Bethel Worship Leader: How to Distinguish Between Authentic Prophetic Worship and Manipulation

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It’s very easy to manipulate a room while leading worship, rather than acting based off what God tells you to do, Brandon Lake tells students at Bethel Church in Redding, California, in a recent video. So how can we tell the difference between whether we’re moving out of our fleshly desires or moving out of the prompting of Holy Spirit?

“For me it’s actually like a burning sensation; I usually know it’s God when I go, ‘I can’t shake this, I’ve got to sing this out, I’ve got to speak this to this person,'” Lake says.

Lake confesses in the video to manipulating his staff at one point using an imagined prophetic song, something he now realizes was wrong to do. He uses his own failing as an example of what the charismatic church cannot allow itself to do.

“[I was] with my staff and I was super frustrated,” Lake says. “[There was] such little response in the room and you’re like pouring your heart out and you’re like, ‘Let’s go,’ and no one’s lifting their hands. So then I just slipped into this little, disguised as a prophetic chorus, ‘God, help us lift our hands to you/ Help us wake up.’ And then I was just like kind of manipulating my staff. … That [message] was something I could have said, but to like disguise it in the form of a prophetic song? Honestly, that was my flesh speaking and singing. It wasn’t God. So just be careful that you don’t want to manipulate a room.”

Lake also emphasized the importance of practicing speaking prophetically outside of the worship music scene so that we can be better equipped to spontaneously lead that way on stage. He shared a story of how a stranger at a gas station walked up to him to prophetically speak this over him: “You’re a man of God and I know you’re gonna write songs that will travel the nations.”

“So it’s really important that when we see something on someone’s life, say it,” Lake continues. “You never know how big of an impact it can make on them.”

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. To watch the entire teaching, click here.

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