with you in this article. When you realize how spiritual music is, you will start to understand the weight of responsibility that God has put on your shoulders to make sure that you minister forth the right spirit.
Worshipping God vs. Worshipping Music
It is our responsibility as believers to make sure that what we are receiving into our spirits is the spirit of Christ. However, when it comes to the ministry of worship in the church, I see many people worshipping worship.
I know that sounds a little odd, but music gives us a thrill. It can be a bit like a drug. Even when you were in the world, music inspired you or made you feel down. It moved you in some way to help create an atmosphere that helped you feel good or bad, depending on who you are and what kind of upbringing you had.
Music moves you. There is no doubt of that when you are in a congregation where there is a good singer singing your kind of music and it feels so good and it reminds you of all those good times. It will start to move you.
People come to church to be moved. Unbelievers go to concerts to be moved and they also raise their hands and worship the singer up front much like I see believers doing today in the church.
So, what sets us apart from the world? Are we worshipping God or are we worshipping worship? Are we worshipping how good it makes us feel to come and worship the Lord?
The truth is that it does feel good when you are all singing the same song. You are all in unity, your soul is being stirred, the melody is coming forth, and the words are just what you need to hear.
It feels so good that it gets to the point that you are pursuing worship instead of pursuing Christ. Then, because we put a Christian label on it, it becomes acceptable.
You say, “I did not go to a concert. I went to a worship meeting.” However, who are you really worshipping?
We also have many standing up and saying, “I am ministering to the people.” That is fantastic, but when do we really get to worship the Lord? That is what worship is all about.
Exodus 15:1 and 20 says:
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song to the LORD [Yahweh], and spoke, saying, I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea.
And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
Of course, everyone follows after Miriam praising and worshipping the Lord, but it first started with Moses and the children of Israel singing where… to each other? No, they sang to the Lord. Their praise was to the Lord.
Once the praise was to the Lord, the anointing started flowing and the unity came. Miriam picked up her timbrel and started to dance. She did not dance to make them worship the Lord. She danced because they were already worshipping.
Do you understand the point that I am getting to? We think we have to work the people up to get them to a state of worship, but worship is the starting point in ministering in music.
This is the biggest mistake that we have all made as worship leaders. If you think that I am giving you a hard time, I am speaking from my own experience, I have been there.
I have made all the mistakes so that I can help you through here. We think that we have to get up there and work the people up and get them clapping and moving so that eventually, they will start to worship the Lord.
We try to minister to them, to get them to worship, and we have a hard time doing that. So, we think that we need to do something to get them connected.
“I need to sing a song that they like. I need to stir emotion. I need to get their attention on me, so that I can bring them into the throne room.”
So in the end, whom are they worshipping again? Are they worshipping the Lord or are they worshipping you, the person who led them there? When you get them there, is everyone there, or is it just you there in the presence of the Lord and everyone else is standing up and worshipping you?
The first step in ministering in music is to worship. We should come and worship. Worship is not about you and me. It is not about what I think about you. It is about what I think about the Lord.
It is not a horizontal worship. It is a vertical worship. It is what we give up in praise to the Lord, not what we see in one another. You know those cool goose bumps that you feel in worship? Unbelievers feel those goose bumps too.
When I was out with my husband, in my days of rebellion, and we were busy head banging at metal clubs, I felt those same goose bumps. I felt that good feeling that gave me tingles all over.
So what? I was feeling the anointing? No. I was busy head banging to Metallica. Yeah, I sure was feeling tingling and feeling something because music stirs your emotion and it is going to touch your spirit.
However, what spirit is touching it? I got those goose bumps in nightclubs. So, if I get those goose bumps in church too, who cares? What does that matter? Unbelievers get it too.
What do you have to offer them? Do you have a better program, a better song, a better worship leader, or do you have Jesus? Jesus should be our pursuit.
So why do we feel goose bumps and all those other feelings in music? When you, as a musician or a singer, combine your spirit, soul, and body to release words and melody from your spirit and you focus it into a specific direction, you are releasing a spiritual force much like a laser beam.
Acts 16:25 says, But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
We know what happened after that. The power of God came and those gates shook and fell apart and the Lord did something amazing. Why did this happen? It happened because Paul and Silas were worshipping the Lord.
Where were they focusing their music? Where were they focusing their spirit, soul, and body with their melody and words? They had a laser beam going up to the heavens.
When they focused their praise to the Lord, guess what they got back? They got a lot of external anointing and power. That is what happens when you get worship right.
When you focus that force of music on the Lord, it is like incense poured forth. When that incense goes to the throne room and reaches the Lord’s nostrils, it stirs His heart and then He pours back His power and His anointing.
We have seen this in many church services with someone that got it right. They stand there and they worship God and God worships back. His power comes down, His cloud descends, and people are slain in the spirit, people are healed and the eyes of the blind are opened.
That is what happens when you focus your worship in the right place. However, what happens when I take that worship and focus it on you, because I need you to like me, tell me what a good singer I am and approve of my skill and talent and follow me?
I am releasing a force at you and you are going to feel goose bumps. You are going to feel them from the top of your head down to the tip of your toes, especially if I have the anointing and if I am confident in who I am.
I am taking every bit of passion, power, and talent and I am focusing it all on you. You better believe that you are going to feel that. Also, I am going to feel it back from you because you just gave me that smile that I needed.
You respond to me and meet that need for acceptance and recognition that I have. Then, I leave the meeting feeling so good about myself. It fills a deep need. Unfortunately, it does not last long.
