Meditations by John Dean

Monday, August 11, 2014

African Worship

(1Chronicles 16:7-12 ASV) Then on that day did David first ordain to give thanks unto Jehovah, by the hand of Asaph and his brethren. O give thanks unto Jehovah, call upon his name; Make known his doings among the peoples. Sing   unto him, sing praises unto him; Talk ye of all his marvelous works. Glory ye in his holy name; Let the heart of them rejoice that seek Jehovah. Seek ye Jehovah and his strength; Seek his face evermore. Remember his marvelous works that he hath done, His wonders, and the judgments of his mouth,

It is shocking when one thinks they really understand something to find out later that they only understood it in part. For example, it is possible that our text will show our lack of understanding of true worship more than any other scripture I know.

David’s suggestion for worshiping the Lord is obviously much deeper and broader than what many may be accustomed to. For example, oftentimes our worship consists of a dark room, flashing lights, screaming guitars and the speakers turned up so loud one cannot hear their own voice enough to even participate.

I realize that many today enjoy this “rock concert” type of music approach, but that is not what David had in mind for worshiping God. David’s approach sprang from the depth of one’s being…as an offering to God as well as a form of total surrender. Pleasing man and showing one’s gifting was not even in the equation.

I have seen many approaches to worshiping God over the years and I am sure He was blessed by those efforts because He looks at one’s heart. However, as good as some of those efforts were, they appear to fall short of what I think David was trying to communicate.

I have always been very sensitive to certain sounds of music and how my own spirit is affected. Some music may affect me in a way that I want to fall before the Lord and worship Him. Other sounds and notes seem to release the prophetic gift in me.

Recently while ministering in South Africa I was surrounded by hundreds of Africans who seemed to know exactly what David was trying to communicate. The first thing I noticed was that their worship did not spring from their gifting, but from every fiber of their being. I sat there absorbing this phenomena through each worship service while trying to analyze how they were able to yield so much of themselves…all at the same time. I must confess I was shocked to discover that what I thought I understood, I only knew in part. As a result of that revealing experience, I have purposed in my heart to worship more in the spirit of our text and less in the spirit of the “now” musical season.

Thank You for teaching me first hand through the Africans what our text is really about. I have never wanted to hold any offering back from You and especially my worship of You. Lord help me to be an example in worship to others as the Africans were to me.


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