It’s so much more than a nice time of singing. Don’t you long for the day when worship on earth better resembles the worship in heaven: lightning, thunder, brilliant lights, fire, awe-mingled intimacy, unreserved abandon (Revelation 4)…? I know I do.
There are many reasons why corporate worship is so powerful. One of the prominent reasons is the Holy Spirit’s love of and commitment to truth. A number of times Jesus referred to Him as the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17). The New Testament’s description of the Holy Spirit’s ministry and activity could be summarized in these words: revealing and confirming truth with power.
John 14-16 undoubtedly contains more teaching on the Holy Spirit’s ministry than any other part of Scripture. In this section we find statements like, “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you (14:26),” “He will bear witness about me (15:26),” “He will convict the world (16:8),” “He will guide you into all truth (16:13),” “He will take what is mine and declare it to you (16:14).”
Aren’t you thankful for Him? I love the Holy Spirit so much. The only reason the Church has lasted thousands of years after Jesus’ ascension is that He didn’t leave us as orphans, but came to us through the person of the Spirit (John 14:18).
Not only does the Holy Spirit reveal and confirm the truth, but He does so with power. He does this in two ways: internally and externally.
When He reveals and confirms truth internally, i.e. in our “hearts,” we often refer to it as “revelation” (Eph 1:17) or “conviction” (John 16:8) etc… A good example of this is when the gathered multitude was “cut to the heart” in response to Peter’s prophetic preaching in Acts 2. Their response to his message didn’t result from “good reasoning” but from the Holy Spirit confirming the truth in Peter’s message with power in their hearts.
When the Holy Spirit reveals and confirms truth externally, we often refer to it as “signs and wonders” (Acts. 14:3), “miracles,” or “gifts of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12) etc…
The point is this: Whether edifying the believer or convicting the unbeliever, the Holy Spirit is committed to revealing and confirming truth with His power, both internally and externally. In a world swirling with different ideas, opinions, beliefs, lies, voices, etc… the confirming power of the Holy Spirit is the only thing that will shine a light on the true path, saying, “This is the way! Walk in it!”
Back to worship. There’s power on and in our worship when the Holy Spirit is active among us, revealing and confirming with power the truths we are singing, declaring, and praying. Corporate worship is the place where doctrine becomes experience. We believe we are forgiven of sin, but when we come together and sing about the cross and God’s forgiveness, the Holy Spirit releases His power on those truths and we can actually experience forgiveness in our hearts.
Worship is only as powerful as it is true.
Worship leaders, how much truth does the Holy Spirit have to work with in the worship experiences we design? Is there room for more?