I went to DC Fest last weekend with one of my best friends and my mom. We were able to worship right along with some of the greatest names in Christian music.. Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, Matthew West, Kutless, Big Daddy Weave, Sidewalk Prophets and Jonny Diaz. It was a pretty incredible experience! Knowing almost every song and screaming like a fifteen year old girl all night had me thinking I would wake up on Sunday without a voice. (Thankfully that wasn’t the case..)
During the concert, there was this one lady that was quite eccentric with her hand motions and movements while the bands played. At first we thought she was doing sign language, but soon realized she was just moving her arms and body in random motions. My first reaction was to be thankful I wasn’t the person sitting behind her. And the more she did it, I just got more and more irritated. To be frank, she was quite rude and obnoxious. She was blocking the view of people behind her and was completely distracting throughout the evening. Security eventually came and told her she needed to limit the amount of times she did these motions.
Now, as I sit here and think back to the evening.. maybe I was a bit too judgmental. Don’t get me wrong.. I still think she was being rude, but I feel compelled to put myself in her shoes. If I was worshipping God in my own little way, I would be irritated that someone else was trying to prevent me from doing so. Worship is such a personal experience that we have with God and we all worship differently. That lady worshipped by flailing her arms to and fro… I worship by listening to the words and letting them resonate in my heart. Sometimes, I close my eyes.. other times I put my hands cupped together in front of me as if I’m lifting up a prayer. We all worship differently.
And while Saturday’s concert was such an incredible worship experience, worship is much more than a concert. It’s much more than raising our hands, clapping or closing our eyes.. worship is us telling God how much we love Him and in return, it’s God telling us how much He loves us. It’s a chance to meet our God face to face and have such a personal and intimate encounter with Him.
So.. if worship is simply us telling God how much we love Him, then why do we feel the need to clap our hands, raise our arms or even bow down to our knees? Well, they are all signs of worship to our God.. and in fact, they’re mentioned numerous times in scripture. Psalm 95:6 says, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker.” Psalm 63:4 says, “I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands.” Psalm 100:1 says, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.”
Our worship experience is actually incorrectly phrased… the time we spend listening to music, singing and offering these praises up to the Lord.. we’re actually communicating with Him.. it’s more of a prayer. Our lives, as a whole, should be an act of worship, not just the time we spend with music. Worship is a lifestyle. Everyday we should bring praise and worship to our God with our thoughts and our actions. Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
Worship is much more than a concert. It’s much more than singing on key or being able to clap on beat. It’s our personal experience with God. Don’t worry about what others are or aren’t doing.. lose yourself in worship. As you sing praise songs and hymns this Sunday, offer each song up as a prayer and then leave that place… living your life as an act of worship, continually bringing honor and praise to the One who gives us life.
Psalm 95:1-3 says, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.”