LESSON 8 : Psalmody international School of Worship Level 2

This is my recap of lesson 8 of the course which I have decided to follow, this is not intended to be a full article or bible study but is just me picking out the key topics and themes I got from Lesson 8.

I know, I know, I know… I didn’t upload last week on my current status on this course (mostly because I didn’t open the booklet anytime last week), so I ask for forgiveness.

LESSON 8: WORSHIP IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

The Bible often speaks about the importance of worship and we can see this in the book of John 4:22-24 ‘But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him…’. When God the Father is seeking such worship you know its a valued commodity, you know that there is a purpose behind believers who worship, it is not a pointless endeavour that is done to boost our self-esteem, there is something spiritual and of value behind a believer who worships in ‘Spirit and in Truth’. ‘Jesus is presently singing in the midst of the church… he is united with us in song as we celebrate His victory’ (Tom Inglis)

11 We who have been made holy by Jesus, now have the same Father he has. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call us his brothers. 12 For he says in the book of Psalms, “I will talk to my brothers about God my Father, and together we will sing his praises.” (Hebrew 2: 11-12, TLB)

Churches are not only praying for souls but preparing the atmosphere to receive them with praise’.

Tom Inglis

I love what Tom writes in this course that ‘churches are not only praying for souls but preparing the atmosphere to receive them with praise’. The key word I picked up is ‘atmosphere’, we are not just reciting words but developing an atmosphere that welcomes and embraces people openly in the same way that it was the atmosphere of His presence that embraced us so lovingly when we gave our lives to God. In Acts 16:25-26 when Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God prison doors where open, chains were broken and the earth was shaken, this story just reminded me of how when David played his instrument the things that tormented Saul left ( 1 Samuel 16:14-23), the things that kept these men hostage where released once praise and worship was introduced. Praise and worship invite’s the Holy Spirit and prepares our hearts to accept him, when Paul and Silas were in song and worship they were not praying out of fear but praying from a position of faith, they allowed for the atmosphere of the Holy Spirit to intercede. What’s more extraordinary, is that their actions were in accordance with the word that had been written years prior, they knew exactly what to sing that was specific for their circumstance:

“I hurried not hesitating to keep Your commands. Though the ropes of the wicked were wrapped around me, I did not forget Your law. I rise at midnight to thank You for your righteous judgment”

psalm 119: 60-62
David played the harp to calm Saul’s spirit

There is something called being a ‘Practical Christian’, if someone comes knocking at your door hungry it can be tempting to pray “Father, we pray that this person may go in peace and may your love surround them all the days of his life” when really we need to just give them food. This also happens in our prayer life where what we need we don’t ask and instead we pray about something else… or we ask but don’t have anything to evidence why we should receive. I loved studying English literature when at secondary school because I used to say you can make up anything just so long as you can find a quote to prove your argument… okay maybe don’t makeup but my point still stands unless you don’t have a scripture to support your case your request is somewhat void. Paul and Silus understood this for ( the following is taken from the booklet)

  • Both incidents found in Psalms 119:60-62 and Acts 16:25-26 were recorded as happening at midnight or the middle of the night
  • Both were bound by chains of iniquity
  • Both were determined to break free to give thanks
  • Both used the basis of God’s righteous judgements ( His Word) to secure freedom

Mankind is waiting to hear a new song, a song of deliverance from the redeemed that will also set them free (Psalm 40:3)

Through their praise and worship, the other prisoners were also set free.

Tuned into the frequency of heaven

In the Old Testament in Numbers 10:1-10, there are 2 trumpets which were created, now depending on the sound the trumpets made, people would be informed of whether they were going to war, to sacrifice, to move location etc … etc. If the people did not know what the sounds meant it spelt trouble. The people had to be in tune with the sounds from the trumpets, they had to be in tune, in harmony with what the Lord said. When we praise as mentioned prior, we invite the presence of the spirit, an atmosphere of heaven into our present environment where despite being on Earth we are now operating in the heavenly and we are thus more in tune and more in line with the sound of our Lord.

Be filled with the Spirit, converse with one another in the music of psalms, in hymns, and in sons of the spiritual life, praise the Lord heartily with words and music and rendering of thanks to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ at all times and for all things’ ( Ephesians 5: 17-19) —> What an instruction to receive , an instruction for us to live in continuous praise and worship, to be interceding in worship, living in worship, communicating in worship to the point that we are overflowing with the Spirit of God whose breath moves and has its being in us.

