Satan , the Fallen Worship Leader

The Bible names three angels - Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer. The last angel is, of course, better known as Satan. Ps 103:20 tells us that angels are "mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word" - each of these angels represent the various ways we serve God.

Michael is known for being an angel of works, putting into action what is needed to help others ("then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me", Dan 10:13). He is also an angel of warfare ("Michael and his angels fought against the dragon", Rev 12:7), and represents the spiritual battles we fight for others in the community. The second angel is Gabriel, who is known for delivering God's Word. Gabriel is most well known for preparing Mary for Jesus' birth (Luke 1:26-38); he was also called to speak to Daniel about a vision (Dan 8:16).

The last (ex)angel, Lucifer, served God in worship, like many of us. I find it quite uncomfortable to be compared with the devil, but the truth is that we we need to keep on our toes against vanity and pride.

Ezekiel 28:12-14 tells us that Lucifer was a beautiful creature:
"You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.. every precious stone adorned you... Your settings and mountings were made of gold; You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones".

In the same way, musicians can look quite good on stage, and do get quite abit of attention from their friends. I do get abit of 'fame' in church, from people recognising (recognising, not admiring!) me from playing the guitar. When I meet friend's friends in church, I'm always introduced as the guy who plays the guitar on stage, like its something cool.

The attention can get to one's head, as was with the devil:
"Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor" (Eze 28:17).

Satan himself has walked down the path of pride, and tempting people into self-glorification could very well be his most powerful weapon against us. After all, it was what led to the first sin and the separation between man and God. As a result, musicians are very exposed to his temptations. We must guard our hearts and minds, and constantly walk down the path of humility. We must also see ourselves not as musicians, or worse, rock stars, but first and foremost servants of the Lord.

Look forward not to your friends' praises, but to the Lord's delight in you. James 4:10 tells us to "humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you". Imagine finally coming before the throne of God - seeing His glory, we prostrate in unworthiness before Him. Yet, God comes to us, brings us back to our feet, and tells us that He is proud of us, for putting Him before our pride. Just as Ps 84:10 writes that "better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere", better is one word of praise from the Lord than to have fame amongst the multitudes.

On a more practical level, here are two tips:
  • The small things matter. There's alot of 'menial' work in the ministry, like hauling amps and mixers around. You might also feel reluctant to serve for smaller services, like prayer meetings. Take up your cross and serve in these areas wholeheartedly.
  • Deflect & avoid attention. Sometimes, my friends say I 'perform' on stage. I usually tell them, light-heartedly of course, that I prefer to use the word 'serving'. Also, don't do anything that gets you too much attention on stage, e.g. running to the front during a guitar solo.
Do drop a comment if you've more to share!


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To add - many of you were wondering if its a problem if you jump around etc. out of a sincere heart of worship to the Lord. 1 Sam 16:7 says that "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart". As the Lord looks at your heart of worship, rest assured your actions are fine.

But you will also need to consider how this affects the congregation. Certain actions, like jumping wildly or bombastic solos, could distract worshippers. 1 Cor 10:32 tells us: "do not cause anyone to stumble". We should abide by this, and ensure that while our hearts might be right with God, we should not be a distraction to others.

17 comments:

Rapture said...

Hi,

What you have just shared has struck the heart of the matter where my serving is concerned. I recently joined the worship team at my church in Kenya. I previously served in the workteams doing the 'menial' jobs. I was really humbled by the way the whole team embraced me. I love the electric guitar and no one plays it at church. I was really humbled when within two weeks of playing the acoustic, the worship leader asked me to do the electric. I'm quite fresh on the electric and using your material to get ahead. In my four weeks on the team I have come to be wary of pride and noticed the way I would drink deep from other people's comments like 'Hey I heard you during the praise songs', 'man you rocked today' etc. Thankfully the Lord made me aware of this and I now don't long for those comments like I used to but rather for the Lord's approval. I'd like Him to be proud of me when I leave the stage, not fronting my great solos or anything but just bringing people to that place where they come face to face with God. Your articles have really helped me. God bless you and all other humble guitarists out there.

Stephen said...

I think ever one struggles with this every day, not just musicians. People want praise to know they are doing a good job,and also want people to envy them. My best solution is to be like a giant mirror that when anyone gives you praise you can deflect it to God, because in fact all the talents you have were given to you by him and we are nothing with out him. Col 3:17 says in everything I do let it give glory to God not me. This applies in everything. This doesn't mean don't be diligent and not uses your talens when you work, take pride in your work by all means to be the best, but know who holds the foundation to your abilities and that without him we are nothing.

robert said...

Thanks man for the reminder since im starting in our junior praise team, my teacher always tells me these things, and its just another wake up call from God to me.

Thanks keep on doing wat your doing i learn mostly everything about guitar, praise, and just wisdom from this blogsite =]

Stephen Lim said...

The mark of a leader is HUMILITY.....

In this world we are judged by the number of people serve us, but in that world we are judged by how many people we served..

Check it out at www.ironhot.blogspot.com

Barry said...

