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Prophetic Worship – Part Two: How Prophetic Worship Affects the Arts by Vivien Hibbert

I stated in part one of this article, “Prophetic worship is worship where we make room for God’s voice and manifest presence among us. Simply put, we invite God into our service for a two-way conversation.” Because of this two-way conversation, the arts play a huge part in any authentic worship. We have the privilege of lifting the cry of God’s people to his throne and re-sounding the voice of God back into humanity. In order to accomplish this task with excellence we must surely be more than artists, for art alone is not able to accomplish this task. Our art is the voice, or vehicle of the conversation, but the prophetic anointing must abide at the foundation of the message we convey.

God is an Artist 

As artists, I think it is imperative that we imitate the greatest artist of all. Look at these few instances where the great artist displays his glory. He is a/an:

  • Sculptor who created the rock (Genesis 1:2).
  • Potter who created the clay (Jeremiah 18:1-6).
  • Painter who created the colors (Genesis 1-2).
  • Musician who created the sounds (Acts 2:2; Revelation 1:10, 15).
  • Singer who created the song and the subject (Zephaniah 3:17).
  • Dancer who created the steps (Psalm 47:5; 68:24; Zephaniah 3:17).
  • Poet who created the rhythm and the rhyme (Job 38 – 41).
  • Writer who created the greatest book ever written (2 Timothy 3:16).
  • Storyteller who created the plot (Hosea 12:10, Amplified).
  • Perfumer who created the fragrances (Psalm 45:8; Song of Solomon 1:3; 3:6; 5:1; 5:13).
  • Chef who created the flavors (Numbers 11:7-8; Psalm 34:8; 119:103).
  • Actor who created the greatest drama of all the ages (see the parables).
  • Architect who created the universe (Psalm 90:2).
  • Tailor who created a robe of light for himself (Psalm 104:2) and an embroidered wedding garment for his bride (Psalm 45:9, 13-14).

God has three purposes for his artistry

It seems to me that the Lord has three distinct purposes for his artistic expressions: 

1. To reveal the glory and nature of God.

God’s primary use of art is to show and declare his incomparable glory and wonders.

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Psalm 19:1

2. To give expression of his love and communion with us.

The Lord uses his art to connect with all people and to impart his character, voice, and extreme love into mankind. Our art also connects mankind with each other and with God. It enables us to pour God’s thoughts into the hearts of men. It is hard to pick just one scripture that illustrates this but here is one of the best:

The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17   

3. To give pleasure to God and man.

The Lord invites us to rejoice in life with him. He is such a joyful God and it pleased him to create an utterly perfect universe. At every point he shouted out “It is good!” Nothing and no one comes close to his artistry, excellence, and genius. He is without compare and “altogether lovely” (Song of Solomon 5:16). When we look at all that he has created, the sheer magnificence of his handiwork speaks to us of his awesome power, unfathomable greatness, and infinite mercy. 

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people. Revelation 4:11  

…and for Your pleasure they are and were created. Psalm 149:4

We have been created in the image of God and his creativity continues to flow through us especially when we surrender our heart, soul, mind, and strength to him. It is unfortunate that we prioritize the second and third purposes for art and have hardly considered God’s main intention for all art; to reveal his glory. It is too easy to reduce our ministry to areas of performance, entertainment, and accompaniment. There is so much more.

This is where prophetic worship relates to the arts. If prophetic worship requires the voice of God, then it is imperative that we make way for the arts in worship. The Lord has called us to carry the sights, sounds, tastes, touch, and fragrance of his glory so that all the earth will be filled with knowledge of his glory (Habakkuk 2:14).

Paul explained in 2 Corinthians 4:6 that God commanded light to shine out of darkness and into our hearts so that the glory and knowledge of Jesus could be revealed. Artists have the responsibility to unwrap the secrets of God’s glory for all people, but if we spend ourselves on the “entertainment” aspect of our craft, we will have little or nothing left for the most important part, participating with the Lord as he reveals his glory to all.

When any artist takes us through their art form to the character, nature, sound, will, or sight of God, then they are ministering prophetically. Any definition of prophetic art must include an understanding of what God is doing through our art as much as what the artist does as worship before the Lord. The focus is not the art but the Lord. The art is simply the vehicle for the message. The true measure of an artist’s skill is in his or her ability to uncover and reveal the unsearchable glory and nature of God.

God did not give us art as an end in itself. The art forms and talents of man are not the goal or the end of our achievement no matter how talented the artist might be. God’s glory, his work in the earth, and the resulting changes in our hearts and lives are our destination and prize. Art, in a prophetic sense, makes a highway to God himself.

Conclusion

Musicians, you are ‘keepers of the sounds of God.’  Your job is not only to accompany the congregation and singers, but also to let the sounds of his person resound in the earth.

Singers, you are ‘keepers of the words of God’ because the foundation of your prophetic ministry comes from the Word as it dwells in you richly and with wisdom (Colossians 3:16).

Visual artists, you are ‘keepers of the sight of God’ because through your dances, mimes, paintings, and other crafts you help the eyes of our hearts see his manifest presence and you make a magnificent display of him wherever you go.

IMAGE USED BY PERMISSION FROM ARTIST CHARLOTTE TODD LEONARD, WWW.RAISEDPRAISE.COMhttp://www.raisedpraise.com


Worship leader, author, and teacher, Vivien Hibbert is a regular faculty member of the International Worship Institute (Dallas) and the International Worship Symposium. Vivien is well-known for her biblically centered teaching on prophetic worship.  http://www.worshiparts.org