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Are We Creating a Church Full of Liars? #praiseandworship

Music SmokeFirst, let me say that I feel privileged that the Lord has me living in this period of history.  We’re at such an exciting time in the body of Christ.  It’s my desire to be at the cutting edge of what the Lord’s doing in His people.

One of the areas I see this, is in praise and worship.  This generation has given rise to worship leaders who reached new heights in their songs and choruses.  Singing some of these new songs opens up my spirit to the deeper work of God in me.

That being said, there’s a negative aspect to this as well.  I’ve found that marginal, shallow believers, singing those same songs, have replaced singing for experience.

Just because I sing, “Jesus, You are everything,” doesn’t necessarily means that it’s true in my life.  The Lord saw this as a problem in Israel.

“What do you think?  There was a man who had two sons.  He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing.  He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.  For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did.  And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”
Matthew 21:28-32

The Pharisees that Jesus was talking to looked like they were serving God, but in truth they were after their own agenda.  They needed to be shocked back to reality.

Please understand; I realize that in many instances we need to sing and praise “higher” than our current level.  In our hearts we’re aspiring to a deeper walk in Christ and these songs push us to press in to the manifestation of it.  I have no problem with that.

My concern is over the Christians who are in denial.  They’re living for themselves and think that singing about a powerful walk with God is the same as experiencing it.

Somehow, like in Christ’s ministry, we need to communicate the difference to our people.  This needs to be done with love, sensitivity, and respect.  Then we’ll see the affects that these songs should truly be working in all of God’s people.

Question: What are some praise and worship songs that have caused you to grow in Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on February 5, 2014 in Ministry, Music, The Church

 

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Do You Know the Two Anointings of Music?

Did you know that the Bible speaks about how we should aim our singing?  There are two goals we should direct our music toward.

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Psalms 96:1-2

The first should be pretty obvious.

Our music can be directed toward God in the praise of His glory.  This is an important part of our relationship with the Lord.  Singing His praises transports us into His presence.

I get so upset when believers view the praise and worship time as merely the “warm-up act” for the pastor’s preaching.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  As we sing praise and thanksgiving to God, we are brought into a deeper spiritual place.  We become more open to the move of the Holy Spirit.

Praising God in song is an important part of a spiritual walk.

The second aim of music may surprise some of you.

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord…
Ephesians 5:19

Our music can be directed toward each other.  There are many people (and I used to be one of them) that dislike the use of songs that are not directed toward God.  This verse clearly shows the necessity of both types of music.

There are times when we need to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another.  Why is that so important?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16

It’s through music that the Word of Christ can live richly in you.  Singing music that’s directed at each other is a form of teaching and admonishing.  As we sing, we learn.

This is an incredible truth.  When my children were small, they learned all the states and their capitals because they were put to music. How much more important is it to get the Word into our hearts?

Through music, the Word of Christ can enter our lives and stay with us.  That’s why I’m so adamant about not singing songs that contain bad doctrine.  Too many Christians believe error because they learned it in their music.

We give praise to our God.  We teach and admonish each other.  Both of these can and should be done through the music of God’s people.

Question: Is there a song that opened up your eyes to a spiritual truth?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Encouragement, Music, The Church, Word of God

 

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The Transforming Power of Music

In my last post I started talking about music as a spiritual force.  Did you know that music has the power to transform your life?  It can lift you up, or bring you to your knees.

The Old Testament book of Deuteronomy was Moses’ last exhortation to Israel before he died.  In it he made some very interesting comments as he was led along by the Holy Spirit.

It also includes what happened in the last few days of his life.  As he was nearing the end, he had a very interesting encounter with God.

At that point, the Lord summoned Moses and Joshua (his second in command) to the tent of meeting.  They were to appear before the presence of God for some instructions.  Joshua was to be commissioned to lead Israel after Moses was gone.  This is all found in Deuteronomy, chapter 31.

When they came to the tent God spoke to them out of a pillar of cloud.  He told Moses of his soon departure.  Then the Lord spoke of the future of Israel.  He said that very soon after Moses was gone, the Israelites would begin to worship some of the gods of the peoples around them.

Because of their condition, they would lose the blessing of God upon their nation and face many devastating hardships.  This must have been frustrating news to Moses, knowing that he was about to leave and could do nothing about it – or could he?

God gave Moses a special instruction that would bring the people back to repentance.

“Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them.”
Deuteronomy 31:19

What can a song do to help?

And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants.
Deuteronomy 31:21a

The Hebrew phrase, testify against them, literally means to announce in their face.  God would use this song to bring conviction and repentance upon the nation of Israel.  God knew that the only way to turn a backslidden nation around was to transport them back to a time when they were under His blessing.

That’s what the force of music can accomplish.  There are times when I’m in the mall and suddenly I’m transformed into a teenager on summer vacation – because that’s when I first heard the song.  If that’s what a secular song can do, just think what godly music, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit can do.

Spiritual songs have the power to hit the “reset button” in our lives.  That’s why we should surround ourselves with the music of worship and praise.

Question: Has God ever used a song to bring you to repentance?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Music, Power of God, The Church

 

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Do You Know the God of Music?

Did you realize that God was the author of music?  Do you know just how powerful music can be?  It’s either a force for good or evil.  For a few posts I want to deal with this subject.  We need to see how music fits into our worship of God.

Where did music come from?  When were melodies first heard?  Actually it was before man was created.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone —
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?”
Job 38:4-7

Music didn’t evolve.  It came from God.  It amazes me that God wanted to listen to music as He laid the foundation for the earth.

As much as we like to take credit for things, this was something that was around before we ever existed.  If we have music within us, it’s because God put it there.

Music is powerful.  It has the ability to grab your attention and hold on to you.  Think of what the world would be like without music.

The truth is that God loves music.  In fact, He surrounds Himself with music.  I don’t know if there can be praise without music.  I believe that Heaven is full of harmony.

On the other hand, the enemy knows just how powerful this medium can be.  He has ensnared whole generations through music.  My generation (the baby boomers) was caught up in the music of rebellion.  The next phase was the music of violence.

Now I notice something happening in music that’s startling.  The enemy’s kingdom has refocused it back to worship again – worship of self.  Music is now the road to power.  Just think about the draw of shows like American Idol, The Voice, and the X-Factor.

There’s something about the sung word that goes deep into your soul.  It draws things out of us that we never knew were there.  It can lay hold of our emotions and lead us wherever it’s heading.

Music is a spiritual force.  It’s a tool that can totally change our lives.  That’s why the music we listen to is so important.  It’s not just about whether it makes us happy or not.  What is it planting in my inner man?  That’s the big question behind the music.

Music was given to us by God for a purpose.  As believers we need to understand how it works.  Then we will see the fruit of it in our daily lives.

Question: Do you view music as a gift from God?  Do you treat it with respect as a spiritual force?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Music, The Church, Worship

 

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