Come To Worship:  Lift Your Hands To God

Introduction:

There are various reasons why people raise their hands during praise/worship songs in church or at Christian concerts. Among the reasons are: to show surrender, submission, gratitude, humility, or dependence to God, to give God reverence or adoration, to give their all to God, or to be filled by God.

Bottom Line: The moment you surrender to Him, you find victory in Him.

Something To Talk About:

The Bible gives us reasons why we can lift our hands during worship, but never says we must express our faith in this way. In John 4:24, Jesus said that God is looking for worshippers who worship Him in spirit and truth. We are called to worship God with our hearts, minds, and souls, not just our bodies. That can include our hands, but it doesn’t have to. Consider the following:

  1. Created To Worship: Psalm 47:1-2 makes this clear: “Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth.” Did you catch that? It is often missed. The primary reason for our worship is centered in one simple word: “for.” We worship God for who God is. We worship because of who God is and what God has done. Our worship is a response to God, to God’s nature and activity. That’s why we continually remember the Gospel in our worship, whether in word or praying or singing, in silence or celebration. We worship and praise God. For the unique, all-powerful, sovereign, holy, just God has reached out to us in love through Jesus Christ, saving us from sin and death. He chose to draw us into fellowship with him, enlisting His followers as partners in His work to redeem and restore the world. That is why we worship.
  2. Worship isn’t something we do. A worshipper is who we are: Worship is important because, as Tozer once said, “…it’s the reason Christ came, the reason He was crucified and the reason He rose again.” There are many other Scriptures in the Word that tell us God is seeking true worshipers. Scriptures like Psalm 95:6-7: “Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!” And Psalm 99:5, “Exalt the Lord our God! Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!” Worship is critical because it’s the key to God’s presence. It becomes who we are. We come into His presence by loving, adoring and exalting Him. He then makes Himself known by communicating His Love and His inspiration (and revelation) back to us. This, of course, results in change.
  3. God, I need you: Coming from a religious background, I strongly believe in God. I know I need God. There are many reasons why we need God in our lives. One of them is the ability to help others in time of need. Most people have helped others but how often do we help others when we need help ourselves?  Those times when we are struggling with something in our lives but we put it on hold to give another person a sense of love and hope. Then there is the strength that comes from needing God. When we are facing challenges in our lives, it can seem to easier to give up. At a time of desperation, you turn to and lean on God. We pray to Him, and suddenly you gain strength. You do not lose hope. You believe things will get better because with God all good things are possible. Another reason we need God is the guidance that we all need. When things are bad, it is hard to be positive during these times. Having God in your life can give you the guidance you need to get through the bumps in the road. And through God and prayer everything is possible. All we need is faith.

Questions:

  1. Based on your religious experience, how would you define true worship? What have you learned about worship from personal experiences?
  2. In your own words, what is the difference between attending worship and living in worship?
  3. 2 Samuel 6:5 says, “David and all the people of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.” How do you celebrate before God?
  4. God does not live in temples, shrines and church buildings. Rather, God lives in the hearts of His people. How does this effect your view of worship?
  5. Do I feel God calling me to make worship a higher priority in my life? If so, what do I need to eliminate in order to make more time to worship God?

Take One Thing Home with You:

Along with presents and Christmas cards, you often hear people talking about the Christmas spirit. The general belief is that we can all use a little more Christmas spirit. But what is Christmas spirit and what is the difference between Christmas spirit and worship? While I believe Christmas spirit is a good thing, I strongly believe what we need even more during Christmas is worship. As it was with the shepherds and angels, Christmas is about worship before it’s about anything else: falling on our knees, falling flat on our faces, adoring the brilliance of this God who comes to us as a baby, lying in a feed trough, breathing with other animals, wrapped tightly against the cold.   

If we all worshipped this mystery at Christmas, lived that worship in every moment of our live’s during the Christmas season, we would all have the Christmas spirit. The Christmas season brings a perfect opportunity to include our friends, neighbors, and relatives in our worship of God and model to them a love for Him.