Sunday worship: Are you a dancer or a statue?


raised-hand-during-worshipThere are two kinds of people in the Church – those who dance all around with arms raised to Heaven, and those who stand still awkwardly.

And let’s just get one thing straight — I’m totally awkward!

Although I’d like to defend myself somehow by saying, “I just don’t feel like worshiping that way”, or ” I truly worship in my heart”, I actually learned today that God wants us to worship him both in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24). AKA. Internally AND externally.

We are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart, all our mind, all our strength. Add to that our whole body.

One of my favorite stories about King David is this one from 2 Samuel chapter 6. After having been stolen for a time, the Ark of the Covenant was finally on its way back to its home in Jerusalem. [The Ark was an ornate chest, designed by God Himself, in which to keep the sacred tablets which contained the 10 commandments. People died on the spot by just touching the Ark with an unclean heart — serious stuff!)

As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window [David’s first wife, daughter of Saul, not a believer]. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.

To anyone looking in from the outside of the faith, David was making a complete fool of himself. Michal thought he was being undignified and she hated him for his enthusiasm. When he got him, she scolded him for his display:

When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”

But David didn’t care – he was so concentrated on God’s mightiness and love, he couldn’t care less about how the world was seeing him. He replied:

“It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

When I’m worshiping, I often don’t “go all out” in my worship style, simply because I’m only thinking of what others are going to say behind my back. It’s time to decide who we are worshiping here: God or man.

God LOVES it when we worship him in our hearts and minds, as well as externally with shouts of joy and loud clanging cymbals. He loves when we clap, dance, bow, kneel, shout, raise our hands. It honors him but it also is good for us. 

Look at Psalm 150, a virtual instruction manual of who, what, why, when, and how to praise and worship God.

1 Praise the Lord!

Praise God in his sanctuary;

   praise him in his mighty heaven!

2 Praise him for his mighty works;

   praise his unequaled greatness!

3 Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn;

   praise him with the lyre and harp!

4 Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;

   praise him with strings and flutes!

5 Praise him with a clash of cymbals;

   praise him with loud clanging cymbals.

6 Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

Too many times, our relationship with him is about what he does for me only – God help me, save me, please work a miracle for me. We forget that it’s a love relationship and it has to go 2 ways. Psalm 57 says “My heart O God is steadfast. I will sing, awake my soul…” We are danger when our souls go to sleep.

Worship is what wakes us up! He sees us asleep and grabs our hands to lead us to his wonderful plans and future for us. God tells us not to look back – take the step of faith and I’ll protect you, I’ll give you grace, come with me. How can we not worship a God so great?

In worship and awe,

Molly

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