The first time I visited a church where a lady raised her arms so high and then waved them left to right, I thought maybe the people on either side should consider wearing helmets to church. I stared, all ten years of me, and wondered what on earth the woman was doing to try to bring so much attention to herself instead of to God.
It was in later years, I would discover the various forms of expressive worship. What I saw as a distraction and just outright rude, another saw as an open embracing of God's majesty and complete, utter abandon.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
Worship. It's something that is so misconstrued from denomination to church to campfire to quiet place in our room. There's a right way--or a wrong way. My mom was confronted when I was a kid because she didn't speak in tongues and therefore had never and could never experience true worship. Heaven help us!
God calls us to kneel before Him. Worship is the act of utter submission and offering up glory to One more deserving than ourselves. Worship isn't a prescribed order, a litany of rules, uncontrolled abandon, or even necessarily the waving of ribbons and flags. Worship is coming into the THRONE ROOM of God. Joshua fell on his face, as did David, as did other heroes of the faith. In the end, I'd dare to challenge that the ultimate physical display of worship is face planting prostrate before GOD.
Have I learned to break the Baptist barrier and raise my hands in worship? Ok, maybe every now and then my fingertips hit the height of my chin. But I'm still comfortable poker-facing it, looking bored, and maybe a tad cranky. It's my way of worship...I CONCENTRATE hard. Which probably leaves people around them thinking I'm ready to club someone. I'm really not a hard core Baptist, just a hard core focused worshiper who doesn't crack a smile.
On the flip side, I've stood next to Anne, her arms popping out of their sockets, reaching for the face of God with everything in. And shockingly enough, she can hold that stretch for the duration of an entire worship song! Oh man, there's dedication to worship.
I dare to challenge us all, to enter worship unconcerned with anything but heart stretching worship. The kind of worship that internally takes you to your knees. (don't really fall to your knees in church because you'll probably crack your chin on the pew or chair in front of you and need stitches). The kind of worship that moves your arms up or sends your hands to your pockets. WHO CARES!!! Worship Him with your whole heart today...stretch it...hold him...and HONOR HIM!