Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I Raise My Hands

I've become a very demonstrative worshipper.

I don't plan it.  I don't practice any moves or watch myself in a mirror to see how I look.  I don't plan out when to raise my hand or when to sway or when to dance.

But I've learned that inward worship requires outward expression.

I'm a very expressive person.  But in worship, in that intimate place with God, I'd always held back my emotions.  God's been working on that, though.  From starting to feel ok with my hand in the air from time to time... to feeling like I am truly reaching for God when my hand is raised or that an outstretched hand is a sign of my prayers over the congregation... to now being in a place where I don't even know that I am fully aware of everything I'm doing when I worship.

I sway. I rock. My feet move a bit.  My hands go up or out or to my heart.  Sometimes I cry.

Worship is a way of expressing that God is worthy of my praise and I am worthy of His love.

I was curious to learn more about what Scripture says about worship so I did some reading and learning.

Nehemiah 8:6
Then Ezra called out and blessed the Eternal, worshiping God’s greatness. With their hands raised to the heavens, the people called out loudly in response, crying, “Amen! So may it be!” Then they fell to their knees and bowed. With their faces to the ground, they worshiped the Eternal. 

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of the Anointed One richly inhabit your lives. With all wisdom teach, counsel, and instruct one another. Sing the psalms, compose hymns and songs inspired by the Spirit, and keep on singing—sing to God from hearts full and spilling over with thankfulness.

Ephesians 5:19
When you are filled with the Spirit, you are empowered to speak to each other in the soulful words of pious songs, hymns, and spiritual songs; to sing and make music with your hearts attuned to God

1 Corinthians 14:26
What should you do then, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each person has a vital role because each has gifts. One person might have a song, another a lesson to teach, still another a revelation from God. One person might speak in an unknown language, another will offer the interpretation, but all of this should be done to strengthen the life and faith of the community.

I'm learning more and more all the time about what it means to be a Worship Leader.  It took some time to feel comfortable with the title and sometimes I still struggle with it.  But more and more I'm understanding what it means.

Worship is personal.  It's between a person and God.  But there is power in sharing praise and worship in a group of people.  And being a worship leader means that I get to lead people into a closer relationship with Christ and to teach them *how* to worship the way the Bible teaches us.

Maybe you hold back.  Maybe you don't really like to sing.  Maybe you don't really get why people sing or why they raise their hands or move around.

And maybe now you can at least see that and realize that it's a Biblical thing.  It's not about drawing attention or somehow being a "better praiser" than anyone else.  For me, it's completely about opening my heart to the Holy Spirit and trusting Him to guide me and move me for the sake of others who seek to worship.

That's why I raise my hands.


sig jan 2014 photo owlsig.jpg

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