I think we need to be careful with the words we declare when we are emotionally charged in worship. When the lighting is right, the band is good, and it is our new favorite Bethel song playing – it is easy to make declarations of faith and surrender. But do we mean it?
I had a convicting moment at church a week ago. We sang the song “Ever Be” (new favorite Bethel song), declaring the words, “Your praise will ever be on my lips” over and over and over.
Meanwhile, I was distracted by and judging the girl in front of me for dancing while worshiping. (Dancing as worship? Worship-dancing? Anyways.)
Point being, if God’s praise is to ever be on my lips – I can’t be judging the person in front of me. While I might have been verbalizing those words, there was nothing praiseworthy going on in me.
Because to praise God – is to recognize who He is. And to judge a person is to criticize God’s ability to create. He created her in His Image, and spoke “It is GOOD” over her – and I am, while pretending to praise Him, simultaneously tarnishing her beauty and worth with my thoughts.
We do it to ourselves all the time. Whenever we doubt ourselves, criticize our bodies, downplay our gifts or strengths, we not only limit and lie to ourselves, we fail to praise God for His creation. We say that being His creation, the Imago Dei is not enough. The original lie, the first temptation…all over again.
Living against that lie; living believing “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” is the best praise You can offer God. To say, You created me, therefore I am a masterpiece. That is to live with His praise ever on our lips. And to view and treat others that way too – He will be praised and glorified through that.
I think worship moves us so deeply because our deepest heart desires finally match what we are verbalizing. Deep down where our hearts are pure and we humbly realize our need for God – we want to say things like Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, where my faith can be made stronger…and I need You, oh I need You, every hour I need You…
The fault is not in singing those words. It is in leaving church and going back to our safe, comfortable lives where we don’t acknowledge our need for Him and won’t leave the shore to follow Him.
I found myself singing along to another Bethel song, saying, “Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours.”
I stopped and said out loud to myself, Woahhh. That is heavy! That is a huge declaration of faith. Do I mean that?
As the Spirit worked on my heart that night at church, and we moved through the song – I found myself with deeper desire and more genuine humility singing, promising, “You will be praised, You will be praised! With angels and saints we sing worthy are you Lord!”
(If you haven’t heart this song, listen here. Also, note the worship-dancing.So good.)