"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, October 8, 2010

OH, PRAISE HIM

Psalm 99:5 "Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool; he is holy."

It was rock concert loud. My youngest son and I were rockin' out and singing praise songs along with the CD. The entire neighborhood could hear, "You're amazing! You're amazing!" It was cold and breezy outside, but nonetheless, my five-year-old decided to open the slider wide open. After some papers flew off the counter and as I was reaching for the slider, I told him, "It's cold outside, let's close the door." With full confidence and excitement he exclaimed, "But, I want God to hear it!" With a completely melted heart, the slider remained open. We continued to worship and praise our Great God and glorious King. The air guitar was at full capacity and the hair brush became a cordless mic. It was precious.

It has always blessed me to witness children worshiping God through song. With loud voices and clapping hands they belt out the words even out of tune. They just sing their hearts out while pouring out their love for Jesus. What is it about children that allows them to worship with such confidence and inhibition? In my observation, I think part of it is that they're not so concerned with what others think. It causes me to ask myself, Do I worship uninhibited? Am I concerned with what others think?

King David's example of worship is one for all of us to follow. Not only do his beautiful Psalms testify to God's greatness, but his example testifies to God's greatness. The passage found in 2 Samuel 6:12-23 recounts the story of David returning the Ark of the Lord to Jerusalem. His desire was to return it to its rightful place. Verse 14 tells us David danced before the Lord with all his might. The people of Israel were celebrating and shouting to God for the Ark's return. They were having a party.

David's wife Michal watched from a window. When she saw him leaping and dancing before the Lord she despised him in her heart. She was disgusted because he disrobed and was wearing a linen ephod when he danced before the Lord (vs. 14 & 20). Apparently, David wasn't following her prescribed checklist for proper worship. She was more concerned with what others would think of David's worship.

Michal, unlike any good wife trying to love and encourage her husband after a full days work, delivered some scathing remarks. Her tongue was more like a razor trying to destroy David's joy. Boy did she let him have it when he returned home. Boy did he let her have it. Listen to David's response after she is done mocking and criticizing him. "I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes."

Wow! David's example is worth noting. He knew his worship was fitting for what the Lord had done for the people of Israel. David acknowledged it was God who brought back the Ark of the Lord. David worshiped God uninhibited. What others thought was of no concern to him. Bringing glory and honor before His King was his desire. He declared what true worship is: to honor and revere the worthiness of God.

We also have reason to celebrate before the Lord, but what hinders us? There is a tendency to become calloused in worship as if we are just going through the motions. Are we vertical coffins? If we are more concerned with how others are worshiping we will fail to participate ourselves. In addition, if we are more worried about what others might think of us we will fail to experience greater intimacy with our Lord. Our eyes must be fixed on Jesus; the only One deserving of our worship.

Don't misunderstand, our worship is not limited to Sunday mornings from 10:00-11:00am. No. Worship can be public and private. Our lives should exemplify a heart of worship 24/7.

The Holy Spirit humbled me a few years back. When my husband and I served in youth ministry we attended a state play off basketball game of one of our youth boys. It was an exhilarating game. Winning would advance the team to the next level. We were on our toes hootin' and hollerin', high-fivin' other fans, cheering until our voices gave out. You know the kind. Back and forth the score went. Up and down went our arms with each basket our team made.

The next morning as I replayed the events in my mind, the Holy Spirit nudged me with these questions: When was the last time you got that excited about what I have done for you? When was the last time you expressed that much joy in your relationship with me? Ouch Lord. It was true, and His spirit of conviction swept over me. My worship was misplaced. I had become more excited about created things than my Creator. It is not wrong to cheer at a game, but the Lord used this to teach me a lesson: Nothing should ever become more exciting and exhilarating than HIM.

Accepting the shed blood of Jesus Christ gives us reason everyday to shout and dance before the Lord. We have been redeemed my friends. Let's celebrate! When we consider who God is and what He has done for us, a fitting response should be none other than to worship Him uninhibited. Acknowledging that our worship is for an audience of One, brings freedom in our expression of worship. Emptying ourselves and realizing the smallness of our greatness enables us to recognize the greatness of His GREATNESS!!

Alright friends, open the doors and windows and let God hear it! Oh, Praise Him!!!



Heart Work:
Ask the Lord to remove any insecurities you may have with worshiping Him. Seek to please Him and worship Him alone. Consider for yourself whether you embrace David's example of worship, or if you cling to Michal's.

Heart Examination:
Am I more concerned with what others think of my worship than what God thinks? Is pride inhibiting my uninhibited worship? Is my worship fitting for what God has done for me?

Heart Changing Word:
1 Chronicles 16:28 & 29 (NIV) "Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength, ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name, worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness."

2 Chronicles 29:30 "So they sang praises with gladness and bowed their heads and worshiped."

Psalm 95:1, 2, & 6 "Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God."

Psalm 100:1 & 2 "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs."

Psalm 101: 1 "I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise."

Matthew 28:9 "Suddenly Jesus met them. 'Greetings,' he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped Him."

Hebrews 13:15 (NLT) "Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name."



Copyright 2010 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.