Worship In All Seasons Video by Pastor Bill Johnson for Bethel Church
In this message from WorshipU On Campus, Bill Johnson of Bethel Church unpacks the power of worship and praise. He discusses the unique opportunity to worship God on Earth in ways that we won’t be able to worship Him in Heaven. Be sure to check out the summary of this teaching below.
Psalms 8 & Matthew 21 – Jesus quotes Psalm 8. “Ordained Strength” and “perfected praise,” Jesus gave us an insight into what the psalmist was talking about. Praise is the way to personal strength. The word “praise” in Matthew 21 means “story.” In the New Testament worship, we are unpacking the complete story of God’s goodness in decrees.
The Bible is full of our “family stories” that go back through the generations. God’s is looking for people to tell these stories too, who will tell/proclaim these stories. We need more people who will write songs about the nature of God, the person of God, the presence of God.
Jesus is the exact expression of God. His glory exceeds every ability we might have to comprehend glory. It is impossible to make God any bigger than He already is, but the phrase “magnify the Lord” actually refers to that as we praise we make Him bigger in our circumstance. Nothing happens in the Kingdom except through decree. Praise is the decree that invites Him to come and do something that otherwise might not be done.
God is in charge of everything, but that does not mean He is in control of everything. We have free will. Not every decision we make is His perfect will. This is not a violation of God’s sovereignty. He wrote our free will into His sovereign plan. If we do not preach the gospel, Jesus is not coming back to do it. Jesus gave us a responsibility.
The story of feeding the 5000 with a boy’s lunch, when it seemed impossible to feed the crowd, Jesus did not change the assignment. Sometimes when you are willing to do what you are not qualified to do, that is what qualifies you. In the command of God is the ability to do the very command He gave, even if it seems impossible. The Word of God is a creative force. Whenever he speaks to you, He creates capacity. Our life is in His voice.
“Nothing is impossible with God” – No freshly spoken word of God will ever come to you that does not contain it is own ability to perform itself.
Miracles will start happening more and more in worship because of the decrees made while we worship.
Jesus says strength will be found in praise – while we are telling of His goodness. You cannot exaggerate the goodness of God. This is the cornerstone of all theology of God – He is good. Jesus came to reveal the Father. Our job is to learn the story of His goodness. Put it into songs, into stories. Do not do it for performance; do it because it is right and true. You can sing a prophetic word that will never be repeated, but that is ok, it is alive at that moment! Perfection is religion; excellence is Kingdom.
Isaiah 62:10, Isaiah 60:18 & Psalms 102:18 Psalms 102 prophecies a people that have yet to be created. Throughout history, people have only been created once – Adam and Eve. Then they multiplied/reproduced, and humanity grew. The reason for this new creation of people is to release prisoners. Somehow the release of prisoners is connected to the praise of God’s people. Paul talks about it in 2 Corinthians 5 – “you are a new creation”. The Bible declares that as a born again Christian, you are a new creation, a new race of God’s.
Isaiah 62:10 & 60:18 Pay attention to context in scripture. Praise is road-building equipment. It removes obstacles that exist between people and God that exist in the Spirit-realm. Gates are formed in conflict e.g., there is loss… However, God is still good. Praise Him through it.
Bill shares the story of his father’s death, and how he turned the pain, disappointment, and confusion into fragrance for his worship. We will never offer that same sacrifice in Heaven because there is no loss, pain, or confusion in Heaven.
The gates these verses are talking about are the gates you create through your praise while in conflict. Celebrate the goodness of God at all times. Give Him thanks in all things, big or small. His goodness is never lowered to our experience. As we go through those gates of praise, we create the ability for others to enter in too.