So, we have to worship the worship meeting again next week, because we are empty again and feeling frustrated again.
Praise as a Sacrifice
You love to worship, but whom are you worshipping? What are you getting out of it? As the leader, you should not feel more pumped after the meeting than before. You should already be filled and then you should leave empty.
By the time you have finished praising and worshipping, you should leave empty because you have taken everything that God has given you and you have poured it out to His people.
The Word says that our praise is like a sacrifice. It is like incense poured forth. It is like a perfume to the Lord and it is so beautiful.
When you release your praise, you release an incense. Who are you releasing it to? Whoever you are releasing it to is going to be touched. If you are not sure of this, I will give you an example.
Ladies, if the love of your life stands in front of you and sings you a passionate love song with every bit of his heart, soul, and love, are you going to tell me that your knees do not go weak?
Can you tell me that you are not feeling goose bumps and butterflies in your stomach? Music is powerful. When we sing it and direct it, we better make sure that we are directing it into the right place.
The good news is that when you do direct it into the right place, God can fill that need and bring His power in a way that you cannot imagine.
Here we are thinking that we have to get everyone in the congregation in order and yes, that will come, but until you are worshipped up and you have put that incense on the heavenly altar, you have nothing to pour out to God’s people.
I love what David says in Psalm 42:5, Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise HimFor the help of His countenance.
In other words, he was saying to himself, “Why are you having a bad day?” He felt down, discouraged, empty and dried up and was saying, “My soul, what is wrong with you?
You need to go and praise the Lord. The Lord will help me. His face will smile upon me and He will fill me up and give me the strength I need and the power that I need to win the battle and overcome.
He will help me to send back the enemy that has come against me and to go another day and to take the land and lead His people.”
We need this kind of power in our lives and we are not going to get it trying to impress everyone and tickling their ears. We are going to get it by diffusing the fragrance of praise and worship in the presence of the Lord.
We are going to give everything up to Him and then He is going to pour it all back to us.
So, take your spirit, your soul, mind, emotions, will, and your body, and worship the Lord. Put aside whether you sound good, act good, or play good.
That is like taking a machete and smashing the pathway between you and the Lord. It destroys the vein. It is like cutting a main artery to the heart. You will lose all the life.
The minute you stand up and start wondering what all the people think of you, you stop releasing incense to the Lord and you start releasing it to people instead.
You change the focus of your praise and you miss out on the best part of worship, which is not just pouring out to the Lord, but feeling Him pour back to you. Is that not the most perfect picture of a love relationship?
Yet, the minute you start comparing yourself and try to perform, you break the link between you and the Lord and your only source of anointing. Your only opportunity to walk in the revival power that is very possible to walk in when ministering through music, is lost.
Take your spirit, soul, and body, and put your thoughts on Jesus. Put away your thoughts of inadequacy. Be like David, who put on his linen ephod and worshipped the Lord and did not care what anyone else thought of him. He just worshipped with all his might.
Did he stand in front of the people and say, “We are going to worship the Lord now? Everyone rise. I want you to raise your hands now. Do as I do.”
He did not think about how if he could be good enough that something would happen. He did not care. He thought, “I am going to worship the Lord with all my might. If you want to follow me, follow me. If not, do not follow me. Just sit there in your seat, but I am going to get His glory.”
You cannot give people God’s glory, if you do not have it yet. How can you release anything, if you do not have it yet? That is why you need to worship, so that you can fill up.
When you do, you get Ephesians 5:18-19 which says,
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord
The Lord said, “I have an alternative of getting drunk and it is singing and making melody in your heart and to keep being filled in the spirit.”
There is a better way for you to get filled up and pour out. That is to get into His anointing and power. Are you feeling a little dry like your spiritual throat is so parched from all this pouring out?
Now, you have to lead another meeting and pour out, sing well and perform well, and you know that you have nothing to give. Why don’t you just tap into Jesus and pour Him out to His people?
Instead of tapping into talent, worldly wisdom, and your archetype or your music styles and the things that you have learned over the years, you need to tap into the Lord.
We cannot compete with the world. For everything that you are good at, there are another billion people who are better at it. So, why do we not compete on a playing field all on our own?
Why do we not just use the power of God, instead of the power of talent to move people? Instead of just releasing the spirit of man, like the world does, why do we not just release the spirit of Christ?
That is much more powerful than anything that we could work up in ourselves. When you do that, you are going to start really ministering to God’s people. However, until you worship and receive an impartation of God’s power, there is nothing to impart to others.
They need the Holy Spirit to teach them all things. They need the Holy Spirit to open their eyes, so that they can come into relationship with Jesus. They need the Holy Spirit to have a conviction of sin and they need Him to change.
The last time I checked, you are not the Holy Spirit. So, if you think that you are going to stand up and minister to them and change them, then you need to realize that you are not the Holy Spirit.
You need to get you some Holy Spirit first. Fill up first and then you will have the Holy Spirit to give them. When that anointing is released to them, then they will see. Their eyes will be opened and their hearts will be healed.
They will know as they are known. You cannot convince them with your own power. You need the Holy Spirit to do that. So, before you step out, get worshipped up, get alone and pick up your guitar and do what you have to do.
When should you be doing your hardest worship? When nobody can see. Then, after that, continue to worship when you stand up behind that pulpit or stand up front.
When you pick up the guitar, drumsticks, sit at the piano or do whatever, go with a mind to worship. When that worship is to the Lord alone, He will anoint that worship of yours to minister in music.
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