Yesterday I spoke about praising the Lord and how even the trees and the starts were created to praise God. We should be as uninhibited as they are in our praise, but very few actually are. I was speaking to a friend about it and she confirmed my feelings that we have been conditioned to conform to standards. There are certain norms and standards that are considered to be correct and if we step out of them we are looked upon as rebellious, eccentric or even crazy. We aren’t supposed to make waves. We have to look like others look, speak like others speak and behave like we are expected to. We are expected to fit into boxes that have been created by society. In the last 100 years or so with the advent of communications the pressure has become increasingly more. Now that the internet and social media is replacing television and is available to virtually everyone in every place the pressure is really on.
Even in church there are ways to praise and worship that are dictated by tradition, by the leaders or by popular opinion. If the majority of people in a church raise their hands during praise, then it is acceptable. If one person in a church decides they want to raise their hands, they might receive a few glances from disapproving congregants. If dancing is allowed in a church there will be someone who has something to say about it. What is appropriate and what is not appropriate? And who is going to decide whether it is acceptable or not? I’m not saying this because of any particular incident or because I have sour grapes about anything. I’m just observing and speculating. I think life for the minister or pastor of a church must be very difficult. Trying to keep a few hundred people happy is a daunting task, and I am definitely not judging them because I don’t envy their position. Someone mentioned that if there are a lot of older people in a service the music should be more sedate. I have never been able to understand that because I don’t feel any older than I was when I was 30 years ago and I don’t feel any differently to the tempo or the volume of music.
I think the congregants should be more accepting of one another and respect the way each person chooses to worship God. At the end of the day it’s about every person’s relationship with their Saviour. Psalm 150 is the epitome of true worship,
“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
How amazing would a church service be if we could all just do what it says in this psalm. I know that we aren’t all in the same place spiritually and some of us wouldn’t even consider being louder than a whisper in church. But there are people who are really excited about being believers and who are in nature more outgoing and who would love to shout it out for the whole world to hear. Revelation 4:5, “And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices.” Revelation 5:11-12, “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
I think heaven is going to be a very, very loud place. With all the angels and living creatures and elders and harps it is definitely not going to be quiet or sedate. A place of exuberant worship, a place where nobody is going to judge you when you decide to dance like David danced. So, if God’s throne room is really going to be the way it is described in the Bible, shouldn’t we start practicing and get used to being a little bit less judgmental and a little more uninhibited in our praise?