I spent the first half of my second week here sick with the stomach flu, trapped in bed. Everyone was so supportive and caring though, and by Wednesday, even though I was still in pain and feeling weak, I dragged myself up to the classroom. Everyone surrounded me and prayed for me, and boy, did God answers those prayers for healing! As the day progressed, I felt less and less pain, the color finally started returning to my cheeks so that I no longer looked like a zombie, and joy and energy soon followed after! As with last week, I will share with you the top 10 points that I took away from our teaching, and I will also share with you what I learned about worship from the time we had with our speaker. There are also some photos from a lovely hike we were able to do on Saturday. Words can’t express how grateful I was to be able to get outside after spending so much time cooped up in my room! The first picture included however is a picture of the SOW students, one of our leaders, one of our translators, and the speakers/guests we had from this past week.
Week 2 – Belinda Kuhn – The Nature of God
The Key: Who is it that we worship, why do we worship Him, and what are some different ways to worship Him intimately with a pure heart?
Ten Main Points
- It is vital that we verbally proclaim God’s character, who He is, and worship Him with words spoken out loud. Look at the repetition of words about proclaiming, speaking, singing, uttering, throughout the Psalms. We can’t just keep things in our head, in our intellect. We need to declare them and then let them reach our hearts as well.
- The walls we put up keep us from God’s fullness. People will hurt us, and we will hurt people, but God has created us for community and fellowship and it is vital that we work through those conflicts and confrontations in order to experience all God has for us!
- The culture of Heaven is different than any culture here on earth. It isn’t a matter of choosing which culture here on earth is right, it is a matter of reading God’s word and knowing what His culture is. Our citizenship is not here on earth, it is in Heaven, so we must work at bringing the culture of Heaven in all things to this planet while we are here!
- It is better to step out in obedience and sometimes be wrong than to refuse to obey God because we always fear being wrong. In the times when we are wrong, it is simply time to say “I’m sorry, I’m still learning to listen to God’s voice,” and that is it!
- We see throughout the Psalms and in our own lives that when we have a focus on self, it is so easy to start feeling down. However, when our focus is on God, we will start to be lifted up! Put your focus on what is above!
- There is always a way back. When God fixes a broken vessel, it comes back stronger.
- God is not afraid of us being brutally honest, He actually welcomes our honesty.
- Our God is a God who looks at the heart. He does not see and judge as we do. We may look for talent, we may look at the outward appearance, but God is more concerned with the heart of a person.
- Being a person after God’s own heart means that we are a person who is willing to do everything God wants us to do, to simply be willing to obey Him.
- We must be constantly capturing, challenging, and changing our thoughts. Checking them using God’s word. Look out for the lies of the enemy. When you encounter a lie, you must combat it with the truth. It is so important that we express those truths regularly!
What I Learned About Leading Worship From Belinda
I learned two major things from witnessing and experiencing Belinda lead worship. Each point relates to an important piece of scripture from Revelation:
- “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” -Revelation 7:9-10
We must incorporate all the nations and encourage the flourishing of every culture and language that God has created! When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He said that we should ask for the Kingdom of Heaven to come to earth. If in Heaven there will be a multitude of peoples and languages worshipping God, which is what we see from the above verse, then here on earth we should encourage a multitude of peoples and languages to worship God too! Belinda displayed this truth when she taught us simple lines of a worship song in different languages, and when she taught us how to cry out ‘Hallelujah’ to God as people from many African tribes do.
- “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” -Revelation 12:11
There is so much power in sharing testimonies from our own lives of how we have seen God work. We worship God through sharing our testimonies, as we bring Him glory when we tell others of His mighty works, and we also encourage other believers and their faith by sharing our testimonies, as they are reminders that God is faithful! Belinda displayed this truth when she shared about some of her own experiences of leading worship in Africa. She told a story about how a very simple song she wrote united people in Uganda, and brought about so much hope and joy. When she shared this story I immediately wanted to praise God for how He had worked and brought about such restoration, and I also was encouraged to obey God and trust in how He can even take the simple things I do and use them to do great things for His Kingdom!
All the glory to God for yet another amazing opportunity to learn, grow, and serve! May He bless each one of you on each of your own journeys too! To end this post I will share the verse that we memorized this week:
“We love because He first loved us.” -1 John 4:19