Whether or not Satan was a heavenly worship leader before his fall from heaven may be an ongoing debate until Jesus comes back. That he is an adversary of God is supported obviously in both New and Old Testament Scriptures (Zachariah 3:1-2;Job 2; Matthew 4:1-11; I Corinthians 10:21; Revelations 20:10).
Satan hates those who choose to praise and worship the Creator and he fights against them (I Peter 5:8). He is especially concerned when believers gather together for corporate times of praise (2 Chronicles 5:13-14; Acts 2:1-4).
Focus on God creates the humble heart that attracts the favor of God (James 4:6) so Satan attempts to redirect the believer's focus to anything but God. The most common way the enemy tries to interrupt the flow of corporate praise and worship is by stirring up pride and/or fear.
The Pride of a Critical Spirit
- Satan delights in a critical spirit, especially when that criticism is spread by word of mouth. He knows that when believers criticize one another, it grieves the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:29-31). < br/>
- The enemy seeks to integrate thoughts of criticism of the music, the music style, the choice of songs, the worship or prayer leader and/or team, the prophetic word, the song of the Lord, the person or persons delivering a prophetic word or song of the Lord, a worshipping style and/or skill level of one or more people, the length of time spent in praise and worship, the loud and/or quiet of worship time.
- Worship leaders and worship team members are primary targets of the enemy. Evil understands the power of music (see: Worship as Warfare Part 3) and understands that God actually inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Therfore, the devil seeks to draw attention away from God and towards the charismatic leader, the musicians and/or the music.
- Fight against the temptation to draw attention to self. Humbly acknowledge that every talent or gift comes from the Giver of all good gifts (James 1:7), and that those gifts are meant to bless others and to bring glory to God (I Corinthians 12:1-31). Fight against the father of lies who would instill a belief that a gift of leadership, music, and/or charisma gives one the right to receive adoration or attention.
- Musicians and worship leaders are often plagued by feelings of inadequacy. The enemy brings condemnation for a skill or a life lacking in perfection, and whispers a sense of unworthiness. These feelings can range from mild performance anxiety to panic attacks; from a desire to over-compensate to a desire to give up; from fear of failure to fear of success.
- Congregational worshippers not in the spotlight of music are also tempted to fear. The enemy attempts to stir up the fear of being noticed if hands are lifted too high, or the voice is too loud or off key, being awkward when one kneels or rises from kneeling, being thought of as pretentious, or not spiritual enough. Satan knows that fear directs attention inward and away from God and delights in spreading it.
- Fight fear with every natural and spiritual weapon available. Daily put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Gather encouraging friends and counselors around and get prayer. Spend time developing skills. Search the Scriptures. Pray the Word of God out loud. Loose the peace and power of the kingdom of God to take the place of fear (Matthew 16:19). Spend much time in His presence, allowing His perfect Love to push out all fear (1 John 4:18).
The Pride of Arrogance
In times of corporate praise, as well as during times of private worship, determine to focus away from the lies of the enemy (James 4:7) and fix attention on God who is able to deliver from all fear; and from the sin of pride. Determine to worship Him with abandonment! “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31), “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36)