Following Jesus' resurrection, the disciples spent 40 days of intense instruction with our Lord about God's kingdom and the promised gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:1-5), before His ascension (Acts 1:9-11).
Then, 10 days later, on the biblical festival of Shavuot (Pentecost in Greek), 120 of His followers were gathered in an acoustically rich "upper room" and the promised gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:3-5) was poured out upon them (2:1-4).
This surrender to the fullness of the Holy Spirit equipped them to "worship the Father in Spirit and in truth" (John 4:23-24) and empowered them (and now us!) to fulfill their spiritual destinies and purposes, with Spirit-filled living and worship.
In one of his first books, The Church on the Way, Pastor Jack Hayford emphasized that biblically-based, Spirit-filled worship "is neither a cerebral pursuit...nor an emotional binge."
Further, he outlines biblical guidelines for worship and welcoming God's presence into their midst. He says, "Let us then worship...
1. With our regenerated spirit (Rom. 1:9)
2. With our renewed mind (Phil. 2:3-5)
3. With our revived emotions (Col. 3:23, Rom. 12:11-15)
4. With our rededicated body (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
Old Testament worship was primarily priestly-led occasions of joyful music and inspired lyrics, which focused on God's virtues and character. Many of King David's psalms invited the people to come together and praise the name of the Lord with music and song!
"O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms!" (Ps. 95:1-2).
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing" (Ps. 100:1-2).
The New Testament worship moves us from temple-centered, priestly-led worship to private and personal worship, where our individual bodies are called temples of the living Lord (2 Cor. 6:16). In this spiritual model, the Spirit-empowered praise and worship in song engage our inner person, the very elements of our soul and spirit.
The apostle Paul taught the Colossians and Ephesians a practical pathway of surrendering to the fullness of the Spirit, which we can follow today:
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Col. 3:16).
"Do not be drunk with wine, for that is reckless living. But be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Eph. 5:18-19).
Spirit-filled praise and worship is a result of our surrendering to the fullness of the Spirit of God, in our lives and fellowship. Open to Him. Be filled and empowered by His precious Holy Spirit, today!
Ordained to the ministry in 1969, Gary Curtis is a graduate of LIFE Bible College at Los Angeles (soon to become Life Pacific University at San Dimas, California). He has taken graduate courses at Trinity College in Deerfield, Illinois. and Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. Gary served as part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, California, for 27 years (1988-2015), the last 13 years as the vice president of Life on The Way Communications Inc., the church's not-for-profit media outreach. Now retired, Gary and his wife have been married for 50 years and live in Southern California. They have two married daughters and five grandchildren.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.
The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.