Identifying The Best Songs For Worship and Praise

True revelation comes only from God (Matt. 16:16-17).  As God reveals who He is, all He has done, and all He has promised to do we all have a decision to make.  Of course, you and I have chosen to believe and receive salvation, but what about the person next to you in church?  As you sing what someone on the platform might call the best songs for worship and praise, do those songs genuinely invite God’s presence?  Do those songs lead you to openly declare your immovable faith in Him?  Or are they really just popular songs of today?  The words we sing really can make a difference—in our lives and the lives of those around us.

10 For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation. Romans 10:10 AMP

The first mention of the word worship in the Bible is found in Genesis 22. In this chapter, Abraham faced the ultimate test of his dedication and obedience to God. He was about to climb the mountain to sacrifice his son, Isaac, as God had instructed him:

“Take your son,” [God] said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” Genesis 22:2

Abraham was ready to obey God before he knew what would happen. He was about to experience God in worship — faith-filled worship!  Take a look at his “words” to the men around him that day:

Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.” Genesis 22:5

Abraham knew what he was about to do; he was going to sacrifice the child of promise. His sacrifice would be an act of worship, and he believed by faith that God would meet them at their point of faithfulness and need. What’s more, he expected Isaac to worship God as well.

In the natural, Abraham’s act of worship could cost him everything — his hope, his future, his promise from God Himself. Surely Abraham experienced a crisis of belief! Surely, he had his doubts. But Abraham knew by faith that he and Isaac would be back. He had had a revelation of God, and he knew his God would not let him down. Abraham’s worship — his act of obedience — was in direct response to that revelation.

The Hebrew word for “worship” used in Genesis 22:5 is the word shachah. It is used more than 100 times in the Old Testament, and it provides a picture of someone bowing, kneeling, stooping, or prostrating on the ground before God — the one who is lesser responding to the One who is clearly greater. The use of this word always indicated a physical action that was required of God’s people.

Abraham. certainly failed from time to time as the rest of us do, but his faith in God consistently produced obedience — and he was continually rewarded. That’s the same result we all desire!  So, choose the songs you sing wisely.  Let every word be biblically sound and then raise your voice of declaration, praise, and worship.  The people sitting close to you may like those “young men” on the mountain with Abraham.  They just may need to hear about God’s faithfulness through your voice and be drawn to God through the living testimony of your own life—at that very moment. 

Join us on YouTube for the very best new songs of worship!

www.youtube.com/worshipunderground

The Best Song For Worship

Worship Underground exists today because I clearly heard the Lord in my spirit instruct me to build it.  You can count on this promise:  WU will always be a trustworthy place for the best new worship music on YouTube.  As a worshiper, worship leader, or team member, you are our focus.  We are determined to deliver only the best music for worship—the songs that God’s servant songwriters are so faithfully recording for you and me to hear. 

I want to be sure you noticed the word “For” in the title of this article.  We often reference “Songs of Worship” and that is good of course.  But I do love the idea of the “songs of worship” we discover and sing are actually creating a “place FOR our worship expression.”  So, take a look at this verse with me.

But You are holy,
O You who are enthroned in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered
]. Psalm 22:3 AMP

According to this verse, our worship provides both a corporate and very personal place that builds and empowers our relationship with Him.  So, when you and I sing those songs of worship, we are literally creating a place “For” God to indwell.  

Let me expand that thought a bit more:

  • God created us in His image so that we might have a relationship with Him and fulfill His purpose on the earth.
  • God inhabits the praises of His people. He will always meet us there.
  • Worship requires faith, and God always responds to faith-filled worship.
  • Spending time with God to gain revelation is essential for worship.
  • God is in us and among us, and His presence is available every time we worship Him and a song provides a unique “place of enthronement” for God Himself.

The Bible makes it clear beginning in Genesis: God has always been the initiator of relationship, and we are designed and equipped to respond. God created heaven and earth. He created man and woman and provided for their needs — including a place to meet with God Himself. In fact, the entire order and depth of God’s creation indicates that we were created in God’s image so that we might have a relationship with Him and fulfill His purpose on the earth.

