I have been meaning to write about worship and styles of worship for quite a while. I've been thinking about it ever since I read a post on Adrienne's blog. Then last week Melanie wrote about how much she enjoys worshipping God on Sunday mornings. And God continues to give me this message. It seems that when He tries to teach or convey a certain message - He gives it to all of us at the same time, isn't that awesome!? I have had 3 separate conversations in the past 2 weeks about this topic and THEN when I was driving home today listening to that song, "back to the heart of worship" I just knew as soon as I got home, I needed to get this out before my boys got home for dinner!! God has really laid this on my heart bigtime recently. I have to humbly admit that only in the past 3 months have I truly started to understand and appreciate WORSHIP. I've been on both sides of it (people who contribute, people who watch) and I have learned so much!
I remember when I was little, seeing the people raise their hands in our church -- and I just didn't get it. I was singing just to sing - I was singing becuase *I* liked the feeling *I* felt. I wasn't really singing to God, I wasn't offering ME and so I didn't understand what they were feeling or doing.
Years later, I went to my first Yankee Game ---- my first Yankee game I ever went to was when David Cone pitched a perfect game --- the stadium was going NUTS! I realized that EVERYBODY, every single person in the stadium was throwing their hands in the air, dancing, shouting, "praising" even (ouch) this man and this team. I realized, that I throw my hands in the air in a SECOND for the athletes I love, the musicians I've seen in concert..... Why didn't I understand it when people were doing it for GOD, The creator of the WHOLE ENTIRE universe, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords?
He wasn't really real to me yet..... I didn't have the personal relationship. I didn't yet realize that someday I would be at that point where I just want to give to Him and BE with Him, and worship in whatever style I choose.
HE is the ONE, the ONLY ONE that actually DESERVES our worship - whatever style that may be --- but the devil distracts us, or tries to.
So I've been thinking about this a lot - and then I picked up C.S. Lewis again - I LOVE all his books....and I was reading portions of the ScrewTape Letters. I realized that the devil and his people will do whatever they can to distract us from God. To try to take our focus and attention off of him. So my opinion is:
WORSHIP God - it's not only OKAY to worship physically, emotionally in whatever form YOU want to --- but it's what He desires! There are times now when I absolutely lose my voice during worship and I just lift up my hands --- as a symbol to Him that I am giving Him myself and totally "letting myself go". It's what we are called to do (not lifting up our hands -- but I mean worshipping....in whatever style you worship in)
It is our ultimate and defining purpose! So do it!!! Figure out what styles of worship you can offer! If you're the type that will throw your hands up in the air during a Yankees game like me --- then when you feel called to do it to your God -do it!!! It's so appropriate! Don't hold back! It's not weird --- and it's okay if people misunderstand --- I always misunderstood and was curious what people were doing during worship when I was little...but now worship during service is my favorite time. You do it for God, not for others!!
If worshipping physically is not your style of worship - and you feel uncomfortable - or if it makes you focus on YOU - then by all means DON'T. Just like everything else I keep talking about - it's all about your heart.
If you get distracted by OTHERS in their style of worship - the only thing I can say is take off your robe and close your eyes! Close your eyes is a big one for me -- why do people look around during church anyway? We should learn the words of the songs that our worship band sings - so we can close our eyes and not be distracted by others!
And that's all I have to say about that for now! :)
He desires worship! It's not only appropriate --- but we are designed for it. Don't let your mind or our society mess you up --- be with Him and worship Him! The Truth is always opposite of what the world and what your mind tell you. Listen to your Spirit.
picture taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/christinaleong/149809126/