Josh Yeoh grew up as part of the worship team in FGA Penang, in an environment where prophesying frequently intertwines with worshipping God. He loved worship but not so much prayer.
“I’m the last person to be leading a house of prayer. God has a cool sense of humour right?” said Josh, the Director of Penang House of Prayer (PENHOP) and speaker for the Harp and Bowl workshop in Kajang AOG on September 19th.
“He picks the least likely person to do this. But I recognize when we feel like we have a problem with worship or prayer, that is not the problem. The problem is a lack of revelation of God.
“You never have a worship problem; you have a revelation problem. Why? Because worship is actually a response to the revelation of God. That is worship in its essence,” stressed Josh.
Our depth of worship follows our depth of revelation in God. God responds to our heart. Because of that, although we may be average in our musical skills and vocal, heaven comes down when we understand the meaning of the lyrics in our being.
“It’s when you journey with the Lord and when you build your history with Him, you will worship him authentically. You cannot fake authenticity. You cannot fake intimacy,” said Josh.
He recalled reading about Martha and Mary during the death of Lazarus. When Jesus came, Martha and Mary said to Jesus the same thing, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21; 32) But Jesus only wept over Mary. (John 11:35)
“It has always puzzled me, why Jesus did not cry over Martha? And something struck me. Every time Mary was mentioned, she was sitting at the feet of Jesus,” said Josh.
Unlike a passive position of doing nothing, Mary is waiting for Jesus. Notice that she only went to meet Jesus when she was called, while Martha immediately rose to meet Jesus. Both did the right thing in meeting Jesus. But the difference is timing.
“Have you ever considered timing? Timing is so important,” said Josh.
Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given. (Proverbs 25:11)
He shared how his friend Alan received and kept a prophetic Word from God about him, until God directed him to release it at the right time.
“It takes a real man of intimacy with God to keep that Word in, to know that God has shown this, so he has to pray about it until God says, ‘Now, tell Josh,’” he said.
During this time of waiting for God, Alan did not passsively wait but he actively interceded for Josh. And when the time came for Alan to reveal, it came as a confirmation for Josh who personally received this same message from God two days earlier.
“If Alan had been insensitive and told me a few months earlier, I would say, ‘That’s good. Thank you brother.’ But nothing change in my heart. Timing is so crucial,” said Josh.
Mary only went when she was called by Jesus. She had a depth of intimacy with Jesus. Hence, it is not only hearing what the Father is saying. It’s also saying it when the Father wants us to say and how He wants us to say it.
“So, how we communicate the heart of God – the time we do it and the way we do it – they are as important as what we hear the Father is saying,” said Josh.
Mary would posture herself to hear from the Lord. She was active in doing things. But when Jesus showed up, she stopped doing everything. Jesus was number one.
“As we enter into this worship and prayer, a lot of times when we go into the prayer meeting, it’s not all about hitting the right things,” said Josh.
Worship and prayer is about being sensitive to God’s voice and pray according to what we hear. A spiritual warfare is won not through decibels or formula of words, but through an authentic an intimate relationship with God. We need not force His presence to come.
So, what kind of relationship do we have with God? We have a Father-child relationship, like how Jesus has a Father-Son relationship with God. How did Jesus relate to the Father? Jesus did everything He sees His Father is doing. (John 5:19)
Jesus came to die for our sins, not only so that we can go to Heaven, but we can have the same authentic and intimate relationship that Jesus had with God! This is made possible by His Holy Spirit, which dwells in us. (Gal 4:6)
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who call out, “Abba, Father.” (Gal 4:6)
“So, how else can we accomplish these great works? We can do nothing apart from Him. So, the implication for you and me is when we walk in the same level of intimacy and authority (like Jesus did with God), we can do like Jesus did on earth as well,” said Josh, stirring the audience for authentic kingdom living.
Josh shared that Harp and Bowl is not providing a model to merely copy, but a glimpse of how worship happens from a response to a reality in our heart that grows us into an authentic relationship with God.
Asians in particular are excellent in copying, in which the copied product sometimes turned out to be better than the original product.
“But often, when we take that into Christianity, what we end up doing is copying. We copy what we see in YouTube and what we hear others are doing, But we do not have the authentic, genuine expression within our heart to worship Him.
“So, worship is a response to the revelation of who God is. If you want a better worship, what do you do? Increase your level of revelation of God. You can sing the same song but because you’ve gone deeper and higher with God, all these words hit you in a whole new way,” said Josh.
