The following article is an excerpt from Week 3, Day 4 of the Praise More Powerful worship study:

Knowing God in a personal way is actually the highest level of Emmanuel. He is not only God with us. He can and should be God with me. That is His ultimate goal with each of us. He wants to be to us a very intimate God.

If you are like me, you love the words to the old hymn, “He Lives.” Did you know there is no other religion in the world that can utter such lyrics as those? For one thing, all those other “gods” are dead in some tomb (unlike Jesus who overcame death and the grave!). Because of that morbid reality for them, those religions can’t teach a vital, growing walk with their so-called deities. Unfortunately, there are many Christians who really can’t sing those words either – at least not with heart-felt certainty.

A popular praise chorus recently made its rounds. The hook line says, “I am a friend of God. He calls me friend.” I like this song. But there again, we can’t just get up on any given day of any given year and thoughtlessly mouth those lyrics. They may or may not be true of us at that particular time. Now, if the focus was, “I am a child of God. He calls me child,” then that would always be appropriate (given we have been saved, of course). Why the difference? That’s simple: Friendship with God is based on our present obedience while a relationship with Him is based on our permanent adoption as His children. (See Romans 8:15-17)

It’s sad to say, but friendship with the Lord is a rare commodity these days – even among worship leaders and musicians who should know Him well because they sing and play for Him so often. But the one doesn’t necessarily lead to the other. For example, how can a person constantly look into space and not be completely humbled and awe-struck? Yet, astronomers who make their living looking at stars sometime fail to see just how awesome those stars really are.

In the same way we who play in a band or sing in a choir are in danger of merely going through the motions of “professional praise.” We may sing toward God, but the question is, do we sing to God? Do we love to tell Him how awesome He is? Some church musicians never connect on an intimate level with the very One to whom their music is directed.

Friendship with a personal God is an absolute must both for worshipers and worship leaders…

*Excerpt from Praise More Powerful (c)2006 by Dwayne Moore To order Praise More Powerful, please go to www.PraiseMorePowerful.com and click on Resources.