There are Christian songs that I hear but I often find that the ones that stick in my head the most are ones which might as well be a direct translation from the psalms… I would sing them as a child without even knowing that I am quoting the very bible I found boring. Mum and I joke quite often when she drinks a fruit juice that has been out of the fridge for a while, that it might be alcohol (since we don’t drink alcohol ) and if she starts singing merry songs then we know she is drunk. When we are drunk in the Holy Spirit, it is only natural to sing merry songs about our God like how men start singing when merry with alcohol.

The Revelation of worship

We can use the book of revelation as an indication of what the church will eventually look like. The new testament church is a singing musical church and must operate as such. Here are some scriptures found in Revelation in support of what Tom Inglis writes

  • Revelation 1:10-11 ( the voice of Jesus was like a trumpet)
  • Revelation 4:1 ( Voice like a trumpet)
  • Revelation 5:8-10 (4 living creature +24 elders with harps and singing)
  • Revelation 8: 6,13 (7 angels with 7 trumpets)
  • Revelation 9:14 ( angel with trumpet)
  • Revelation 14: 2,3 ( harpists and singing)
  • Revelation 15:2, 3 ( overcomes with harps singing a song of deliverance
  • Revelation 18:22, 9 (harpists, musicians, flautists, trumpets)

To end today’s post:

On an unserious side note, is it me or is there some sort of bias towards trumpets?

LESSON 11 : Psalmody international School of Worship Level 2

Wow, it has been a long time since I did the Psalmody International School of worship recap, but I am someone who likes to finish what they start even if it is months later. So today we will be recapping on lesson 11 from the psalmody booklet, and for this lesson we will be looking at  'Confession and Worship'. Please note that this is not a full bible study,it is mostly just a recap on what I had gathered from the booklet

CONFESSION AND WORSHIP

Hebrews 3:1, Therefore, Holy brothers and companions in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and High Preist of our confession. 

Jesus, now as the High Priest through the line of Judah (please refer back to a previous post to understand the significance of Jesus the High Priest) stands as our witness and reason for our faith and confession. Confession in this context is not the reluctant retelling of an individual’s sins but is our declaration of our faith in God and within that declaration, we verbally recount how the Lord triumphed over evil and made us whole. 

There is something powerful that takes place when we confess our faith that Jesus is Lord with our lips and believe in our hearts the miracle of Jesus being raised from the dead, we too become resurrected and made a new creation saved from our former ways, please read Romans 10:9-13 for reference. The words we speak over ourselves, circumstances and the people around us can direct our footsteps when we make confessions we are aligning our steps in God’s direction because the focus of our words, our confession is directed to God. It is difficult to walk towards God when our attention is diverted, I always think of when I am driving, just a split second of looking away from the road to change the temperature in the car, I begin to steer in the wrong direction. Through confession, we maintain our attention and not lose sight of the destination. Through confession we are speaking what is written in the scriptures, we are speaking and talking about Jesus, the word of God ( John 1:1).

Just like what is written in Jeremiah 15:16, we find joy in our hearts and rejoicing because it is through the word that our spirits are nourished, these words are food to our spirit man, the more we confess the more we nourish our spiritual bodies.

Confessions of a Christian III

There is this scripture found in Matthew 17:20 where Jesus is explaining to the disciples that because of their lack of faith they could not cast out the demons… he says :

“For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you”

Now, here is the thing I am certain I have greater faith then that of a mustard seed. No man can put me under the label of a doubter or question my lack of faith, for faith I have ( maybe not to the same degree as Abraham did who is the Father of our faith Romans 4:16), but I know I have more than a mustard seed. So now with Matthew 17:20 I brought my petition to the Lord and argued that He should heal me, then when it came to mind that I was already healed at Calvary 2000 years ago my petition then became a declaration in order that I should receive the healing that had been granted to me through the resurrection of Jesus Christ and I had scripture to back up every statement I made in my petition……………………………….BUT………………………….nothing.

