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By Joanne Lim »

So, who is this God that we are serving? He is El Elyon (the strongest strong one) Why must we serve Him? Because He is Yahweh Sabboath (the Lord of hosts, Master of everything) How must we worship Him? In spirit and in truth (John4:24)

These questions were among the many questions that were answered during the Worship Team Retreat – WTR 2009 at the Tanjung Bungah Beach Hotel. If last year was spent on an island, this year, we had it at the beach.

This year’s theme is S.H.A.P.E. which stands for Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experiences. Who attended this retreat? We had people from various age groups but with one common passion, to serve God better.

Quoting Peky, WTR is a time for all worship enablers to kick back and recharge ourselves spiritually, mentally and tummy-ly! Most importantly, it is a time for fellowship. We had the privilege of having Dr Herbert Tan (better known as Uncle Herbie) with us again this year to help us understand who God is and how must we worship Him.

Of course, the whole two days wasn’t only spent listening to Uncle Herbie but we also had team building and discussions among ourselves. Most importantly, we were reminded of the main reason all of us are gathered together and serving with each other in the house of the Lord. It was a great time to know God and others better so that together, we might serve God better.

Uncle Herbie reminded us who God is. He is El Elyon (the strongest strong One), El Roy (the strong One who sees), El Shaddai (Almighty God), El Olam (everlasting God), Yahweh Yireh (the Lord will provide), Yahweh Macaddeshcem (the Lord your Sanctifier) and there are many other names of God. God may have many names but all of them refer to Him as a Master, Creator and Lord above all who deserves our best service. So, although we may experience some dip in our spiritual life, He still deserves the best from us. Not because it is a way of redeeming ourselves by doing so (we are not saved by works but by God’s grace and mercy!) but because He is God, our Master and we are His servants. When a master calls for his servant, the servant comes and lies prostrate before the master in haste without procrastination even if he doesn’t feel like serving the master at that moment.

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In the midst of serving, we may forget the main purpose and reason we are serving and how we should serve but we should keep our focus on God and surrender our lives completely to Him for His use and purpose. Worship overflows naturally from a surrendered life.

During one of the sessions, we were asked to draw a life map cum spiritual autobiography which tells of God’s interaction in our lives. Quoting from the notes given by Uncle Herbie, It chronicles our pilgrimage as we seek to follow God. It is the story of where God was in each period in your life; how you responded; and what you became out of all this. We learn to notice God’s presence throughout our lives. Until and unless we come to realize who God is, we cannot give of our best worship. So, what is worship? It is presenting our whole life to God, regardless of what the past was, what the present is and what might become in the future, the good and the bad. He will take everything as long as it comes from our sincere heart, and shape it into something beautiful, a sweet sounding music to His ears.

There was a short session when we were asked to tell God, “Father, I love You” and listen out for the response. There were many ways in which God responded and we were taught how to discern the voice of God. In today’s world where everything is man-centered and not God-centered, where is our spirit? Where our spirit is matters a whole lot when it comes to worship as we are all called to worship God in spirit and in truth. God is spirit and his worshippers must worship is spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24) We are also called to depend on the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, worship rests on human wisdom and mere religious packaging. [Uncle Herbie] As worship enablers, our main aim is to aid and bring people to worship God. Our encounter with God will overflow to those we are leading in worship. Thus, our personal walk with God also matters when it comes to serving God in the church. It is not a matter of making beautiful music but the content of our hearts. When the music fades and all is stripped away


Category: Workshops