“And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.”
1 SAMUEL 16:23
Read 1 Corinthians 16:14-23
At a church conference several years ago, I remember witnessing a series of quite mind-bending demonic manifestations that to this day I am unable to fully explain. Strange things were happening to people I knew and loved. The atmosphere was dripping with the presence of the enemy; it felt heavy and claustrophobic. When pastor Jonathan approached me to play some worship music, I began to rummage around in my bag searching through my rather impressive catalogue of worship songs. Jonathan was clearly not particularly impressed with my lengthy search and asked, “What are you doing?” I responded, “I’m looking for the right song”. In true Jonathan-fashion, my pastor told me to, “Just sing about Jesus!”. As we sang, the atmosphere changed. There was a break in the overcast, demonic sky and freedom soon came to the latest victim of the enemy’s scheming deceit.
During the life of David, his king, Saul, was afflicted by feelings of deep jealousy towards our young shepherd hero. Saul would find himself under the influence and weight of an evil spirit to which the only known remedy was the inspired worship music of young David. In Psalm 22, David reminds us that God is holy and enthroned in the praises of His people, Israel. In other words, God dwells where His people praise Him. When David played music in the courts of Saul, he effectively ushered Saul into the soothing presence of God. In the manifest presence of God, Saul found healing and freedom. In effect, David became like a priest for Saul; an interface between the then-veiled Holy of Holies and the troubled King Saul.
In Jesus, the veil has been torn. The division between man and God has been removed. The author of Hebrews writes that Jesus entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. When we worship, we are not exercising a magic formula that causes God to visit us. To believe this would place false merit on the works of man that God’s word describes as no more than filthy rags. When we worship, we are reminding ourselves of the great love of God for us demonstrated in the gift of Jesus. As we remember and celebrate what Jesus has accomplished for us through His sacrificial life, His obedient death and His glorious resurrection, we do not so much “enter into His presence” but we become more fully aware with fresh revelation of the astounding nearness of our God. Worship doesn’t change my position in Christ, it changes my appreciation of Him. When the taunts and lies of the enemy come, don’t go rummaging in your bag for solutions, “just sing about Jesus”.
Author: Euan MacRae - Elder, Living Hope Church, Isle of Man