I was in church today and I had a real moment where I wondered how visitors to our Church must think that worship is weird. I mean we raise our hands, close our eyes, dance around, maybe even do the Pentecostal two step. (Ask around if you don’t know what this means) The more I thought about these outward gestures the stranger they became in my own mind, It’s kinda like when you look at a word and it just doesn’t look right, then you spell it over and over in your head and it still looks weird. Do you know what’s I mean?
So I thought I would offer up some thoughts on what worship means to me.
I think the heart of worship is surrender, for the Christian it is surrender to God. When we surrender it means that we don’t always get to do what we want, but go along with the plans of someone else.
Imagine that a famous, football player or a world leader in a given field or the Queen invited you out to lunch but you already had plans wouldn’t you change those plans and ‘surrender’ to their will because of how much you admired them? This is what worship is like for the Christian because we have had a revelation of how incredible God is, we willingly surrender our plans and go where He wants us to. Thats worship, worship isn’t just raising our hands (there are plenty of Christians who do that and yet don’t surrender to God’s will) I think raising our hands is best when it’s a response to our private surrender or willing obedience.
The greater our understanding of how good God really is the greater our willingness to surrender will be. Begrudging submission or obeying because we have to isn’t worship, trust me if someone I looked up to wanted to hang out then I would enjoy going along with their plans not whinge about it and yet so many people whinge about having to serve God. That’s not worship!
So why do we worship God? As a Christ follower I’ve come to learn that God alone really is deserving of the deepest worship which is possible on this earth. A celebrity can be worshiped from afar but get up close and you will be disappointed because they are just flesh and blood, like you and me. On the other hand God will never disappoint us no matter how close up we get He is the real deal.
You don’t worship someone who you are better than, I play a mean game of table tennis, (even though it’s been a while) so if I play someone who is good and I beat them they don’t get my attention but if I would meet an Olympic Table Tennis player I would stand in awe. Let me say this, Jesus is better than you in every single way! Actually I have come to believe that He was and is God, so we should stand in awe of Him.
So next time you are in Church raising your hands, check your heart and maybe more specifically check your week to see if there have been moments where you have been able to surrender and worship. Lets not just make this a bizarre ritual of throwing our hands in the air, shaking them around like we just don’t care.