My wife often puts together playlists on YouTube for our kids to watch, which include some educational videos, some worship videos, and sometimes videos to give them a little exercise. One exercise video that was in there instructed our kids to do certain things like, “reach down to the ground, and touch your toes” and “put your hands in the air,” and I noticed how well my 6 year old son was doing at following the instructions in the video. He obeyed the voice in the video perfectly!
And it got me thinking, you know, sometimes on Sunday morning Cory is all over the place while we’re singing with the church. He’s climbing under pews, or he’s getting up in his little sister’s face, or he’s sneaking up behind grandma so he can yell, “boo!”
But this video got me thinking, “What if I recorded myself giving him similar instructions and had him listen to it with earphones while we’re all singing?” I think he’d do really well with it! I can just see him following commands in his ear such as “stand on your feet, and stand real straight,” and “raise up your hands and shout Amen!” We’d all think he got the Spirit, right? Completely unrestrained in worship! But he’d really just be focusing on my voice in his ear and being obedient to it.
And it got me thinking, “Man, sometimes I need that for myself.” Sometimes I’m all over the place on Sunday morning. I’m thinking about my sermon, or I’m wondering how I should announce a certain event coming up, but what God wants is for me to be focused on His voice and fully obedient to Him in worship! And the cool thing about this is that obedience to God in worship IS completely unrestrained worship! It’s when we don’t care about what anyone else is doing or isn’t doing, and we’re so focused on God and thankful for who God is and what He’s done and is doing in our lives that we overflow with praise!
This doesn’t equate to a certain posture. You can raise your hands or you can not raise your hands. You can stand or you can kneel. You can shout or keep your mouth shut. Those can all be expressions of worship. God doesn’t look at the outward appearance. God looks at the heart. When you worship, you should be so enamored by God that you cry out in your heart, “How can I keep from singing Your praise?”
And sometimes that comes out through physical expressions, and sometimes that simply causes you to be in awe of God in a quiet moment.