First and foremost, we realize the presence of the Lord in our worship meetings because of the promise of God’s Word. We read the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 18:20 where He states, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” What a blessed promise. While so many people today are drawn to the excitement of the larger crowds, the Lord has promised to be in our midst, even if there are only two or three present. It is when we are gathered in His name, seeking to honor and glorify Him that the Lord assures us He will be there. If there are times that we do not ‘sense’ His presence, it is probably due to a barrenness in our own souls. He IS with us when we are gathered to Him. He is there to lead our hearts into a time of worship and adoration for Himself.

We read in 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Among those who are content to simply be gathered to the Lord’s name in humility and simplicity, the Lord is there. When He is there, He must have the liberty to move among us and direct us into a season of praise and worship. He MUST have the preeminence. It is rightfully His. In reference to the Lord Jesus, we read in Colossians 1:16-18, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things HE MIGHT HAVE THE PREEMINENCE.”

If we come together as a local church or assembly, and do not give the Lord the preeminence to lead us, we grieve the Spirit as He seeks to direct us. Ephesians 4:30 warns us that we, “grieve not the holy Spirit of God.” Likewise 1 Thessalonians 5:19 warns us that we “Quench not the Spirit.” If the Spirit is leading us, but we insist on having the preeminence in the meeting, we grieve Him. If the Spirit is leading us, but we neglect to hear from Him and obey His guidance, we quench Him. May we be sensitive to the Lord’s leading so that we are guilty of neither! We do not want to grieve Him. We do not want to quench Him either. We want to follow His leading into the proper worship of our Lord.

There is only ONE church, and that church belongs to the Lord. Christ told Peter in Matthew 16:18, “…upon this rock I will build MY church…” This shows us a couple of things. At this time, the church had not yet been built. The beginning of the church was on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Also, the Lord called the church MY CHURCH. It is His. It was purchased by His blood shed on Calvary as we read in Ephesians 5:25, “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” It is only right that Christ be the preeminent ONE. If you search the scriptures, you will not find anything or anyone who might be called a “Worship Leader.” It is the Spirit of God that gathers our hearts around our savior and leads us into a season of worship and praise to Him. This role was never given to man. It is the Lord’s work, and His alone. When we are gathered to Him, He is with us. The Holy Spirit will draw out our hearts to Him and we will worship Him scripturally. We read in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Worship that is not led by the Spirit and according to the Word of God is not worship at all. At best, it is a faulty imitation and the Lord is not fooled by it. (247.4)