Written By: Michelle Eby
The laughter of a child lights up the house. ~ Swahili proverb
We talk a lot about worship, but what does it mean to authentically worship our Lord and Savior? Scripture talks a lot about worshiping the Lord. We are to worship Him only and rejoice in the Lord always! We are to praise God for who He and proclaim His name among the nations. We also know that if we don’t worship him, “the rocks will cry out”. But, we can’t force worship. Luke 6:45 tells us that “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks”. Authentic worship is a spontaneous outpouring of our love and adoration of Christ. It is when we come before him knowing who we are and who He is, that we can truly worship Him. It can’t be scheduled or contrived but is a natural reflection of the love and joy that we feel towards Him!
You see evidence of this is scripture in the story of the “sinful woman” in Luke 7:36-50. This woman broke all the rules of her society. She entered uninvited, into the home of a Pharisee. She entered a room full of men and knelt and wept at the feet of Jesus. Not only did she do this, but she also wiped her tears from his feet with her hair and anointed him with her most precious possession – a jar of very expensive oil/perfume. This oil represented her life savings and she wanted to give it all to Jesus. She was so grateful for what the Lord had done in her life, that she was willing to break all of the “norms” and worship at the feet of Jesus. She did not care what others thought of her, but she came boldly so that she could repent and worship her Lord!
We also see this “reckless abandon” when we look at King David as he danced and worshiped before the Lord and the Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 6:12-21). He removed his Kingly robes to humble himself and come before God– not as a King, but as a humble worshiper. He embarrassed his wife but was willing to humble himself even more than this to show honor and glory to God.
Sometimes in church, we try to orchestrate worship. We plan times of worship and even usher in an atmosphere of worship, but we cannot make people worship by singing louder, clapping or dancing, or shouting hallelujah if that is not an overflow of their heart. Authentic worship comes about when we come before the Lord without worry about what others think and offer our true worship to Him.
In my 18 years in Africa, I have been in a lot of different church services. I have enjoyed listening to and participating in worship in many languages and styles. And even though people enjoy worshiping in many different styles and languages, it never ceases to amaze me when the music changes to a song in someone’s heart language. There is something so authentic about the worship in our mother tongue. It is natural, effortless and powerful! There is a joy that overflows and spills out as a love offering to God.
May we come before the Lord with reckless abandon and recognize who we are and who He Is as we authentically worship Him!