“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” – King David, Psalms 139:7,8.
One of the earliest revelations of the New Covenant happened to me quite by surprise. I was attending a youth meeting, and we had just done a study on 1 John 1:9, and explained that it was Christ’s job to cleanse us of all unrighteousness, not our own. The event was winding down, when the wife of the host made a comment concerning the worship that was sung in the church on Sundays.
She made a very simple statement. “Why do we sing songs asking God to not take his His Holy Spirit from us, when God has already promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us.”
In that moment, my eyes were opened to a tremendous truth that up to that moment had never dawned on me. All the Bible is true, but not all the Bible is talking to new covenant believers. This understanding revolutionized how I understood the Scriptures and my revelation of the New Covenant.
With that said, the first casualty of the New Covenant revelation is always the worship music we perform before services. Our songs are littered with notions of Separation rather than Union in Christ. We sing things like, “Come Holy Spirit,” “We welcome you in this place,” or “We need your presence.” Now there would be nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that it denies the Finished Work of Jesus Christ and all he did to get His Spirit into us, so he can promise to be with us always, to never leave us nor forsake us.
There are many gatherings that are put together with the sole purpose of getting God to show up. In these movements, believers pray, fast and cry out so that God will come in some fashion and interact with His people. I’m not saying these are bad people, its just that many don’t know better. Those who have dedicated themselves to this lifestyle, usually end up burnt out, frustrated and disillusioned with prayer entirely. When God actually shows His presence in one of these meetings by someone getting healed or other manifestation, believers quickly accredit it to their prayer and fasting, rather than on the faithfulness of God to be there when two or three gather in His name (Matthew 18:20)
Much of what we do in worship, is no better than what the Prophets of Baal did when challenged by Elijah on Mount Carmel. Elijah didn’t plan a big event, rather he offered a very clear challenge. If Baal shows up, he is God, if Yahweh shows up, he is God, which ever one shows up, serve him. The Prophets of Baal prepared their offering and set out, in their prayer meeting.
They began to cry out, scream, fall and even cut themselves so that Baal would show up. Of course none of that worked, and when Elijah took to the altar he did none of that. He knew he had walked into this encounter with his God, even under an old covenant. After drowning the offering in water, he simply prayed once, and God answered by Fire.
Now, let me say that there is nothing wrong with screaming, yelling and falling out for the Lord. What makes that behavior in worship no better than the prophets of Baal’s actions, is when we think that is what we must do, to usher in his presence and get God to show up. Many believers still think in terms of separation, rather than walking in the constant awareness of His Union with us. When we understand the New Covenant and our union with Christ, our relationship with him can grow, and music that imply he is not with us or he is holding back, tend to fade off into the background noise.
Tom Tompkins talking about how God will Never leave us nor forsake us.