The Language of Worship
So I’ve been thinking this past week about the language of corporate worship in the Psalms. Things like . . .
Come, let us sing for you to the Lord. — Psalm 95:1*
Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. — Psalm 47:1
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. — Psalm 63:44
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. — Psalm 95:6
There are many more. All of these are commands given to me by my great God and King, not suggestions or things to do if I feel like it. God desires my full worship. Yet why do I not do these things? Why am I so inhibited in my praise? I’m certainly not inhibited if I go a sports event or concert; I’ll stand, shout, and clap. But why do I not respond in kind before our God, who is certainly more worthy than any sports team or musician? God commands my full worship. It is not an option.
Paul states it another way:
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. — Romans 12:1
Not just parts, not just some, but offer your bodies.
As God and King, why would He command my full self to be offered to Him? As I’ve been thinking this past week, each of these actions reflect an attitude of my heart. Can you think of a better way to display unity with others than to lift your voice and sing and clap? Or a better way to show full allegiance to our God than to bow and kneel? Or to say to God “I surrender” by lifting my hands and yielding my will to the One who gave it all — for me. How can God use me if I don’t offer my whole self to Him? Maybe God knows that my heart’s attitude will follow if I regularly, physically submit myself to Him in worship. God knows how I’m wired and how much easier it is for my heart to fully trust Him when my whole self is involved.
Lord, help me to see that Your ways are better than mine. Keep my eyes focused on what You want, what You command, what You desire. Help me to yield to Your Spirit’s leading may I declare with my whole self..
I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all. I’ll stand, my soul, Lord, to You surrendered. All I am is Yours.**
by Doug Friesen, Pastor of Worship Ministries
*All scripture references are NIV.
**Lyrics from The Stand, by Joel Houston, CCLI #4705248.