Anyway, the conference today consisted of a main conference and a workshop, as well as a concert in the evening. As promised, I want to report on some of the treasures from Rick Warren in the general session this afternoon.
Rick spoke on "How to worship instead of worry" and based the discussion on 2 Chronicles 20:1-27 when three armies joined forces to make war on Judah's king Jehoshaphat - J-Phat is what Rick often called him :-)
Here are some highlights:
- Rick said that to worship in "spirit and truth" means to worship in "authenticity and accuracy." A good explanation in my opinion.
- Rick pointed out that there is no such thing as sacred music, only sacred words. What does that say about our music preferences?
- Just like Judah who had the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Menunites join forces against them, we also have three enemies battling against us: the world, the flesh, and the devil.
- J-Phat was afraid. What do you with fear? Rick encourages us to use fear as a motivator. Use fear to help us focus on and rely on God.
- The entire country of Judah was united in "seeking God's help" in prayer and worship. These are often our last and not our first resort when we encounter difficulties. "Help" is a worship word (Rick believes "The Beatles" wrote the first worship song. "Help, I need somebody. Help, not just anybody!"
- We need to remember Who God is (His character) and remember what He has done (His conduct, actions). Rick has removed the word "impossible" from His dictionary.
- "We are powerless against this mighty army...We don't know what to do..." Buddy Owens shared this point. Have I mentioned that I like Buddy? When we confess to God, we aren't telling Him anything He doesn't already know. In fact, the word "confess" means "to say again."
- In John 15:5 Jesus tells us, "Apart from me, you can do nothing." If you look up the word "nothing" in the original language it means..."nothing." We can't do it without Him, but so often we think, "Hey God, I've got this one covered."
- If I think I can do something without God, I probably will try to. That's my pride. That's thinking I am God. I'm not Him. God wants to pour out His grace and love, but He won't do it if our pride is in the way (1 Peter 5:5). We need to rely on the strength and power of Christ in everything we do.
- Rick continued by giving a great illustration about being a passenger in a 747 plane flight. Us trying to do God's job is like getting into our seat on a plane and then flapping our arms as hard as we can to get the plane to take off. It's really not us that does the work...God wants us to "cut the flap!"
- The nation of Judah were "Looking to God for help" (there's that word "help" again). And the men led the way (v13).
- The Lord encouraged the people "Do not be afraid or discouraged...for the battle is not yours, but God's" (Great application here). As minister and workers in the church, we are tired and exhausted. We are tired because we are fighting God's battles. We assume God's role - when we act like God, we take on stress. I'm not helping God with my great ministry - that's why we are tired, worried, and stressed.
- God encouraged the people of Judah, "you won't need to fight...Just stand strong in your places..." Let God fight the battle instead of us - God has NEVER lost a battle!
- "The...king chose men to be singers. As they marched IN FRONT of the army, they said, Thank the Lord..." Thanking God after the fact is called "gratitude." Thanking God before is called "faith." And without faith, it is impossible to please God.
- Thanking God in advance is approaching a situation with worship instead of worry.
- Worship must always comes before service
- When the singers in front of the army "began to sing and praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to be gin fighting...and they destroyed themselves." God fought the battle. Tommy Walker came out and led us in "That's Why We Praise Him." Then Rick continued...
- "...There were dead bodies lying on the ground for as far as the eye could see..." The "men went out to gather the plunder...There was so much plunder it took three days just to collect it all!"
- We sang "Blessed Be Your Name" and then Rick continued...
- Worship God, don't try to be Him, and allow God to fight the battle, and you'll receive more blessings than you can handle.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store...
**UPDATE: See all the PDW posts listed here...