Given May 18, 2008
Freedom in worship is a hard thing sometime. Depending on what denomination you are involved in, you may be totally free or not free at all. I’m reminded of King David being free in worship: “David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets. 2 Samuel 6: 14-15“. He didn’t care who saw him or what they thought, he was going to worship his God for the things He had done.
My church is one that encourages freedom in worship and many are, especially the youth. Most will clap their hands, raise their hands, and even move a little. Even though I’m one of the “older” generation, I love praise and worship and even sing on the praise team and consider myself pretty free in worship. However, God showed me a contrast this day in church.
We have three praise teams and mine was not leading this day so I was in my regular seat worshiping God with the congregation. I was clapping, raising my hands, and getting into the worship. I noticed a family nearby where the father and teenage son were pretty ridged. The son was tapping his hands on the back of the seat in front of them so I could tell he wanted to do more but seemed hindered to do so. The dad stood still. I prayed for them to be free.
I lead the morning prayer too so I made my way up to the front during the third song and behind the stage, where it’s dark, to await the end of praise and worship so I could lead in prayer. In the darkness, behind the curtain, as I participated in the last worship song, I was in tears at the wonder of my God. He spoke to me there and said, “You aren’t really free either. See the difference between your worship here and out there?”
Oh man! It was like night and day! I saw that it did matter to me what “people” thought. No one was looking behind the stage and I let go and worshiped. It was a revelation to me. I had to repent.
Jesus said to worship God, “in spirit and in truth. John 4:24“. I will think of this today as my praise team is not leading and I will be in the congregation again. Lord, make me free to praise you and be pleased with my response to your presence. Amen.