Instead of seeing some sort of miraculous healing , there was more evidence to show I was getting sicker and sicker. So what had happened? Did my faith waiver? Did I not believe? Even in such a situation no man or creature could ever have accused me of not having faith, I concluded that there must be something not right with my petition but what was it. I took back my petition and took the most medically sound judgment regarding my health, but I did not forget what had happened during that period of spiritual campaigning.

My faith alone could not move the mountain

Today, as I decided to write this blog and confess of my inability to become healed and my failed campaign I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before…. verse 21

“However, this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting”

I know that this scripture was in reference to the casting out of demons, but I couldn’t help think about my earlier campaigning. Yes, I had biblical evidence and knowledge about the crucifixion to know that the healing was mine and that it had already been given to me, but I was struggling to receive that healing. I’ve explained in a previous post about how when we make a prayer request it is like ordering from Amazon, we have paid for the produce, the receipt we receive online is further evidence that the item is ours however, this item must be moved from a warehouse to our house before we have full ownership of it and within that process we have a tracking number to ensure it arrives well. Our prayer requests are similar, the receipt ie. The Bible is evidence that we own the product requested, however it must be shipped from heavens warehouse to our physicial/ spiritual house. However, here is the thing, I didn’t follow up with prayer or fasting, I knew my healing was somewhere in heaven’s warehouse but I didn’t know who made that healing I didn’t have access to his phone number, I barley looked over His company website nor read the fine prints. Here I was thinking I could walk up to the manufacturers office without an advisor, someone who knows about the protocols of the company and knows the best way to reach the manufacturer, someone who has the manufactures number on speed dial.

I was intending to walk on water without the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26 says ‘The spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us…’. I had faith to know the battle had already been won but I had forgotten to bring my lawyer with me to court. Prayer is much more than communication to the Father, it is a reminder that without him the impossible remain impossible and it realigns our position to His so that we may be reminded that it is not by our own strength or might that mountains move, it is our remembrance of His awesomeness, a reverance of His majesty and glory , not ours , that makes the moutain move.

me trying to tell the mountain to move

Did I ask you to grow tomatoes?

Some years back I was listening to a sermon by Joyce Meyer, within that sermon she began to talk about how lovely her neighbours garden was, and how perfectly manicured her lawn was and how whatever plant her neighbour grew would just look so astonishing, whilst hers was a mess. So one day she decided that she (Meyer), was going to grow beautiful tomatos comparable to her neighbour’s, she brought manure , studied how to properly seed the tomatoes and prayed for these seeds night and day but sadly nothing. Whilst her neighbours plants continued to flourish her’s looked diseased ( adding my own interpretation to the story for entertainment value). She became incredibly fustrated

“Why can’t I grow these bloody things!” she exclaimed

It didn’t take long til she turned her frustrations onto God, wasn’t she a minster, wasn’t she more spiritual than her neighbour, had she not prayed for her tomatoes to grow well ?

“God why can’t I grow nice tomatoes like my neighbour?” she asked, not long after she spoke a voice dropped into her heart

“Did I ask you to grow tomatoes?”

All this time she had been getting frustrated by something she didn’t even need to do.

In Zimbabwe ( where I am from), when you buy new furniture you buy it pre-made all you have to do is move it in, however, in England ( where I live), when you buy furniture it arrives in components that you have to assemble to get the desired product. A lot of the times, these do-it-yourself furnitures come with instructions that IF ( and that is a BIG ‘IF’) we choose to follow can get the furntiure assembled quickly but I’m sure many of us have by-passed the instruction manual or have missed a step and found ourselves trying to wedge two seperate components together that shouldn’t even be touching one another, we become fustrated at the manufacurer deeply regretting the day you thought it a nice idea to buy that piece of furntiure, or in the case of Joyce Meyer getting fustrated at our inability to do something we didn’t need to do particulaly when the instuction manual aka God never told you to piece those compnents together . I’m sure that all of you are smart and can understand the moral of the story, that we should really let God lead.

Wisdom is letting God lead you not vice versa. People tend to say that knowledge is power but I say knowledge is a key to wisdom, because no matter how much we know that if God leads all is well, no matter how much we know that the manufacturers provided us with a detailed correct instruction manual or that God never told us to plant tomatoes we still do the opposite. We are told countless times in the Bible to pursue biblical wisdom, ‘to get wisdom, get understanding… for she will watch over you’ (Proverbs 4:5-6), an entire book is dedicated to wisdom and her ways. A fool is not a fool because he has no knowlegde ,he is a fool because he chooses to not apply wisdom. The level of wisdom one has determines how they use their knowledge let me give an example:

We know we must study to pass our exams, we also know that we must give time to study long before the exam so that the learned information is retained. Yet a fool chooses to do all their studying the night before despite knowing that it’s not the best option.

