Get Your Hands Up!

Worship with Abandon this Christmas

By Christina Parker-Benton

What does worship look like?

On Sundays many people gather in stadiums or around the TV to watch football. They paint their faces, wear jerseys, and cheer for their favorite teams to win. Their enthusiasm and love for their team is evident as they wave their hands, hold up banners, foam fingers and other team gear. Sometimes the worship of the beloved sports team is so intense that people teach their children to be just as committed.

I wonder: can we worship God with the same intensity we use to cheer for our favorite sports teams?  Minus the foam finger, can we lift our hands in praise? Can we live our lives in daily worship as a banner of our love for God? And can teaching our children to love God become a generational tradition?

Whether it’s a sports team, a music artist, a favorite comic or hobby; why are we more comfortable giving praise & worship to someone or something other than God?

Like a Fool…

Now King David was very comfortable worshiping God. As the writer of many of the Psalms, David  worshiped God with every aspect of who he was. In 2 Samuel 6, King David worships the Lord with so much inhibition that he dances without his clothes. Then his wife Michal says, (v.20),“How wonderfully the king has distinguished himself today—exposing himself to the eyes of the servants’ maids like some burlesque street dancer!” But David was not ashamed and responded,

In God’s presence I’ll dance all I want! He chose me over your father and the rest of our family and made me prince over God’s people, over Israel. Oh yes, I’ll dance to God’s glory—more recklessly even than this. And as far as I’m concerned . . . I’ll gladly look like a fool… (v. 21-22, MSG translation).

What about us?

Now I’m not suggesting we literally dance naked before the Lord (that’s up to you!), but rather we come to worship God with similar intensity and inhibition:

(1) Remove our Masks– Come to worship in spirit & in truth. We can show God our authentic selves, not worrying about what others think about us as we worship. (John 4:23-24)

(2) Reflect Christ’s image – As image bearers of Christ we should live to please Him; using His perfect sinless life as the standard by which we should live ours.  (Rom. 8:29; Gen. 1:27; 1 Cor. 15:49; 2 Cor. 5:9)

(3) Uncover our hearts– Open our hearts to God in worship. Praising Him for who He is & what He has done for us. Confessing our sins to Him, asking Him to cleanse our hearts from all desires that do not honor Him.  (Mark 7:6-7, Psalm 51:10)

(4) Sacrifice our resources – God blesses us with so much! As an act of thankfulness we need to sacrifice our time, talents, & money to serve Him and others in love. (Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 5:15-17; Num. 15:21)

(5) Expose our souls – Allow the Holy Spirit to be stirred up inside us. This will produce His power within us to renew us, reassure us & re-energize us to do the great things that God is calling us to do.   (Col. 3:9-10; Jer. 29:11; Acts 1:8; Rom. 15:13)

(6) Share our stories – God has given each of us a story that shows how He has worked and is still working in our lives. Sharing this story makes Him happy and helps others to see that He is real, He wants to help them, and most of all that He loves them.  (Rom 28:18-20, John 3:16)

So here it is…

If we are willing to show our love for our favorite hobbies through our appearance,  spending money, carving out time in our busy schedule and even sharing them with our family & friends, how much more should we do the same to worship God?

Let’s be uninhibited in our worship like King David.  After all, Psalm 63:4 says, “I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.”

So what are you waiting for? Get your hands up! Choose today to make worshiping God a lifestyle.

Worship with Abandon

Worship in Action:

Post or comment with the name(s) of your favorite worship song(s) & artist, a link to the music video or audio, or a short vid of you and/or family/friend worshipping to a particular song. You never know you might introduce someone to their new favorite song/artist, or you might find a new favorite yourself.

My favorite Christian/Gospel artist & album right now is Anthony Evans – Back to Life. And this is one of my favorite songs from it, “See You Again.”

Next Steps:
How can we make the most of the time we come to worship God together on Sunday or in your Life Group?

1. Plan a night of worship with your life group.
2. Attend Sunday Experiences or Nights of Worship, and come to worship uninhibited.
3. Make worship a lifestyle (Romans 12:1-2). Saturate your life with worshipping God not just in singing but in how you live.
4. Incorporate family time or private times of worship into your routine.
5. Listen to worships songs during daily activities like cleaning or driving, even find children’s worship music for bath time or play time.

Merry Christmas! May it be a wonderful time of worship for you and your family.