Revelation or Deception?

I just watched a YouTube clip on “ekstasia worship” and I am even more convinced that things are not well with the Church.  My guard is even more heightened and it is causing me to question practices and forms we consider “Christian”.  Many of these are touted and positioned as revelation for this new generation in this final season.  Is that really so?  Or is this so-called revelation merely deception?

We all know that deception is one of the key tactics of the enemy.  But do we realise that he is the Master Deceiver?  In other words, he’s really good at what he does.  The best there is!  Simply put, he knows what makes people tick and he will exploit these to the core.  He is so good that he can make Christians think they are worshipping Jesus when they are in fact participating in occultic practices.  Just because it carries a Christian label doesn’t make it right.

Think about it?  Do you expect the enemy to entice you with a term like “diabolic dance”?  Of course not!  He’s smarter and sneakier than that.  But what about a new form of worship? Oh yes, we Christians like worship where we get to sing, dance and express ourselves.  Add a dash of ‘prophetic’ to it with promises of a heavenly experience and that sounds even better.  Ground it with a bible verse or two, have it endorsed by a prominent prophetic voice and it’s ready to hit the Christian markets!  After all, God is revealing new things, is He not?  He wants you to experience Him, does He not?  And not only Him, but also the tingles of heaven.  With some bonus gold dust too.

Is this revelation for the new age to come?  Or is it simply plain ol’ new age in a different packaging under a new name making its way into our churches?  Is our desperate disillusionment in Christianity and church-ianity causing us to seek after more exciting experiences in the spiritual and the supernatural?  Are we opening ourselves to more of God, or merely opening ourselves up to more of the enemy’s ploy?  Do these satisfy and please God, or do these only satisfy and please ourselves?

I am concerned, very concerned, deeply concerned.

In the Dryness of Praise

As I read Psalm 63 this morning, my eyes were led to the introduction: “A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.”  How interesting, I thought.  Judah means ‘praise’.  But is there ever a wilderness in praise?

In much of today’s praise and worship teachings, we have been taught to keep praising no matter what.  Praise will lift our spirits, we are told.  And like Jesoshaphat, high praise can even secure a mighty victory for us.  So when you are feeling down and out, praise and worship is the answer.  Well, nothing wrong with these points.  But try telling that to King David in the wilderness of Judah, in the dryness of praise.

It’s happened to me before, and I guess you might have had the same experience.  Tired and worn out, I determined to get into high praise for my breakthrough.  The worship band strikes up, the worship set gets going and I am praising my guts out!  Wow, that felt really good … for the moment.  And soon after, I am down and out again.  Yes, you guessed it.  I am right smack in the wilderness of Judah, in the dryness of praise.  And no amount of jumping or clapping is going to change anything.  Am I then wrong to think that I can sing and clap myself out of my present predicament?  Not exactly.  But more accurately, it is not the activity of praise but the focus of my praise that needs an alignment check.  Ever so subtly, I can miss praising and worshipping God, and end up praising and worshipping praise and worship!

David cries out in Psalm 63:1, “O God, You are my God; early I will seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.”  In the next verse, he presents the key … seeking God in His presence and encountering God’s power and glory!

However attractive or convenient the praise and worship industry has made it, there is simply no replacement to the presence of God!  This cannot be created, generated or hyped up at all.  To be sure, what we need is not a savvy worship concert, sophisticated sound systems or hip-hop cheerleaders.  What we desperately need is precious time with the Lord in His sanctuary, in His presence.  In the wilderness of Judah, David knew that deep within his soul and he looked for God with that hunger and thirst.  David didn’t praise God that He may be found.  Instead, he sought to find God that he may then praise Him!  Communion with God so satisfied his soul that praise naturally flowed out of his mouth and lips (v5).  To David, praise was not merely a remedy for dryness in his soul but a response to fulfilment in his God!

Are you in the wilderness of Judah?  Is there dryness in your praise and worship?  Look for God in His sanctuary.  Press in and dig deep until you receive the rivers of living waters that overflows!  Then with joyful lips, praise Him, worship Him, exalt Him, extol Him!