The Work of the People
Come Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit
As a worship pastor, I often find myself leading people in a variety of different settings. Sometimes it is in a normal worship service on a Sunday morning. Other times it is around a campfire with a group of men celebrating the goodness of the Lord. Sometimes it is in a small rural church leading worship in a revival service where the “style” of music has no bearing at all. Other times it is at the side of a friend as a loved one slips away to worship on the heavenly shores. Wherever I find myself leading, worshiping, and walking with individuals there is one factor that never changes regardless of setting or style. It is the Holy Spirit.
Often times, we lose site of the importance of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our midst. We become driven and focused on the songs that we are using, the players in the band, the visual effects for lyrics and backgrounds, the lighting, the ambiance, the words we speak, and the schedule. With hundreds of things pulling our attention we can forget about the driving force behind our worship – the Holy Spirit. Regardless of how strong the worship set is, how amazing the choir sounds, or how connective the sermon feels - the Holy Spirit is the dynamic that creates and enlivens our worship. For worship to occur, the Spirit must be present and moving in the hearts of the people.
True worship requires the Holy Spirit to move in us as the very “ruach” or “breath” of God – rising from our midst to glorify and praise the Maker of heaven and earth, Father God. It is the work of the Spirit in our midst that glorifies and exalts the name of Jesus and the Father. It is the work of God in us allowing us to bring God to the focus of our hearts and minds. It is God. Consider John 16:13-16, where Jesus states, 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. “He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you”. This is a powerful promise of God to His people. He will guide His people in truth and glory through the working of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit moves as the Spirit will. We can’t control the Holy Spirit. We can call upon the Spirit to fill our gatherings, in whatever form they may be. God is faithful to hear the calls of His people and the Spirit moves in the midst of genuine worship where God ascends to the forefront of all that happens. Our worship, as our lives, is enlivened and renewed by the working of the Holy Spirit. Theologian and author N.T. Wright writes, “Those in whom the Spirit comes to live are God's new Temple. They are, individually and corporately, places where heaven and earth meet.” When we gather in the name of the Spirit, we gather on Holy Ground. We let the preparation, the planning, the structure, all that we have done in our human effort – it all passes away and the Spirit leads us. This is where true worship occurs and where God is glorified through the praise of the people. I am not advocating for lack of preparation, but rather for surrender. Surrender your service and worship, as you have your life, to the God of all Gods and the moving of the Holy Spirit. Surrender to His presence and plans, and God will be glorified. Zechariah 4:6 holds true today. It says, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD”. The Author and Finisher of our faith will come and dwell in the midst of us. May it ever be so in every church and home.
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.
~ Saint Augustine of Hippo
New Student Financial Aid Counselor, TNU
Worship Arts Pastor, Faith Community Nazarene