I love a particular song by a Jesus culture, called ‘where you go I go’ because of the lyrics:

“Jesus only did what he saw you do, He would only say what He heard You Speak, He would only move when He felt you lead”

This was the wisdom Jesus had when he was on Earth, He knew nothing could happen unless he was totally dependent on God. Unless God tells you to there is no point to do it… it’s not that planting tomatoes is a bad activity it’s rather enjoyable in my opinion, but should the activity take you away from the glory or remove you from His presence then it is not great and we then need to re-adjust our reasoning for starting the activity.

Humility & Pride

I apologise if there is no particular structure in the following post…

To tell you the honest truth, I have been procrastinating particularly in regards to this topic, the number of times I have written, deleted and re-written this article within the last months is honestly a bit embarrassing. It has been such a struggle to write ( but then again what post of mine hasn’t), I mean… I have so many topics listed that I want to share with you all but I am honestly struggling to start. Which brings me back to the difficulty I have found starting this post. At first when I thought to write on the topic of humility I thought to explore people in the Bible who showed great humility like Moses or Joseph ( Jesus’ step-father) or to explore how God humbled Joseph in preparation for his position as the Prime Minister of Egypt but then I realised that perhaps Joseph was a far humbler man than I. So instead I thought to divert my attention and look at pride instead – the opposite of humility.

A few years ago as I was praying, God told me that I needed to address the pride that was in me, I was slightly taken aback,

“Pride! What Pride?”

Considering that I really didn’t think of myself of any high status or of any value, I didn’t understand what God was telling me but I prayed nonetheless that there would be no trace of pride in me. There was a desire to be closer to God and I knew that being ‘humble’ is what God wants us to be but I didn’t quite understand its definition. When we look at the dictionary definition of the word Humble it says:

‘the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance’

To me being humble meant admitting you have no worth, my distorted definition of the word was literally this ” God formed me from dust and that is what I am dust”. We may have been formed from dust but that is not what we are now, we don’t look at a bowl or vase as say it is mud so we can not look at ourselves and say we are dust when we are now children of God. As I am writing this I am laughing to myself as I think I now understand Matthew 25: 14-21 a bit better in terms of pride. In the passage found in Matthew, Jesus gives a parable of a master who gave talents/ money to his slaves, to one he gave 5 talents another 3 and the third 1. Whilst the first 2 made great returns with their talents the third buried his in the ground, so when the master came back it is hardly surprising to know that he wasn’t impressed by the third guy, but one thing which I didn’t quite understand is why he would call the slave ‘EVIL’. The slave’s sin was not that he didn’t make a profit but that he had pride, the pride to assume that he knew His masters intent:

“Then the man with the $1,000 came and said, ‘Sir, I knew you were a hard man, and I was afraid you would rob me of what I earned, so I hid your money in the earth and here it is!’

Matthew 25: 24-25 (TLB)

“There is no point in me doing anything because your just going to take all the glory for it whilst I did all the hard work”

In many ways my attitude was and probably is still like that: ” there is no point to doing anything as I am only dust, if God had wanted to make me great he would have made me from gold and not dust, therefore, God cannot do anything of significance on me, (do you hear the attitude!!). Though I have never said it like that I have gone to God many times saying:

“God I can not do this because… I can’t talk to them because I am… I know myself God and I can not do ….. I can’t tell you about this small thing because why on Earth would you care… God deal with the more important stuff whilst I deal with this”. I never quite fully let go of any burdens within me and allowed him to do what only he could do, my attitude was that God is going to take-away or just not respond to anything I have so with that mindset how could I submit to him wholeheartedly if I am holding back. I think I understand why it has taken me so long to write this post as this is an area of my life that God is still working on me (excuse the pun).

