Worship In The Darkness - Part Three

"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them." Acts 16:25....."Darkness will not go quietly into the Light." Alicia Britt Chole...."If we are immersed in the Spirit of God, the difference between a five-star hotel and a Greek jail are minimal.....The spiritual war requires great focus - and the ability to worship in dark places." ChrisTiegreen

 

We talk a lot about worship in the church today. We debate which style is most effective. We give attention to a lot of the details and make-up for what yields what we would think of as a "great worship service." Lighting, atmosphere, and mood are all things we take into consideration. We want to provide a good experience. I wonder if we consider how much of our "worship" is focused on ourselves, and how little upon Him? Even more, I wonder if we understand that true worship ushers us into a real spiritual battle ground? A battleground where His Light clashes with hell's darkness? I don't think the enemy cares much about our style, music choices, or how we light our sanctuaries. He cares very much whether His people come to Him with hearts wide open, seeking, laying hold of Him, wanting Him, wanting to encounter Him. All of themselves taking hold of all of Him that they can. The enemy in the dark will fight against such worship with all of his might. As Chole says, darkness will not go quietly into the Light.

 

Can you imagine satan's joy when he managed to have Paul and Silas imprisoned? He had them right where he wanted them. Their ministry for Him thwarted, their doom assured. He had won. They had lost. Now he could move on to his next victim(s). Yet Paul and Silas didn't respond as he'd hoped. They didn't give in to despair, hopelessness, or complaint. Locked in the darkest part of that prison, they worshiped Him...worshiped Him with all that was within them. Worshiped Him with such intensity that the earth shook. The prison doors flew open. Every power that held them was overcome. Because they were able in the darkest place, to worship Him. The darkness did not go quietly, but it did go. True worship is total war. True worship shakes both heaven and hell. The first with joy, the latter with despair. True worship crushed even the deepest darkness to the wall. It is always the witness and testimony of those able to worship in dark places.

I've a pastor friend that likes to use the term "first responders" for all those whose hearts are being drawn to His in worship and witness. First responders is a term we're hearing so much of in relation to the destruction of Hurricane Harvey. These are ones first on the scene of chaos. The Father is calling His own "first responders" in the midst of the chaos and darkness that envelops our culture. I believe these first responders will be all those who have learned the secret and the joy of worshiping Him in the darkness. The ones who found freedom, joy, peace, and most of all His Presence, in the midst of their own kinds of prisons. Their own kinds of darkness. The ones who found the brightness of Christ's Light amidst the darkness of the devil's hell. 

 

I saw a moving video of a Texas interstate highway exit lined with trucks towing boats, all on their way to Houston to aid in the rescue work. The line went on for miles. These, in addition to all those already on the scene, were the first responders. They responded to the call. How about you and me? Do we hear His call to come out and into a culture awash in darkness? I believe only those who have learned to worship Him in the dark will hear it, will come to it, respond to it. The rest of us? Well, we can always stay occupied in debating what it is that make for real worship.

Blessings,
Pastor O 

 

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