By Charity Pence
This Week’s Verse: John 15:11 (KJV) “These things I have spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
A few weeks ago, our Sunday school class was discussing how we worship during church. In particular, we discussed why some people do not lift their hands during worship services. Psalm 67:3 says, “May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.” (NIV) Showing our praise by doing anything that is considered out of the ordinary can be frightening, though. We fear judgment or ridicule even though we shouldn’t. Isaiah 55:6 tells us, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.” (NKJ) When we are at church, our focus should be on God alone.
Up until a few years ago, I didn’t dare lift my hands. I prefer not to draw attention to myself. Therefore, lifting my hands when others were not was out of the question for me. That’s not the case anymore. Over the last few years I have had the chance to experience God’s presence in such a way that I couldn’t help but cut loose. I like the picture we have of David dancing in the street which is found in 2 Samuel 6:14. Unashamed, David allows his joy for the Lord to consume him. When his wife expresses her disdain for what he has done, he tells her, “I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight.” (NKJV) David’s heart was on fire for God, and he wasn’t going to let anyone prevent him from expressing his love for his Lord.
Have you ever danced with God? I have! There’s a worship song I used to listen to regularly while dancing in the kitchen. And just this morning as I was considering this devotion, a song came to mind, and I started jumping up and down, praising God. I have to admit I will probably not be dancing or jumping around in my pew at church any time soon, but there is freedom in giving all I have to praise God. When my entire focus is on my heavenly father instead of what others are thinking, joy overwhelms me. And when I lift my hands, I’m not just lifting my hands in praise; I’m reaching for God and showing Him I want Him near.
Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to keep my eyes and heart on you while worshipping at church and throughout the week. We should all seek to please you and you alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Applications: If this is too much for you, that’s okay. Some people worship quietly, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you ever feel the urge to offer your praise in such a noticeable way, don’t hold back!
Psalms 100:1 “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.” (NIV)
Proverbs 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” (NIV)
Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me early and diligently shall find me.” (Amp)