Worship should be the focus and source of our service
My dad, Bill Johnson, has always said to us,
“Everything we do in life and ministry should flow out of our worship to God.”
True worship is a heart surrendered to God, and the overflow of that surrendered heart is a life of praise. I believe anything is possible in a room of worshippers. Healing often takes place in the atmosphere created by worship. His presence is that atmosphere. We don’t worship to get miracles, though. He is the result and in Him is everything. He is the One we seek.
Praising God when you don’t feel like it isn’t fake praise. In fact, that’s when it’s sometimes the most real and honest. Those are the times when we go past our human emotions and make it loud and clear to the spirit realm that we are taking a step of faith and saying, “I believe!” God can’t help but intervene in the life of a passionate worshiper.
As a kid, I learned about the power of praise and the authority we have as believers during a season when I was having nightmares. I remember lying awake sometimes all night long with my parents as we sang worship songs until the fear broke. I then fell asleep feeling tired but having the sense something powerful had just taken place.
Recently, my middle child has been having nightmares. I talked her through the process of responding to God’s call to praise in the face of fear. My 6-year-old is now armed and ready to fight the same battle that I fought. I told her she can sleep in my room, but I want her to sing worship songs even if it wakes me up. The devil can’t stand in a room when God’s presence gets thick. It’s that kind of manifested presence that we’ve seen increase over the last 16 years.
For me the elephant and the mouse analogy is the perfect picture of how God reacts to our praise. A mouse was sitting on an elephant’s back when they walked across a bridge. The bridge shook. When they got to the other side, the mouse said, “We sure shook that bridge, didn’t we?” This is exactly what happens when we praise. What may seem small and unimportant is the very thing God desires from us. He will shake that bridge or any mountain standing in our way as we obey the call to praise.
Worship is the lifeblood to revival. If you study different moves of God, you’ll always find a group of worshippers singing their hearts out before God. I remember certain moments during worship times that felt like God put us on like a glove, turning us into radically bold people, sometimes acting outside of our own personalities. When His presence comes, the weak become strong, the timid become bold, the sick get healed and the broken get fixed.
Sometimes God gives us timely songs that help to usher in a new day or even a new way of thinking. They often come with a catchy melody that helps the lyrics to be remembered. The impact of these songs is often much more than the spoken word alone. Great worship songs leave a residue of God in the room well past the ending of the last chord. In that atmosphere it’s normal for people to hunger for more.
I’ve had conversations recently with several songwriters who have written some of the most powerful songs sung around the world. Each song was birthed out of a special season with God either in their church or personal lives. In other words, these songs are an overflow of something God did in their lives that was put to music. As such, they become the catalyst that starts the fire of revival elsewhere. Capturing these moments and putting them to music are highest
priority for me.
Everything that we do either fuels spiritual revival or is fueled by revival. We are learning to live as a living offering unto Him.
Brian Johnson is the director of Bethel Music. Brian and his wife, Jenn, are the senior worship pastors at Bethel Church in Redding, Calif. They are also the head overseers for the Bethel School of Worship. Their musical skill, style and songwriting have ministered to hundreds of thousands both in live worship settings and through their albums.