… When He Speaks
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said…” Acts 13:2a
Nothing draws us closer to the Lord than when we worship Him, especially in a time of prayer and fasting. That is when we are the most tuned in to hearing when He speaks. In Acts 13:1-3, we see that the Holy Spirit spoke when the prophets and teachers were worshiping and fasting. We know they heard the message because they acted upon it and obeyed the message.
It was not a planning session these men attended, it was a time of worship and fasting. It wasn’t the plans of man but the leading of the Holy Spirit that sent Saul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey.
The Holy Spirit told them to “set apart” these two men for the work He called them to do. They were appointed to be separated from the others and sent on to be about this work in response to hearing the Holy Spirit speak.
This is why we have worship before the pastor stands to preach the word of God. It is to prepare our hearts to hear the message and apply it to our lives. But if we do not allow ourselves to participate in worship because our thoughts are elsewhere, we are not prepared to hear what God is saying to us personally and, therefore, do not act upon it.
There are occasions when we may be present at church, but not as a participant. Worry, circumstances, pain and even criticism can get in the way of worship. Therefore, focus is distorted and we are easily distracted by those around us. On those days, we leave the church disheartened and critical because we “didn’t get a thing” out of the service.
If this sounds like something you have experienced, set you mind on worship before you arrive at church. Make a determination that you will focus on the words of worship in order to have your heart prepared for the Word spoken. Yes, I know… we all have different tastes when it comes to music and different opinions when it comes to worship. The drums are too loud or the beat is too jazzy or someone raised their hands. Or if you are younger, you may think it is too boring or traditional. But if you can focus on the message rather than the volume, the beat or the movement, you will be drawn into worship where your focus is fully on the Lord.
In Acts, it was when the people were worshiping that they heard the Holy Spirit speak. If you want to hear a word from the Lord, worship Him. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.