It was a normal Sunday worship service and as I watched my 4 year old daughter during our time of musical worship she began to clap her hands along with the song while singing. She then looked around and slowly stopped as she realized no one else was. My heart broke for her, she was just trying to worship, and perhaps felt maybe she was not supposed to worship that way. I encouraged her to keep going, trying to clap with her. But as I watched, it made me ponder, how we model worship to others? Are we showing the next generations and new believers how to worship?
Worship is an expression of our love, thanksgiving, pain, and joy to God. Take a look throughout Scripture and it will show you the art of worship. Here are a few verses that you can reflect upon: Psalm 9:1-2, Psalm 149:3, Psalm 95:1-6, Hebrews 12:28, Job 1:20-21, and Romans 12:1-2.
When we are gathered for corporate worship, is it our main purpose to praise God? Are we expressing our feelings towards God? I think it would be safe to say the majority of us are not outwardly expressing our feelings. But why are we confining our outward expression towards God? Why are we not clapping for joy, dancing with love, lifting our arms in thanksgiving, or on our knees in grief and sadness, or offering up a sacrifice for Him? Are we too afraid of what others will think?
Remember what Romans 12:1-2 said? Don’t conform to the world, but instead lean into God and let Him work through you. Don’t hold back because everyone else is, if you are joyful, clap. If you are thankful, raise your hands. If you are in awe, bow your head. If you are suffering, cry. Do not hold it in, share it. For if we hold our expressions inward, how do they learn how to worship? It is a learned response both from Scripture but also from believers modeling it.
I think back to the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem, and how the people worshipped Jesus: “took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!” (John 12:13 NLT) Here they are outwardly expressing their excitement and joy that the King of Kings is coming. They even laid their coats by laying them on the ground to make a grand entrance for Jesus, an entrance for a King! Would you make a sacrifice to worship Jesus? Would you risk clapping off beat, or shouting out praises, or Amens or even shedding tears during worship because you are excited to be meeting Jesus where you are at?
When we come to worship, let us worship our Lord! Let us show our next generations and new believers what worship is, and that it is amazing to just let go of all the thoughts and fears that confine us and just outwardly express our emotions and feelings towards God. So as you enter into worship this week either in person or at home online, enter in with the mindset to express yourself freely to your Lord and Savior and to show others how to worship, because you never know what 4 year old little girl is watching you and modeling worship after you.