Really Cool. Thanks for being honest, its very rare. Unfortunately I'm not a hot shot guitarist and so don't have to worry about people telling me how they saw stars flying off my fret board during worship. I have always wanted to worship God and for the last 16 years have been playing on worship teams. I've always preferred the electric guitar and have received much great criticism from all areas. I've found its good to have a holy fear when approaching worship. Knowing exactly who you are in relation to Almighty God really sets the tone. It kind of chases away that desire to think how special one is. Then to know that that same Almighty God is our Daddy, our Abba father, that just makes you want to praise and worship Him.

It's wise words to avoid the temptations of pride, even the pride of saying you're not good enough. It's not like no attack will come during worship either, but my saving grace every time is to turn to God and ask "am I pleasing You?."

Thanks for this site. It's awesome to find a place where everyone is geared to giving God glory.

Joshua said...

Wow! this is a great information for us musicians of God's kingdom... I'm blessed to read this blog and share to my fellow musicians... when i first learn how to play the guitar my mindset was to perform in front of many people... but God talk to me and remind me 1 Samuel 16:7 "But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." and now i don't care if I'm in front of the people or not... i just always say Lord you are my "Audience of ONE" to God be the Glory...

eddy said...

Finally! I find someone who agrees with me. Thanks for your post. I would just like to add that when Lucifer was kicked out of heaven God did not say in His word that Lucifers talent to make music was taken away. So the devils number one talent is to make music but now he makes evil music and you've got to be very careful with music since satan is out to get everyone to stumble but God is there to keep us so we must be very weary about the music we listen to and play. I have learnt that if the music does not glorify God then its best not to listen to it.After all Jesus gave His all for us so why cant we do the same. I'd rather be safe sticking to gospel music than be listening to wordly music and be sorry. After all there's no fence sitting in this world by that i mean that you are either living for God or for the devil. There's no inbetweens or fence sitting. Choose wisely...
Thanks very much for the post a least i know i am not alone.

grasshopper_man said...

Hey Guys,

I've got a question. First off, don't know if you all have seen Marcus Beaumont play on stage but he jumps off of anything he finds. When I see this my heart just jumps and I'm like there's a guy having fun when he worships God. Recently I've decided to step out of the traced shoe marks or the "Guitar Corner" and started having fun more, am I wrong? Like is this "performing"?

Quarbon said...

This is so, SO good stuff for musicians in church. This is stuff that people should learn, even when before or when they start consider being a part of the worship-team.
You loose God's presence, if you're not playing humble.
Kenny, you're a man of God.
Bless.

Simon

joshyeah said...

It is very important that we must keep ourselves humble and knowing that God is the One who mak all these things possible. A great article and reminder to me~! thanks :)

andrés4jesus said...

yeah!! I think that as musicians we are in the most dangerous position. We are temptated to get honor and glory instead of giving the honor and the glory to the only one that deserves it
God bless!!!

Jesse said...

Great post!...
But i do solos when i'm playing but i don't run in front and play it i just stay where i am...
and i do headbang sometimes during fast songs...
and just like grasshopper, i tend to jump off from the drum bass or my amp sometimes...
honestly, am i showing off?...
i seriously have no intentions of showing off...
for me i just feel free when i'm worshiping and i don't limit myself...
i just wanna break free and worship freely even when i'm playing the guitar...
am i really showing off?...
thanks...

kenny said...

Hi Jesse,
There are two relationships you need to be concerned about here.

The first is between you and God. If you feel like moving about out of a sincere heart of worship, that isn't a problem.

The second is between the congregation and God. You will also need to consider how the congregation will view your actions. If it distracts them from worship, then my preference is to tone down.

Dustin said...

I just did auditions(technical and spiritual) for our sunday worship team lead guitarist and my pastor told me this story about when he went to Hillsong.

He was attending Nigel Hendroff's guitar workshop(which he said consisted of around a thousand people, no surprise there). He said that the first thing Nigel did when he came in the room was that he had to confess to us that Darlene gave it to him good last night because he took some liberties on stage, whether it was extra solos or whatever, and that he was taking people's attention away from God. He said that if he ever did it again he wasn't going to be lead guitarist anymore.

It blew me away that the devil can get even the best of us. Don't think that you're above what the devil can do in this area! We better be sure to get right with God before we step on stage.

melvin said...

First know that Lucifer is a man Ezekiel 28:2 Yet Thou art a MAN. Read at www.dimensionsoftruth.org/Bill_Britton/glory8.html
Do you know hebrew letters are also music notes www.musicfromgod.com Do you know what Adam look like before his fall?

FB Nomi Carel said...

It's a good thing to know that there are sites like this that doesn't just promote Christian song guitar covers but also the righteous way Christian musicians should follow in order to be pleasant in the eyes of God.

I wish this site could help bring more blessings in a way that our worship team in our church here in Manila, Philippines would be enhanced having the right kind of worship God wants.

Thanks for the inspirational article.

mayann said...

many thanks, so thankful for everyone's comment. I also believe that P&W ministry s one of the most attack by the enemy to disunite, to hinder it's growth & effectiveness...these we have to be aware of...