So if you asked me how long I’ve loved Jesus, I would probably tell you it’s been a while. Now, if you then asked me how long I’ve expressed that love for him, I might have a very different answer.
Because to love something or someone is one thing, to express it is an entirely different matter.
But here’s the thing.
Love is an action.
So if I say I love something but do not express it, my words tumble out like empty boxes wrapped up real pretty. They look great on the outside, but inside they are empty. From the outside they have the appearance of an expression of love, namely, a gift. But they are empty, void of any real substance that might bless someone I love.
That’s how often my love for Jesus went (and still goes sometimes, let’s be honest). I would say I loved him, but my life was mostly void of any expression of that love. Love that is not expressed is not love, it’s admiration. You don’t have to express admiration for admiration to be complete. Sure it means more if you tell the person you admire that you admire them, but admiration is respectful attraction at a distance.
Admiration is safe.
Love is not.
Love requires expression.
A specific expression I want to talk about today is the expression of worship. Specifically worship as in singing and stuff.
Up until about a year ago my worship was bland. Uninteresting. Dull. Safe.
See, when I would was involved in worship anywhere, I would sing. I mean, duh. You’re supposed to sing right? There’s a lot of songs that really meant things to me too. But God forbid I raise my hands like some radical or dance like a clinically insane person, or even think about bowing low before my Father in worship like someone who’s mourning a loved one.
Gee, what would people think?
I would withhold physical expression of worship because I wanted to look normal.
And in doing so, I let fear reign over my worship.
In doing so I told everyone around me that I didn’t love God.
But I think it was true.
Sure, the people around me didn’t think that I didn’t love God just because I wasn’t physically worshiping him. But that’s the message my heart spoke. And God listens to the heart.
It’s like this: imagine that you and I are in a relationship and I refuse to hold your hand in public, or show any sort of affection to you. When you ask me why, I tell you that I just don’t feel comfortable doing so, and I don’t want people to judge me or think I’m a crazy person. How would that make you feel?
Love triumphs over fear.
If I truly loved you, I wouldn’t care what people thought. In FACT, I would want people to know I was desperately in love with you. I wouldn’t care if people thought I was a crazy person. Why?
Because LOVE CASTS OUT ALL FEAR.
So if I’m withholding expression of love towards God in worship, it’s because fear is ruling over love.
I’m worshiping fear, rather than worshiping God, because I’m choosing fear over God.
And the terrible thing is, this is something that plagues many, many Christians. I see it everywhere. People are afraid to express their love for God in worship, save singing, and stand there like robots, motionless. Now, I know what you might be thinking right now. Some people just don’t express their love for God in that way.
And that’s fine.
Not everyone needs to get crazy during worship to prove their love for God. Some people just don’t feel the need to. It’s not that they are afraid to, they just express it in other ways. That’s great. That’s not who I’m talking about though. I’m talking about people like me, who withhold true worship from our Father because it makes us uncomfortable.
And I know you’re out there.
You’ve worshiped safely for so long you’re not even convicted about it anymore. Let me tell you this: worship should be exciting. You should love to worship our Creator simply because of who he is. Simply because you love him. And if you don’t get excited for worship most likely it’s because you’re a safe worshiper.
Safe worship is not only deadly to your walk with God. It is a sin.
If you withhold worship in any form from God, you’re not truly worshiping. You’re a lukewarm worshiper because you are stuck in the middle, giving a little bit, but not going to far for fear of what people will think. God requires our all, even in worship. To do else to to deny him. Fear drove Peter to deny Christ. Fear drives us to worship safely. And that denies our Father the expression of affection he desires from us.
DO NOT LET FEAR DRIVE YOU TO DENY GOD THE WORSHIP HE IS DUE.
Worship is a posture of the heart before God saying “I love you.” Jesus said that what comes out of a man is what defiles him. Part of what he meant by this is that your actions reveal your heart. The same goes with worship. God created us to be beings of expression. We are physical beings. Our physical posture often reveals our heart’s posture.
Let me tell you, once I crossed the threshold of more physically expressing myself and just actually worshiping God, singing as loud as I felt like and doing what I wanted to do to express my love for God it was freeing. So freeing. (Well, actually at first it was really awkward) If you’re letting the Spirit truly move you into an expression of worship, you will feel so much more free. Withholding worship is a prison. It sucks so bad.
Get out of that cage.
Yeah, it might be weird at first.
But the more you start to hold the hand of your Savior in worship, the more you’ll want to. And the more you’ll inspire others to do the same. I’ve heard worship leaders say how often they’ve seen one or a few people change the entire atmosphere of worship in a room simply because they were actually pouring their love and affection upon the feet of Jesus in true and unadulterated expression. And how God loves to see us do that. How he longs for us to express our love more freely to him.
May we be a generation of people who worship like David did.
P.S: What about when I don’t feel like it? When I don’t feel like worshiping? God doesn’t want fake worship from me right? Let me ask you this? Do you base your love for God on your feelings? If so, then don’t worship when you don’t feel it. If you don’t base it on your feelings, then ALWAYS worship. It’s not fake if you worship when you don’t feel like it, it’s fake when you don’t worship when you don’t feel like it. God never changed. He remains the same whether we feel like we love him or we don’t. He is always deserving of our worship.