“This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours but God’s…You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’…After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.’ As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated…The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.” (from 2 Chronicles 20)
“See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah [praise], the Root of David, has triumphed.” (Revelation 5:5)
The Lord Jesus is the “Lion of Judah”, symbolizing his power, strength and majesty. Judah means “praise” in Hebrew. Worship leaders are the lions and lionesses of Judah (that is, Praise–not literally The Lion of Judah, who is Jesus alone) who are filled with the Spirit of the Lion of Judah to lead his people in worship. Ultimately, true worship leaders allow the Lord to lead his people, for all great leaders of God are themselves led by God.
Worship leading is something entirely different from songleading. Musical skills and training can equip anyone to be a songleader, but only the Lord can raise up, train and guide a true worship leader. Songleading takes place in the natural realm while worship leading takes place in the spiritual realm.
Songleaders may lead a group of people through a pattern of verses and choruses, and it may not transcend anything more than a mental exercise or a run-through of what has been rehearsed. Worship leading, on the other hand, happens as the worship leader surrenders to the Spirit of God and follows his leadings as he guides his people into worship. A great worship leader will also have good songleading skills, but he or she will follow the spiritual leading of the Holy Spirit as he or she song leads.
True worship leaders are filled with the Holy Spirit of God, who is bold, strong and confident as a lion “…the righteous are as bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1). (They are also submissive to the Lord and gentle as a lamb as they lead the Lord’s people, never mimicking the pattern of this world by lording it over the worshipers but rather having the disposition of a lamb or a little child as they lead—Luke 22:25-27). “…a little child will lead them” (Isaiah 11:6).
These lions and lionesses of Judah (praise) also recognize that worship is warfare, and they are not afraid to go wherever the Spirit of God moves them, just as David ran into battle towards Goliath (1 Samuel 17:48). They are not self-conscious, nor do they fear man, for they are completely surrendered to the Lord as his instruments. They desire God’s glory, renown and beautiful presence more than they care about what people think of them (read 2 Samuel 6).
They also know that as they sing and praise God, his glorious presence, which inhabits our praises (Psalm 22:3 KJV), drives out all darkness. (I have been in assemblies where the praise and worship was so intense, deep and pure that the presence of God was manifest in magnificent power. On multiple occasions, I have witnessed the Lord sovereignly deliver people of demons because his presence was so strong and thick in the praise and worship. Nobody had to command them out because the demons simply couldn’t stand the light and presence of God, and so they fled!)
The worship leaders in my painting are penetrating through the dark heavenlies, leading God’s people in praise and worship. The fire of passionate, spiritual worship is igniting all around them. The colors are symbolic of praise, and the gold is symbolic of the presence of God within their praises. These lions and lionesses of Judah are proclaiming the sovereign rule of the Great King all around them wherever they go, and his presence is manifest upon their praises wherever they blaze forth in the Spirit in praise and worship.
Father God, may you raise up many more worship leaders all around the world! Teach them how to follow you and how to lead your people into worship. May you use them mightily to proclaim your glory and renown across the whole earth! Lord, ignite a passionate flame of love and worship in your peoples’ hearts! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)
SOLD, 29.5 cm x 20 cm (12″ x 8″), Matted, Watercolor Pencil, Colored Pencil, Acrylic Paint, Gel Medium, Prints Available