God revealed Himself and His plans for Adam and Eve very clearly, just as He continues to reveal Himself and His desire for us today. Our role is to respond to His revelation with worship as we fulfill our purpose, both individually and corporately.  Or as my friend Mike Harland says, “Worship is our response to His revelation.  God reveals who He is, what He has done, and all He intends to do.  Our only reasonable response is worship!”

I want to encourage you to go to the Worship Underground YouTube Channel and enjoy the new songs of worship there.  We are making every effort to share only the best worship music on YouTube—the Best Song For Worship—your worship!  That song may come from well-known publishers, church movements, or unknown songwriters, but we need your help finding those songs.  So, be sure you tell us about other great new songs of worship you are discovering by clicking on the “Submit a Song” button below (or on the YouTube channel header).  Worship is our personal place of enthronement for God, and He will always meet us there.

Join us on YouTube for the very best new songs of worship! www.youtube.com/worshipunderground

Share other great new songs of worship with us here. https://www.worshipunderground.com

The Best Songs of Worship and Praise

There is a real hunger in the church today—a growing hunger to know and experience God in a personal way. That’s why it is crucial for worship leaders to discover the best new music for worship. Truth is, we were created to know God in this way—to have a relationship with God. He has desired an intimate relationship with us from the beginning of time.  As we raise our voices in church and sing songs of worship and adoration, we are inviting Him into our lives!

God Desires a Relationship with Us

All lasting relationships are based on mutual interest, trust, and understanding. By choosing to create us in His image—with a mind (the ability to reason), a will, and emotions—and by providing everything we need for life, God created and equipped us for a lasting relationship with Him.

From beginning to end, the Bible makes it clear: God desires a relationship with us. He wants us to know who He is, who we are in relationship to Him, how we should respond, and what we can anticipate in return.

That’s why our songs of worship and praise are crucial.  Those songs are our expression—our confession that Jesus is truly the Son of the Most High God!  The key to experiencing God is developing a lifestyle of worship.  As we raise our voices in praise and adoration, God is glorified—we are drawn to Him and He will respond.

Take a look at the statements below.  There is no doubt!  Our best songs of worship and praise make a difference in our lives.

  1. Worship is our response to God’s revelation—who He is and what He has done.
  2. Worship is the key to experiencing God in our lives.
  3. Worship is our only reasonable response to God’s revelation.
  4. We are free to worship God because of Jesus’ sacrifice.
  5. When we worship, God has promised to be present.

Worship Is the Key to Experiencing God

Simply stated, we are called to respond to all that God has revealed about Himself and to His never-ending desire to enter a deeper relationship with each of us. Through the ages, God has been in the constant process of revealing His character and essence. Yes, God is mysterious in many ways, but He is never a mystery. He has gone to great lengths to reveal Himself throughout history—including sending His Son, Jesus, into the world—and He continues to reveal Himself today in a variety of ways:

God reveals Himself in creation.

God reveals Himself through His Word.

God reveals Himself through the Holy Spirit.

God created us for relationship with Him and deeply desires to reveal Himself—who He is and what He has done—to us. He has promised to meet us as we worship. In fact, as we understand and embrace all that God has done for us in Christ Jesus, our only reasonable and adequate response is worship. Our response to God always requires faith and corresponding action, yet God never forces us to respond; it is always our choice.

I believe with all my heart that the key to breakthrough, the key to experiencing God in our own lives and having a personal relationship with Him, is found in developing a lifestyle of worship.  That’s why it is essential that we discover and share the best new songs of worship and praise.  That is why Worship Underground exists! 

Check out our YouTube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChGFguCU5_E1EbQw142AtOg

We’d love to hear new songs that have impacted your life as well. Just click here: https://www.worshipunderground.com/#submitsong

Are You Reflecting or Directing?