For example, he shared how he had a deeper worship in God for the song – How Great is our God – when he had a deeper relevation about Him.
During his university days, he discovered that the thundering sound of the Niagara Falls simultaneously filled up the entire audible wavelengths of a sound machine. Hence, when Jesus says that His Voice is like the roar of rushing waters (Rev 14:2), He is actually saying that His Voice covers all the wavelengths of sound.
“Jesus is saying His Voice covers every spectrum of sound. And sometimes, we will say, ‘How can we hear God?’ How can we not? It’s like going to Niagara Falls, we ask, ‘How do you hear Niagara Falls?’ Jesus says, ‘My sheep hear my voice.’ It’s is harder to not hear God than to hear God,” said Josh.
Jesus also spoke creation into life. (John 1:3) This means every creation contains a resonation of His Voice, and all Creation respond to His Voice!
Not only Jesus returns to earth with a voice like the roar of rushing waters (Rev 14:2), His eyes also blaze with fire (Rev 19:12) and his hair is white like snow (Rev 1:14).
“So, when I sing, ‘The splendor of the king’ (in How Great is Our God), do you see that in your heart already? This is the king who is ‘robed in majesty’! Woah!” he said.
The song ‘How Great is Our God’ continues with ‘He wraps Himself with light.” Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12). in fact, He is brighter than the sun (Acts 26:13)! Imagine how bright Jesus is! He is so bright that light is only His accessory.
“All of a sudden, even though we play the four chords over and over again, Jesus becomes so real. Did we change the chords? No. Did we change the words? No. Why? But because our hearts are unlocked in worship, our revelation about Him has increased,” said Josh.
So, when we feel that we have a worship problem, it is a revelation problem. And the key to this problem is when Paul says, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.” (Eph 1:17) The spirit of wisdom is how to apply what we know. The spirit of revelation is knowing what we do not know from God. In other words, Paul is praying, “Help us God to know You.”
And for what purpose? Paul says, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” (Eph 1:18)
“Did you know that our generation is one of the most hopeless generation? There’s no hope because their eyes of understanding is not opened. We say what we hope for. But we are only repeating what we hear from Facebook.
“But when your eyes are opened, you begin to see God’s Perspective. What He says He do, He will do. There’s hope in His Calling and the riches of His inheritance for his saints!” said Josh.
What is inheritance? Inheritance is God’s most valuable possession placed in His most valuable creation – us, the only creation made in His image. And this possession, God will call it forth from us when the time is right.
“Wow! The inheritance of God is inside you and me. And God has wrapped you with that. So, on this side of eternity – when you say yes to Him, when you come into a place of prayer, when you worship Him, when you agree with Him, when you say, ‘Jesus, do what you want in my life’ – you are actually saying, ‘Jesus, receive your inheritance.’
“Whatever You place in me, the make up You made me – I am a musician, I am a make-up artiste, I am an entrepreneur, I am a businessman, I am a housewife – all these things, the thing that You place in me, belongs to You. They are your inheritance.
“All of a sudden, you don’t take things lightly anymore. When you clean dishes as a mum, you say, ‘This is my inheritance. Jesus is waiting for me to give it to Him.’ It’s powerful, all it takes is for your eyes to be opened,” said Josh.
He continued, “How amazing is that! And that’s just two bible verses. And all of a sudden, you begin to understand more. And you begin to worship God because worship is the response to the revelation of God. And when you worship in response to revelation, something shifts in your heart.”
Finally, worship is agreeing with who God says He is. God says, “I am a holy God”; worship says, “God, you are a holy God.” God says, “I am your Father”; worship says, “You are my Father.” God says, “I am the righteous judge”; worship says, “You are the righteous judge.”
“You know what intercession is? Intercession is agreeing with what God says He will do. God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit in Kajang.’ Intercession says, “God, You will pour out your spirit in Kajang.’
“God says, ‘I want your entire family to be saved.’ What intercession says? Intercession says, ‘God, You want my entire family to be saved. Save my family!’ God says, ‘I want the young people to turn from the world, run wholeheartedly after Me.’ What’s the intercession? Interession says, ‘God turn the hearts of the young people to run wholeheartedly after you.’
“And when we come into that understanding of worship and intercession, it suddenly becomes very not mysterious,” said Josh.
Finally, worship is a response to a revelation from God. The deeper the revelation, the deeper our worship is, in God and for God, through an intimate and authentic relationship with Him.
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