The Reward of Worship: The Joy of Fellowship with a Personal God

Jack Hayford
The Living God: Waiting in the Wings

When I stepped onto the platform I was warmly greeted by about five hundred leaders—mostly young singers, musicians and others involved in providing leadership for their congregations’ worship. Their average age was in the 25- to 30-year-old bracket; their bright countenances and expectant faces were enough to encourage any speaker. This was about the tenth time I had addressed such a setting in the past two years, and I was accustomed to both—the anticipative excitement of the group as well as their embracing acceptance. I was enjoying the privilege of partnership with Integrity Music’s Seminars for Worship, and another opening plenary session was about to begin.

As you and I open these pages together, I feel very much the same thing. We are partnered in a joint inquiry—a quest to pursue the potential that the Holy Spirit’s global awakening to worship is affording us as the living church advances into the 21st century.

His is the call to worship: The Holy Spirit wants to help us glorify Christ.

His is the directive to approach God’s throne: There is the fountainhead of power.

He is the Author of our manual for worship: God’s Word awaits our study.

Indeed, the Holy Spirit is summoning believers everywhere; the whole world is being touched with a sense of the Spirit’s moving us to bow, to pray, to lift our voices, to exalt the Name of Jesus—to worship the Living God. But why? What is the Holy Spirit up to? I say this because there has never been a time that it has not been appropriate, desirable and important that humankind worship God. There is never a moment that it would not be worthy for individual believers to pause, fall to their knees, lift their hands in humility and praise and thank God for His daily mercies as well as His priceless gift of salvation’s grace through our Lord Jesus Christ, His Son.

So why now—why at this season in the Church’s history is worship becoming the watchword of the moment? Why are thousands of young leaders—often joined with their pastors—sacrificing two full days of their usual schedule to come to seminars for one purpose: to deepen their understanding of and focus their gifts solely on the worship of the Most High God, Creator of all things and Giver of Eternal Life in Christ?

I am persuaded the answer is pure and simple: God almighty is stirring hearts to worship because He is about to make an entrance. Because worship is pivotal to His being welcomed into earthly settings and situations, His Spirit is moving His people to, as it were, “roll out the red carpet—the King is coming to visit you.”

Let me be clear: I am not making reference to the ultimate entrance of the King, not intending to define this “coming” as that moment of consummate glory and power when the Son of God will come with a shout and the voice of the last trumpet—the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. But I am speaking more immediately and specifically to God’s readiness and desire to enter the arena of human circumstance—to manifest Himself in glory and spiritual power, today. As the primary Person bringing a redemptive scenario into reality where you and I live, God is waiting in the wings—and worship is the invitation to which He responds.

To be even more specific, let me assure you—this is happening already. I am fully aware, and you may be, too, that there are hosts of worshiping believers who have already established vital habits of passion and holy patterns of worship, worship to which God has already responded. Yet, even as we traverse these pages, worship is paving the way for waves of divine grace to flow at thousands of locations and in millions of hearts. So while God is waiting to make an entrance where millions of others are (indeed, billions!) He is also working—making entrances (plural). He is invading circumstances, moving in power, demonstrating His grace, revealing His sovereign might, extending His Kingdom mercies and transforming people, churches, communities and whole regions of the earth. And the common denominator of these visitations of divine entrance is that clouds of praise to His name have preceded the rain of His blessing—of His arrival in power.

From The Reward of Worship: The Joy of Fellowship with a Personal God © 2005 by Jack W. Hayford. [Formerly titled “Manifest Presence.”] Published by Sovereign World Ltd., Kent, England. Used by permission.

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