As I was reading the Scriptures this morning, Psalm 134:2 jumped out at me:
Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!
It is really not optional whether or not we take action (i.e. raise our hands or a flag or dance) in worship. It is a biblical command.
Worship is Action
In Nehemiah 8:6 (AMP) we see their hands being raised, answering “amen, amen” and them prostrating themselves:
And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with faces to the ground.
Psalms 95:6 also reminds us to kneel and bow down before our Maker. And Psalms 100:4 reminds us to enter His gates with thanksgiving – a great reminder to get our hearts correctly positioned before we even begin to worship!
Of course being over a ministry that creates worship flags, I obviously believe it’s scriptural for us to flag in worship. I have a couple posts on the Dyed4you blog that explain why (pt 1, pt 2), but here’s a few excerpts:
- It is a sign of victory (Ex 17:15)
- It is a sign that the Lord is here (Is 18:3)
- It shows His gates are open (Is 13:2)
- It encourages you to enter into His presence (Is 62:10)
- It is a sign to come quickly, to rise from your sleep, to be strengthened with His strength, The enemy flees at the sign of a banner (flag) (Is 30:17)
- It rallies the Armies of God to gather for spiritual warfare (Jer 51:27)
- It causes people to rejoice and have hope (Ps 20:5)
- We are called Awesome as an Army (Song of Solomon 6:4)
In Psalm 40 we are told to sing Him a new song and in Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19 it also reminds us to sing to Him when we are with each other. And Psalms 150 reminds us to worship with all manner of instruments, while Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us there is a time to dance.
Worship is an action verb. It is about pouring out our affection – lavishing it upon the One who is worthy. It is a matter of the heart. If we simply go through the motions, but our hear isn’t in it – that doesn’t please Him. He will not be satisfied with half an offering. We are to be living sacrifices (Romans 12:1) “holy and acceptable to God,” which is our spiritual worship. Actually, let’s look at Roman 12:1 in the Amplified:
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
In other words, it’s the least we can do. So I ask you – how is your worship? Is it pouring from the depths of your love for Him? Are you in a rut or sensitive to His Spirit’s promptings on what will please Him? Are you struggling with fear of man? Concerned if you raise your hands in worship or flag or dance that someone will think ____ about you?
I encourage you to ask Him what He would have you do. I remember the first time He asked me to put a scarf over my head during worship. I was terrified people would think I was weird – LOL! And yet the silk was barely a shade different from my hair and we were in a darkened room all supposedly focused on Him!!!
Each time as I obeyed – each time as He’d ask “do you want to please Me or are you more concerned with what they think?” – each time I’d get on my face in a room where no one else was… each time He broke off more fear of man and took me into deeper and deeper fellowship with Him.
The process did not happen overnight and in fact at some points it felt like it happened so slowly that I wondered if any progress was being made at all! But looking back nearly 7 years, I can see how each movement, each act of obedience, drew me closer to My king.
Father, I ask that You would break off any fear of man or complacency or anything else that hinders us lavishing worship on You in the ways that are pleasing to You. May our offerings be sweet incense before Your throne!