What Is The Holy Spirit’s Role In Worship?
Many “worship services” are held, but worship doesn’t always happen. One reason is that we sometimes fail to allow the Holy Spirit to fulfill his proper role in worship. In honoring God the Father and lifting up Christ, we also must be careful to give proper place to the Holy Spirit.
God’s Word says that the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of Jesus” (Acts 16:7) and “the spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11). He was involved in the creation of the world (Genesis 1:2). He brought us the Bible (2 Peter 1:21). The Holy Spirit caused the Virgin Mary to conceive (Luke 1:35). He guides us into truth (John 16:13), convicts us of sin (John 16:8), performs miracles (Acts 8:39), and intercedes with God for us (Romans 8:26). He assures us that we belong to God as he “speaks to us deep in our hearts” (Romans 8:16 NLT).
The Holy Spirit is a living gift to all believers and is the divine source of spiritual power and ministry (John 7:37-39; Acts 11:16-17; Romans 5:5). Excellent music cannot substitute for the Spirit’s power in worship. Eloquent speaking cannot replace the power of the Spirit in a person’s heart.
Authentic Christian worship happens at a spiritual level. Worship happens when the Holy Spirit in us rises to magnify the Almighty, giving the Father the honor he deserves and lifting up his Son, Jesus. Worship leaders may spend hours planning a service—seeking the Spirit’s guidance all along the way—but when the time comes to enter into worship, leaders and congregation alike must allow the Spirit to control the service. The Word says, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD” (Zechariah 4:6).
As you strive to give the proper role in worship to the Holy Spirit, be sure to remember these three things:
First, the Holy Spirit is our teacher. The Bible says, “the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). As our teacher, the Spirit’s primary tool is the Scripture, giving understanding of its truth to those with faith. The Life Application Bible Commentary says, “Through learning about Christ’s life, we can understand (more) about how wonderful God is and what he is really like.” The Holy Spirit leads us to God’s truth “which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Ephesians 3:5-6 KJV).
Further, God accomplishes his work in us through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said the Holy Spirit is the one who reveals the truth about sin—to unbelievers so they can turn to Christ and to believers so we can be used by God for his purposes: “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit allows us to live in God’s power: “The Holy Spirit will give you life that comes from Christ Jesus and will set you free from sin and death” (Romans 8:2 CEV). As Christ died for us when we could not save ourselves, the Holy Spirit communicates with God in a way that also is beyond our ability: “The Spirit also helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26 NASB). The Holy Spirit also transforms us from within: “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more (2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT).
Finally, the Holy Spirit is the real worship leader. Worship is allowing God to take center stage in our lives—wherever we are. When we worship together, we surrender the experience to the will of the One who alone is worthy of worship. Authentic worship is that which occurs “by the Spirit of God” (Philippians 3:3). God is glorified in worship when the Holy Spirit reveals God’s truth to us: “He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you” (John 16:14).