The 2 Keys for Entering God’s Presence Through Music

by | Aug 31, 2004 | Church & Ministry

Do you feel a void after leaving church on Sunday morning? Perhaps we are missing out on the true purpose of worship—entering God’s presence.

The $64,000 question is, “How do we attain God’s presence in worship?” Although I would have to say I don’t know, I do know when He’s there, and I know when He’s not!

Two important keys, however, are wanting God and waiting for God.

Each of us must want Him wholeheartedly and be willing to wait on Him until His presence brings the words and melody to our souls (in the case of songwriters) or touches us as we sing (in the corporate service).

Neither of these two keys, particularly waiting, is employed much in the Christian arena today. Wanting God is something only a select few seem to do; waiting for God seems to have no place in most modern-day worship services. (Silence on the platform? Perish the thought!)

We should not fear waiting on God, even in public services. The best songwriter and worshipper I know about, King David, spent many of his songwriting days out in a field with a harp, waiting on God. According to the Word, he didn’t always do everything perfectly, yet he was described as a man after God’s own heart because he wanted God and waited for Him.

I can relate to David. I am not as holy as I would like to be and have made my share of mistakes. But it’s not our righteousness that impresses God anyway; He looks at the desires of our hearts.

At his core, David was a lover of God. So am I, and I am hoping you are too. If we desire to come into His presence, we have to want Him and wait for Him.

As a songwriter, I have found that my most successful songs come when I am quiet before Him. It’s as if the Chief Musician drops a song in my pocket from the music library of heaven. When the song comes from His throne room, rest assured it is anointed, and His presence will attend it.

One time many years ago, I was sitting in a prayer room before a Sunday night service, minding my own business, just kind of on auto pilot with the Lord. As I sat there quietly meditating on Him, I began to sing, “I sing praises to Your name, O Lord, praises to Your name, O Lord; for Your name is great, and greatly to be praised.”

It suddenly dawned on me that I had never sung this little melody or the words before, so I scribbled it down and then went out into the service and taught it to the congregation.

Before I was halfway through, the people were singing along with me. How could this be? It was one of those heaven-sent songs, and it so clicked with God’s redeemed that they entered in as if they had known the song for years.

God took that little expression of worship, and now it is sung literally all over the world, sometimes in languages I have never heard. He has used the song because it has His touch, His presence, all over it.

The downside to waiting is that it might mean a new song does not come around very often. This is not always convenient for those artists and recording companies who are bent on getting a new project to the bookstores and radio stations every few months.

If I had to produce music on that sort of timetable, I would be a disaster. My attitude echoes the Scriptures: “Better is one day in [His] courts than a thousand elsewhere” (Ps. 84:10, NIV).

I may have to wait awhile to experience that “one day,” but in His courts is the only place to write the music that may mean something in eternity. Anything written outside that place will not bring change to the heart of man, so why bother?

Awakening the Bride

From a worship-leading point of view, experiencing the presence of God is often more of a challenge, for it involves something outside my control: that small, “insignificant” factor called people—the people of God!

At times I have been full of the Holy Spirit and prepared to minister to the Lord, only to see the worship fall flat, with no corporate effect whatsoever. This is because there was no “draw” on the anointing coming from members of the congregation.

When this happens, I believe it is because the people either are not deep into worship and the things of God or they are in such a rut from watching “church as usual” that there is no life left in them. Let’s be honest; worship in America’s churches consists largely of a “sit back and let the platform do it” mentality.

The bride of Christ does not play a vital role in worship. Worship leaders and musicians are often so into showcasing their gifts and talents that the whole is sacrificed for a very small part. This should not be! The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are jealous for the vibrant new song of the bride. It’s the people who are to be the true performers, not the five or 35 on the platform. If you want Jesus to bring His glory into a worship service, then awaken His fiancee, the bride of Christ. That always gets His attention!

I and my co-laborers in the field of worship-leading must be ever mindful of this one thing: He must increase; we must decrease.

I have found that if I want His presence to indwell our worship in any service or gathering, I have to be willing to stay out of His way. The Holy Spirit is much more capable of orchestrating genuine worship than we ever give Him credit for. If I have any part in the deal, it is in choosing songs that were birthed around the throne of God, whether my own songs or someone else’s.

