I was invited to minister at a conference, the place was packed, and worship was led by some famous singers. About an hour into worship, the power went out in the entire place. Lights, speakers, microphones, and any musical equipment that was sustained or amplified by electric power became useless. I began to observe the room, waiting to see what would happen. As I was watching, the worship team members began to point fingers at each other, and they began to pack up! Surely, they weren't serious I thought to myself.
Then I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me: "When are they going to sing to the LORD a new song? They have rehearsed and memorized songs, but it is all head knowledge, hence they cannot *perform* without their lyrics, and cool gadgets. Doesn't my word say that 'He put a new song in my mouth.'? (Psalm 40:3) You can see this was a recital, a performance, and not worship. They can't function without the shiny tools, because they do not have deep wells. Their finger-pointing is a cover-up for their emptiness."
I was gripped with fear. Then i felt compelled to go up on stage and try to sing whatever came in my heart to sing. As I made my way to the front, I looked around and i realized that half of the worship team were gone, and there were just a handful of people left. The masses too, were incapable of singing to the Lord without prompting and giant screens. They were as empty, and on top of that the conference had lost its 'cool factor' without all the lights and accessories.
As I woke, i looked up the terms "new song" in the bible. It came up 9 times. 9 is the number of gestation or matured development. It occurred to me that worship music, just like new life, is something that is birthed and nurtured from deep within. The Lord isn't impressed with our shiny new tools, foggy stages, and lights. These things minister to the people, yet that is what we believe creates an atmosphere of worship. The Lord isn't necessarily against all of that, but that isn't His conception of an atmosphere conducive to worship. Just like the atmosphere in a mother's womb is perhaps the most vital element in the baby's development and health, the condition of our hearts and their proximity to God is what leads people to the courts of heaven, not our fancy displays.
The Lord is doing something new in the sphere of worship. He is looking for those that will worship Him in truth and Spirit. You will begin to see, in increasing fashion, many well known worship leaders abandon the faith or demote themselves from such positions. They will recognize that they have been performing and reciting, at the expense of having a life of consecration and intimacy. But there will be no vacancy, because there is coming a generation of worshipers so intimate with the Lord, whose hearts attract the atmosphere of heaven, and cause people to encounter the Holy One in pure reverence.
I pray for those who have been ensnared by the enemy, that the eyes of their hearts will be opened and that they will come to know the Lord. I pray for those ones that are contemplating leaving the faith: Just turn to the Father, surrender to His goodness and allow Him to do a deep work in your heart. I pray for those on the right path, that their hearts will be kept in the Father's hand. This is a prayer for all worshipers of Christ Jesus for that matter.
Lastly, the word of God to the body of Christ concerning worship: "Performance and recitals will cause you to lead yourself and my people to a dry place. Sing to me a new song. One that I have engraved in your heart."
"... sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to each other; sing to the Lord and make music IN YOUR HEART to Him..." ~ Ephesians 5:19