Worship Like Nobody's Watching
December 31, 2020 | Jessica Benko
You probably know the saying, “Dance like nobody’s watching.” It’s meant to encourage us to pursue something with reckless abandon, because it makes our hearts feel light, happy, full and connected to that thing we love. In spite of what those around us might think. But a lot of times, it’s easier said than done.
Given the season we’re in, it got me thinking: how often do I worship Jesus, the King of kings, the One who deserves our full attention and praise, “like nobody’s watching?”
For me, the answer is not often enough. And though it’s hard to admit, it’s because I’m conscious of those around me and what they may think.
I want to worship with a heart and passion like David’s (Psalm 63), a sacrificial mindset like Abraham’s (Genesis 22), and a humility like the woman with the alabaster jar (Luke 7). In all of these situations, the individual outwardly pursued Jesus without regard for the opinions of others. Yet, even though I want to worship Him just as He deserves, I still find myself being reserved — in church, during conversation, and with social media.
Have you ever wanted to raise your hands and sing loudly during worship, but held back because there were others around? Or been called to get down on your knees to pray, but didn’t? Or had the urge to share a really amazing service and message, but stopped before posting or hitting send?
I grew up in the Catholic Church, so public, exuberant, and spontaneous worship doesn’t come naturally to me. While I’ve gotten better at it over time, I have significant opportunity for improvement.
The good news is that the Bible gives us plenty of examples of how to worship. Not just with our hearts and minds, but our bodies as well. So that when the time comes, our actions (and confidence!) can be rooted in Biblical truths rather than our own misconceived understandings or shortcomings. Which, for me, is a game-changer because it helps me understand why doing certain things are pleasing to God. Here are just a few of the ways the Bible says we can meaningfully worship Jesus with our bodies, regardless of who’s watching:
Raising Our Hands Toward Heaven: “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands …” (Psalms 63:4, NIV) or “Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven …” (Lamentations 3:41, NIV).
Bowing/Kneeling: “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture …” (Psalms 95:6, NIV)
Gathering Together: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place …” (Acts 2:1, NIV).
Dancing: “Let them praise his name with dancing …”(Psalms 149:3) or “Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might …” (2 Samuel 6:14, NIV).
We shouldn’t worship Jesus because of how it makes us — or others! — feel, but because He deserves it. And though worship is more than any single act throughout the day, when we’re pursuing Jesus with reckless abandon — regardless of who’s watching — we can be confident in knowing our actions are pleasing to Him. And that’s really all that matters, isn’t it?
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