LESSON 10 : Psalmody international School of Worship Level 2

I was just reading Lesson 10 from the Psalmody international school of worship in preparation for this weeks blog, but I really wanted to write this. I knew that King David was a man who reverenced the Lord and worshiped Him wholeheartedly and that we as Christians are called to follow after his example of praise and worship. But, what I didn’t know (something which I have taken from Lesson 10) that King David instituted a revolutionary change of worship by replacing animal sacrifices for spiritual ones of thanksgiving and praise and ministering before the presence of God. Prior only High Priests had access to the Ark of the Covenant (please take a look at this post for more information) , but now David appointed Levites to bring to remeberance through their acts of thanksgiving of the works God had done for his people. So here is the Psalm of thanksgiving that transformed worship in the tabernacle and it is one we can all proclaim in our lives:

1 Chronicles 16: 8-36 (HCSB)

Give thanks to Yahweh; call on His name;
proclaim His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him; sing praise to Him;
tell about all His wonderful works!
10 Honor His holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.
11 Search for the Lord and for His strength;
seek His face always.
12 Remember the wonderful works He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments He has pronounced,[a]
13 you offspring of Israel His servant,
Jacob’s descendants—His chosen ones.

14 He is the Lord our God;
His judgments govern the whole earth.
15 Remember His covenant forever—
the promise He ordained for a thousand generations,
16 the covenant He made with Abraham,
swore[b] to Isaac,
17 and confirmed to Jacob as a decree,
and to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
18 “I will give the land of Canaan to you
as your inherited portion.”

19 When they[c] were few in number,
very few indeed, and temporary residents in Canaan
20 wandering from nation to nation
and from one kingdom to another,
21 He allowed no one to oppress them;
He rebuked kings on their behalf:
22 “Do not touch My anointed ones
or harm My prophets.”

23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Proclaim His salvation from day to day.
24 Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonderful works among all peoples.

25 For the Lord is great and highly praised;
He is feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before Him;
strength and joy are in His place.
28 Ascribe to the Lord, families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
29 Ascribe to Yahweh the glory of His name;
bring an offering and come before Him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness;
30 tremble before Him, all the earth.

The world is firmly established;
it cannot be shaken.
31 Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The Lord is King!”
32 Let the sea and everything in it resound;
let the fields and all that is in them exult.
33 Then the trees of the forest will shout for joy before the Lord,
for He is coming to judge the earth.

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
35 And say: “Save us, God of our salvation;
gather us and rescue us from the nations
so that we may give thanks to Your holy name
and rejoice in Your praise.
36 May Yahweh, the God of Israel, be praised
from everlasting to everlasting.”

Then all the people said, “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”

LESSON 9 : Psalmody international School of Worship Level 2

This is my recap of lesson 9 of the course which I have decided to follow, this is not intended to be a full article or bible study but is just me picking out the key topics and themes I got from Lesson 9.

Prayer and Worship

We often forget that we are spiritual beings and the God we serve is Spirit (John 4:24) therefore we must worship him in Spirit (John 4:24). Unfortunately, we sadly rely on our physical state rather than our spiritual. We believe in things that we see, hear and do with our physical bodies and have greater trust in this then the things our spirit-man see’s , hears and does. What this means, is that our worship does not quite reach the standard of worship God expects from us. We believe that our physical actions hold greater value then our spiritual actions because we can see the entire process of the work we do, for instance in regards to healing we see the process of when we applied medicine onto a wound and bandaged it and we saw the wound scab until it eventually fully healed. However, when we pray to God for healing, we can not see the process, from when our message reaches heaven to when its petitioned for by Christ , to when it is transferred onto a ministering angel until the wound is completely healed. So it makes it difficult have faith in kneeling in prayer.

God’s plan for every believer is to synergise prayer and raise together maximum results. Separately they are powerful an render amazing results, but when combined they are literally earth shaking (Acts 16:25)

Praying Christian is a dangerous Christian– WHY??!!– a praying Christian is a christian who has cultivated an intimate relationship with the Father. In mine and probably your own view, it is difficult to trust someone’s words whe you have never met them before this is why contracts are made should someone not follow their word, however, with a friend or family if they say they will do it you trust their words because you know them bettr , you see them on a frequent basis. When you commune with the Father often it becomes easier to trust His word and trust in a process that your physical eyes can not

“When we pray we fellowship with God by telling Him our needs, or the needs of others. When we praise Him, we are telling Him that we believe our needs are met according to His Word”

Ps Apologies for spelling and grammar mistakes