Many of today’s popular worship songs consist of too many words and a key change that only music majors could hope to get right. Where does that leave Joe Just-a-Church-Guy in the eighth row? What we are left with may be really cool and trendy songs—but no presence. Again, why bother?

By contrast, although I have not heard the story behind Darlene Zschech’s “Shout to the Lord,” I know that it was born out of an experience with God. One cannot write songs like that just by sitting down at the piano and composing a cute melody with some catchy words. That method rarely (if ever) produces songs that will last and penetrate the heart of man.

When my heart is touched by God, I write from that experience, and it has God’s fingerprint on it. I prefer His touch to mine any day!

All the songs I have written that have been used by Him are songs directly inspired by Him. In other words, He really is the songwriter; I just try to keep a pen and paper handy to receive them.

So, my worshipping friends, let us press on to know the Lord. Let us hear the melodies of heaven and write and sing them on the earth. Let us pursue anointed songs for our personal times with God—songs that take us to the intimacy of His inner chamber.

Let the people of God “sing unto the Lord a new song.” Let us wait on Him patiently until our agenda is useless and He comes in His majesty. And let the bride of Christ worship the King in spirit and truth.

It’s all about His presence, and whether we realize it or not, that is what all of us are craving in the depths of our souls. So come, Lord, breathe Your life upon us and dwell in our worship with Your unmistakable presence!

Terry MacAlmon is an accomplished worship leader, songwriter and recording artist and the founder of Terry MacAlmon Ministries. He has released several worship CDs, including Visit Us and The Sound of Heaven. For more information, go to terrymacalmon.com

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

COGIC Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Dies at 65

COGIC Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Dies at 65

Read Time: 1 Minute 59 Seconds Bishop J. Drew Sheard and the General Board of the Eastern Florida Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ announced Tuesday the death of one of its most beloved leaders, Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Hutchins was 65....

Don’t Criticize Charismatics

Don’t Criticize Charismatics

They are saying the charismatic movement is divisive. Whenever people get involved in the "new emphasis," there are disruptions in the status quo. Red flags go up. Lines are drawn. I would ask: What else could be expected? Any force as great as this is bound to make...

Jonathan Cahn Reveals the Mystery of the Molten Beast

Jonathan Cahn Reveals the Mystery of the Molten Beast

Read Time: 6 Minutes, 42 Seconds Is it possible that ancient entities known as "the gods" have returned to our world? Could these gods actually be the unseen movers and catalysts of what's happening in America and the world today? Could they lie behind the current...

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Read Time: 3 Minutes 37 Seconds Most made-for-TV Christmas movies are like eggnog and sugar cookies—way too sweet, yet extremely addictive for a lot of viewers. But these Hallmark-style movies—the ones with predictable love stories that always end with jingling bells...

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Read Time: 1 Minute 51 Seconds At a recent gathering where a member was struggling, I heard and declared by the Spirit of the Lord, “Goodness is following you, TURN and see; embrace His goodness in this moment and watch the shift!” There was an immediate shift and...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Read Time: 2 Minutes 25 Seconds If you search the phrase, “where does life come from?” the first explanation reads: “The origin of life is a result of a supernatural event—and readily arises from nonliving matter in short periods of time, today as in the past.” The...

RECENT ARTICLES

Raise Your Praise!

These are the days that may leave you feeling defeated. You may be wondering when these present trials will end or how can you strengthen your faith for the battle as you wrestle against powers and...
7 Elements Needed for Revival That Will Usher in Reformation

7 Elements Needed for Revival That Will Usher in Reformation

Read Time: 1 Minute 9 Seconds What will turn the nations around? What will restore the world to sanity? There have been revivals from Old Testament times up through the year 2000. Today we need both a revival and a reformation. Here are 7 elements needed to usher in...

Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Read Time: 4 Minutes, 27 Seconds From the very first tent stake we drove into California soil, until now, there has only been one dream. And, after two years, that dream came true in Roseville. Roseville is the victory we have yearned for. It confirms that an era of...

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

Read Time: 5 Minutes, 2 Seconds A river is a source of life. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Jesus told His disciples that if we believe in Him, "rivers of living water" will flow out from within us, from our hearts. "Anyone who believes in me may...

Pin It on Pinterest