Look upon me and be merciful to me,
As Your custom is toward those who love Your name.
Direct my steps by Your word,
And let no iniquity have dominion over me.
Redeem me from the oppression of man,
That I may keep Your precepts.

Psalm 119:132-134

Let me admit this right up front—I’m a child of the ‘60’s.  Although I grew up in Waco, Texas, our family spent most summers in Boulder, Colorado where my Dad taught summer classes at Colorado University.  Talk about a clash of cultures!

You see, in the 60’s, Boulder was a bastion of the radical change of social values championed by the hippy generation.  To say the least, Waco was not.  My values were rooted and grounded in hard work and “toe the line” Southern Baptist theology (although at the time I wasn’t even sure what theology actually meant).

The intersection of those Waco values with the message of the hippy generation wasn’t just limited to my summers in Boulder, however.  That intersection occurred virtually every day as I listened to the music of my 60’s generation on my transistor radio.  Yes, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, the Mamas and the Papas, the Stones, Beatles, and the Grateful Dead made the radio charts even in Waco, Texas. 

In the 70’s, my life was impacted by many songs of the Jesus Movement as well as early CCM songs that may be quite familiar to you even today.  Andrae Crouch, Keith Green, Larry Norman, Love Song, The Imperials, and Evie delivered lyrics that shared a set of values that were quite different from the music of my teenage years.

So, you tell me:  Did those songs my generation heard so often in the 60’s “direct” our values or “reflect” the values of our society?  In other words, did those songs open up a whole new way of thinking for us, or did they simply articulate deeply entrenched attitudes and desires?  You can ask the same question about every genre of music including our CCM favorites as well.

After decades of pondering that question, I can assure you of this—the answer is “both.”

As you write and sing, as you play and perform, keep that truth in mind.  The lyrics you choose to sing will impact everyone who chooses to listen.  And what you listen to will impact what you write (see Matthew 12:34-35).  So make a decision today to spend more time reading, speaking, and hearing the Truth of God’s Word.  Then do all you can to deliver to your audience songs that will direct them to God’s Word—to His precepts, to real Truth.  We already have enough of world’s opinions and values floating through the digital universe.

That’s Just The Way God Made You

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Psalms 139:13, 14a, 15

Outwardly, you may be a banker, a seamstress, a maintenance man, a math teacher or one who fills countless other jobs.  In my teenage days, I was a yardman (well, actually a kid who convinced the neighbors to pay me to mow their yards) and then a pretty good salesman in the men’s clothing department at the local department store.  Ultimately, from my college days on, I ended up helping singers and musicians sell recordings and concert tickets.  In other words, I was always a sales guy—and I still am. 

Your line of work has probably had many changes along the journey of life as well.  Right now, music may not be your profession, but you will always be a musician.  That’s just the way you were made.

My Mother was a very talented pianist and loved to play for an audience.  My Dad was a high school teacher who became a university professor with a Ph.D.—in other words, he was a teacher for his entire adult life. 

After retiring from the university, my Mom and Dad would create and perform “programs” in nursing homes around town every week.  After doing that for many years, I asked my Dad, “Why do you do that?”  His response was eye-opening, “Your Mother is a musician who needs a place to play, and I’m a teacher who needs a place to teach.  Besides, someone has to take care of the old people!”

At seventy-five years of age, neither of them had a “job” that allowed them to exercise those gifts and callings, but they still found a place to serve—a place to use what God had placed in them to impact those around them.  I didn’t understand their passion at the time, but now that I’m almost that age, my Dad’s words make a lot more sense.

I am a salesman who has a life-changing “product” to tell you about.  Writing and speaking about the goodness of God (Exodus 33:19, Romans 2:4) and reminding you to pour His Word into your heart every day fulfills my purpose and calling (Colossians 1:27-29).  Like Simon Peter, I must write down these things so they will live far beyond my days on this earth (2 Peter 1:5-15).

