Sid: My guest Kerry Kirkwood is talking about something that when someone is discipled that should have been the first thing that they learned, how to be a worshipper of God. We’ve gotten so distracted, and as Kerry likes to say, “Worship is not the thing that happens somewhere just before the announcement and the message on a Sunday morning; worship is a lifestyle.” And so I said to Kerry, “Kerry, teach me worship like the book where you study different aspects of the computer for dummies, let’s do a worship for dummies.” And you started out saying about the Hebrew meaning behind lifting up holy hands. But let’s start at the basic, someone goes into their living room it’s early in the morning and they want to worship God what should they do?
Kerry: Well, first of all that the Lord is inviting them in, it’s not about the will of God and you just lay aside…
Sid: So you don’t feel that that’s a choice as much as a call.
Kerry: Exactly because He’s calling us into that, and as I said earlier like Esther came before the king but then it was the King extending the scepter that says “Come on in here Esther,” and there when she was before him she caught his heart and attention there was the love that drew her in there the king had for her. And then after that she could begin to as we celebrate Purim she could tell about the plot that was against her people and so on like that.
Sid: But she had a choice she had free will she did not have to go to the king for him to hold out the scepter she could have rolled over in bed and not worshipped God. Is that what your saying?
Kerry: Yeah, and worship is not just only in attitude it is an expression; Hebrews 1 says, “That Jesus is the express image of the Father.” And yet we find that Jesus worshipped, He would get along in the garden and He would worship and He would always be telling teaching the disciples that we’re to worship the Lord God with all of our heart, mind and strength. And so we know that involves physical expression, it involves a heart expression, it involves a spiritual expression.
Sid: Speaking of a physical expression tell me about the time you were at a meeting of young people and you felt the Lord asked you to dance. Are you a dancer?
Kerry: Ha-ha, well know I don’t have much rhythm at all and so for me to do that it was definitely a sacrifice.
Sid: Tell me about it.
Kerry: I was in a youth camp and I was one of one them I was probably seventeen tp eighteen years old, and I was like most everybody else I was enjoying the music because the music was good, and I was more of an observer at that because I just loved to listen to what they were doing. And I felt the overwhelming sense of the love of God just flood my heart and I felt t he prompting of the Lord and mind and He said, “I want you to dance before me like David did when the Arc of the Covenant was being brought into Jerusalem and David danced with the idea that it didn’t matter who saw him or what.”
Sid: That had to be terrific peer pressure against you doing that!
Kerry: Oh yeah, because these kids around me and some of them you know looked totally out of it and so I said, “I will do it Lord, I will do it for You.” And so I just stepped out kind of in the aisles there and started dancing.
Sid: Did you close your eyes, tell me the truth?
Kerry: No, I didn’t, I kept…
Sid: Oh, you’re a brave soul.
Kerry: My eyes open because I didn’t want to ran over something so I didn’t have to what some people call, “Dancing in the Spirit.” Was I totally in the Spirit I don’t know, I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit, but I was totally my own will and choice that I did because I wanted to bless the Lord. And when I started doing it, I mean these young people probably about 150 of them, when they saw that first of all they thought a little strange. Then gradually something begin to come over them and they began, different ones, one at a time, started doing that. The whole meeting changed to where it moved from observing worship, to where that we were a sound, that we were an instrument like the Holy Spirit blowing the strings upon our heart or blowing the trumpet through our own mouth that we became an instrument touched by the Spirit of God.
Sid: So as you talked about raising hands, dancing is that all part of worship for dummies?
Kerry: Well, yeah those are expressions, it sure is and in fact we can find in scripture where that about the clapping of the hands, “He teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight. And so we find even in the Old Testament times that they would even clap their hands as a gesture towards the enemy, the part of worship…
Sid: What do you mean a gesture towards their enemy?
Kerry: Well, they would clap their hands like at their enemy like the way of not clapping for them it was a gesture of saying “That we have power and authority over you.” The kind like they threw the shoe at President Bush you know as a…
Sid: So it’s almost mocking the enemy.
Kerry: Exactly yes, there you go.
Sid: Awe, I’m going to do a lot of clapping for now on but go ahead.
Kerry: So clapping is much more than…
Sid: As a matter of fact let’s just do that right now. [Clapping] I don’t want to miss this wonderful opportunity to worship God and mock the enemy. Okay Kerry go ahead I just couldn’t resist.
Kerry: Well, the Bible which talks about, as you remember Jehoshaphat and he was coming out, and the enemies were coming against them. God told Jehoshaphat very unconventional it’s not the typical warfare how they’d all line up and have spear and shield. But he says I want you to put the singers and the worshippers up front, and you can go back in that see that part of that was the processional of dancers and those that had thanked and praised and blessed and honored the Lord. So here they’re marching in front of the army and worshipping and thanking the Lord for what He’s done and what He’s going to do. They’re dancing before the Lord, and enemy sees him coming at them, what at these people doing? And don’t they know what we’re going to do and don’t they know what we’re going to do to them? But when they did that they honored the Lord first then the Bible says God set ambushments against the enemy and kill one another. So worship is an extension of a strategy of the Spirit of God that says that we can confront our enemies not by focusing on them but by focusing on God. When we exalt the name of the Lord then He comes and He’ll deal with our enemies because we’re not dealing with flesh and blood, were dealing with principalities and powers in the air. And the very issue in heaven was over worship when Lucifer who wanted worship to be directed towards him and because of the pride in his heart was cast out of heaven. And you can find in revelation that where the last war is going to be over the issue of worship; the first and the last war. We even see that there will be worshippers of the beast that are being marked, we call the mark of the beast and so they’re being marked. And so worship is not just an issue well, I like the song and I like the singing and if they don’t sing the song I like I’m not going to worship. Well that means that we don’t understand what worship is when we have revelation, and what He’s done in our life there’s something that comes up our of us that’s holy and the byproduct of that is that is that He’ll cause our enemies to have to step aside.
Sid: Tell me about how worship affects peoples’ finances, give me a story.
Kerry: Well, I can tell you a number of times over the years that my wife Diane and I when we would have a financial need. Instead of jus,t you know looking at the problem and rehearsing the problem, over and over, we would just start worshipping the Lord God. One of the compound names for God is that he is Jehovah Jireh we would say in Texas, Jirah
Sid: It’s really in Hebrew Yireh but I’ll let you do the Texas twang. Go ahead.
Kerry: We sing Jehovah Yireh, He is the Lord God who is our provider which was a name that when Abraham was walking up there to offer his son Isaac he declared that the Lord God is going to provide for us. And so we would start worshipping the Lord, “Oh Father You are the Lord our God who neither slumbers nor sleeps who keeps your covenant promise, we exalt You and worship You oh God You are the Lord of Hosts so we just declare You are our provider.” And it’s amazing without mentioning needs to anyone we would just get checks in the mail of people would say, “I was just thinking of you the other day and the Lord just put on my heart and write a check.” And so when we look to Him as the Author and the Finisher of our faith instead of looking for someone else to be our source and resource because that means we worship or we honor them. But when we give the Lord the First Fruits, the first rights to the problem, the first rights to worshipping and honoring Him, then someway or other He miraculously comes in because He has an ear to those who are worshippers of Him.