Thoughts on Worishp

Because Your lovingkindness is better that life, My lips shall praise You. Thus will I bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
It’s tempting for a worship leader to try to gage the effectiveness of his or her leading by the physical reaction of the congregation. I catch myself doing this from time to time. A friend of mine wrote the line, “Teach me to lift up my hands, and to surrender my all.” When sing it I often can’t help cracking an eye open to see if anyone is actually doing it. The thing is, worship is a matter of the heart, and people worship in different ways. My wife for instance, who is one of the most sincere lovers of God that I know and truly blessed with the gift of faith, loves to worship but I don’t often see her raise her hands or do any other thing that’s too outwardly demonstrative in a corporate worship service. For her, worship is a quiet, personal time between she and the Lord. I know this because every time I ask how she thought the worship service went (which really means, “How do you think I did today?”) she says, “I don’t know, I was worshiping” (which really means, “I was worshiping, what were you doing?”).
One of the most valuable lessons a worship leader can learn is that he isn’t the worship leader at all, the Holy Spirit is. God deals with individuals individually, and we need to give Him room. I always find it uncomfortable to be in a service where the singer is acting as more of a cheerleader than a worshiper. If I’m pressed over and over from the stage to lift my hands or clap or put my right foot in or take my left foot out and shake it all about, my focus isn’t any longer on Jesus but just on how annoyed and uncomfortable I’m getting.
Personally, sometimes I can’t help but raise my hands, and sometimes I just want to bow my head and quietly focus on Jesus. Oh beautiful grace! How wonderful to be free in the Lord.
So lift your hands…or don’t….clap, dance, quietly bow your head….or don’t ….but do this, give your whole heart, rest in His love, worship.
Be abandoned to the God that saves us!
Buck

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