So, what are you doing with the gift, talent, and calling that God placed in you from the very beginning of your days?  Whether you are at the top of the radio charts, playing second violin in the annual Easter pageant at church, or teaching the kids at Vacation Bible School to sing “Father Abraham,” you are a musician.  Those around you need to hear what God wants to sing and play through you.  Don’t hold anything back.  The “melody” inside you just might be the very thing they need to hear.

Are You Sure?

 Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. Hebrews 11:1 AMP

I’ve thought quite a bit about “faith” over the years.  After more than fifty years in the Christian music business, you might assume that I’m a trained musician just like you, but I’m not.   My degree is in mathematics with a lot of coursework in physics.  As a college student, I really did intend to be a space scientist who sent people to the moon and back.  I quickly learned that accomplishing that mission would require a lot of “faith” in the things I was learning about gravity, lift, and rocket propulsion. 

Whether we realize it or not, we all “live by faith” in a lot of “unseen” things every day.  Do you ever consciously “doubt” that everyone on your side of the freeway is going to be going in the same direction?  If you fly on airplanes often like I did for many years, do you doubt the physics of aeronautical lift or the global air traffic control system?  Of course not.  If you didn’t have basic “faith” operating within you each day, you simply could not function.

As you read the verse above, allow me to re-state it in a simple way: 

“Faith is being sure of what you hope for and absolutely certain of what you do not see.”

You have faith when you drive or fly because you are willing act on the hope that someone has figured out what you and those around you need even though you can’t “see it.”  What you have been told or read about freeways and air travel has become real enough to put your life at risk.  And of course, your “faith” grows as you see the promised results come to pass.

Faith in God works the same way.  The Bible tells us that faith “comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).”  Every day you have the opportunity to hear or read and then believe what God says—and act accordingly.  Or you can listen to talking heads on TV or some podcast and let those words guide your thoughts and actions.

As you walk through today, pay attention to your attitudes and responses to whatever comes your way.  If your day is marked by fear, doubt, distress, and concern, it’s time to spend more time hearing God’s Word.  Fill your heart and mind with His promises and watch real faith come alive. 

Then let that sure, rock-solid, immovable, and contagious faith direct every word you write or lyric you choose to sing.  We will all benefit from hearing those songs, and your reward for that kind of faith is well worth the effort (Hebrews 11:5-6).

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

cowrite

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

Psalm 139:16

So, let’s be honest.  Musicians can certainly live what most of us would consider a “normal” life, but you clearly possess a talent that really does set you apart from the rest of us. 

My Mother was one of the finest musicians I have ever known.   As a child, her passion for music and her talent on the piano just didn’t “take” with me.  Looking back, I missed an amazing opportunity to learn to play from one of the best.  There was a basic problem with that idea of course—I simply wasn’t a musician.

I didn’t realize it at the time but being raised by a musician was God’s way of training me for a lifetime of working with amazingly talented people.  That means I’ve had a front row seat when it comes to the highs and lows that you experience. 

In my earlier days in the Christian Music Industry, I had a close friendship with one of the top-selling Christian rockers of that time named Mylon Lefevre.  I began one of our conversations by complaining about the difficulties of working with talented artists like him.  Very quickly, with tears in his eyes he said these words to me, “You have no idea what it’s like to go to the secret place, where only you and God can go, and He gives you a song.  Then you prayerfully shape it and hide it in your heart, fully knowing that at some point, you have to share it with people like you who will decide if it’s worth hearing.”

I could see his sincerity, but I didn’t really understand the creative process he described.  Of course, after writing a few books, I now understand much better.  So, let me be blunt:  Don’t give up even when “we just don’t get it.” Go and do all that is in your heart.  Write, sing, play, and then share what you find in that secret place with the rest of us. 

Outwardly, you may be a banker, a seamstress, a maintenance man, a mom or dad, a math teacher or fulfilling countless other jobs.  Your primary occupation may change along the journey of life—but you will always be a musician.  That’s just the way you were made so work on your craft and share your songs wherever you can.  We just might need to hear what He has to say through you.

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