I remember the season I first heard spontaneous worship. The exact moment is a blur but the entire experience is crystal clear. I was barely a pre-teen hearing heaven’s melodies without a single clue what they were.
It’s a difficult thing to explain over a decade later. How exactly does one describe going about their day only to be stopped in their tracks by melodies that demand every fibre of your attention?
At first, I was in awe. But awe quickly turned into frustration and annoyance over hearing something so beautiful and not being able to share it. My musical knowledge came down to having had a music teacher who would walk into class and randomly ask you to cite the line of a particular stanza in the national anthem. If you couldn’t, she’d move to the next person and the next until she got to someone who had had enough time to sing the anthem in their head and get the correct answer. Those who preceded that person got their knuckles rapped with an obscenely thin but effective cane.
Let’s just say those moments didn’t endear me to go for any formal musical training of any kind. Though at some point, my 12- or 13-year old self once dared mention to my African mother that I was considering venturing into music. You can guess how well that went. And it didn’t take long thereafter for me to throw out everything concerning spontaneous worship and music in general from my mind and heart.
Fast forward to a decade later when I’m in campus and spontaneous worship makes a comeback – an absolute throwback to my childhood. Ironically, this was a season I spent questioning the foundations of my faith and whether God was even real. And here He was declaring His existence in a way only He could when I really just wanted Him to go to the corner and hush. Like, seriously. PSA: God is by far the most stubborn and persistent being I know. No one has fought for me harder.
In a journey that would take more time than I have to describe, I realized that spontaneous worship was about more than just songs and melodies. It was about relationship with God. Being able to freely and lovingly interact with Him without any hindrance. I wanted more than a rote Christianity that had me pretend worshipping a God I didn’t know or understand. I would read of how He interacted with Moses as a friend and I longed for that desperately. These heavenly melodies God placed in my heart as a child were His way of introducing me to a reality that I would later need to find.
In this season of encounter, He led me to people like Heather Lindsey and Kari Jobe who interacted with Him as they would a friend. He showed me what corporate prophetic worship could look like through Bethel Church. He led me to INFEMI – a church where the apostolic and prophetic is embedded in their nature and interacting with God is the norm not the exception.
And I realized that everything I longed for wasn’t a wishful dream – it was all within reach.
I’ve met many Christians who look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I speak with God like I do everyone else. Yet I’m not saying anything that isn’t in the Bible. I just happen to believe the Bible is more than just a historical account of things that happened millenia ago – it’s a testimony of all that is possible in our present day.
I think many of us (Christians) have trouble connecting and communicating with God because we either focus more on looking for a natural manifestation of a spiritual being or we don’t really believe He’s literally here in the room with us and in us to begin with.
Now sure, the manifestations are there and have been there since the beginning – God’s creation of and interaction with man. But those manifestations have their place – and are more for non-believers or new believers who lack a strong spiritual connection to God to see His power in the Spirit.
As believers, we have the Holy Spirit to give us revelation of the things of the Spirit so while manifestations are a great experience, they cannot be the thing we rely on to see and know God. I believe that’s why God sent Elijah the wind, earthquake and fire – all of which He had used to manifest His presence. He wanted Elijah to recognize His presence – His still, small voice – beyond the manifestation.
If a loved one walked into the room, you wouldn’t go to a corner and tell the wall what you want to tell them. Yet we do that to God all the time. We act as though He’s some far distant Being yet He lives in us – you can’t get closer to a person than that.
If a loved one calls you by name when they’re out of your line of sight, you can instantly recognize their voice. Why? You have a relationship with them so you’ve heard their voice so many times you don’t need to think twice about who it is. Even if someone accurately mimicked their voice and told you something that is contrary to who know them to be, you’d immediately start to doubt it. Yet we’ve made it okay for believers not to know who God is and what He sounds like.
Case in point, it is prophetically possible to tell whether a gospel song is written out of information or revelation. Whether the song carries revelation, but the singer does not in instances where the composer and the singer are different. The same goes for anything Christian – from a sermon to a testimony to a miracle. Heck, this post and blog in general too. That’s what discernment is about. Being able to recognize that which is of God and that which isn’t. Even demons know they who truly know God and have been sent by Him. There was never a time Jesus had to introduce Himself to a demon. And if you’re thinking, well, He’s Jesus…how is it that sickness knew to flee from Peter’s shadow?
What Who was it those spirits of infirmity saw in Peter that made them flee without a word and scarcely a glance from him?
We excuse our spiritual ignorance with “there are lofty things meant only for God” way too much. Let’s call it what is. Ignorance. Because if the devil who is the complete antithesis of God has revelation of these things, how much more are we, God’s children, supposed to be privy to?
We speak about anointing as though it’s some mystical thing but it’s not a magic trick that God moves in and through the lives of certain people. It’s simply the Spirit of God bearing witness to the testimony of truth carried in a person’s spirit. You can fake it before men but you can’t fake it before God. He responds to those who worship Him in Spirit – beyond the natural – and in truth – based on revelation not just information.
A spontaneous life of worship beyond song and routine is within reach for every believer. Where God is as real to you as the person next to you. Where God is a friend who is closer than a lover.
And all you need to do if you want that kind of relationship with Him is – ask Him for it and believe Him for the same.
How do I know?
That’s how I got here. 🙂