Friday 27 July 2018

Why Spirit Works?

In 2019 the majority of our weekend bookings are for Spirit Works days. You might think it strange that we have published this book and lead days about life in the Spirit. Helen explained why in her preface to Spirit Works, and we thought you might be interested to read about it here:

Why Spirit Works?

Or to put it differently, why are we, a Christian music organisation, writing a book about the work of the Holy Spirit?

Worship and the Holy Spirit go hand in hand. Psalm 22:3 is a verse that expresses this beautifully for me:
“Yet you are holy; enthroned on the praises of Israel.” (NRSV)
“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (KJV)

On a couple of occasions I have been blessed with a picture or feeling of the Holy Spirit enjoying our worship, dancing and swirling around with incredible exuberance. God inhabits the very praises of his people, and this is beautifully summed up in a simple worship song by Paul Kyle:
And as we worship, build a throne; come, Lord Jesus, and take your place.

John 4:23 says that true worshippers will worship in Spirit and in truth. And in Ephesians 5:18-19, the apostle Paul writes that we must sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, but only after he first exhorts us to be filled with the Spirit.

Sung worship lifts up our hearts, increases our expectancy, shifts our focus, and changes the atmosphere. As we set our minds on the praise of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, if we let him, can come and move, dance, alight, fill, heal and restore. As a music ministry we need to write this book as an affirmation that we believe that music isn’t an end in itself, but a catalyst, a vehicle. On a number of occasions I have been present in a celebration where at the end of the praise time the Holy Spirit has moved in great power, causing plans to be put on hold and speakers to wait their turn. It reminded me of the consecration of the temple in 2 Chronicles 5:13-14:

“The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang:
“He is good; his love endures forever.”
Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.”

It would be irresponsible for us as a ministry to encourage you in leading worship that brings people into a place of openness to God, and then to leave you without the tools to know what to do when you get there.

In 1981 Roger released his musical ‘Saints Alive’, written about Pentecost – the birth of the Church. This musical was the first to contain a time of improvised praise, or worship in the Spirit. Over the years this ‘Planned Spontaneous Happening’ slot within a musical has developed, and in 2005 the musical ‘Jail Break’ included the first ‘Planned Prophetic Happening’. This is where a soloist is brave, and sings out over the audience and choir what they feel God is saying for that very moment. We have been so blessed by all the Lord has sung during those times through very ordinary people that we would hate for others to miss out. So as the musicals are printed and released for the general public to use as they please, we pray that this book will accompany them, helping many people to take the risky step of incorporating time for the Holy Spirit to take centre stage in their performances.

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