29 Feb When Nobody is Watching
“The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.” (Psalm 18:46)
Who are we blessing with our worship? Who are we exalting? Is it our friends and family? The pastor? The congregation? Our local church? Our talents? Ourselves?…
We have all heard, and probably used (or abused) the phrase “We worship an audience of ONE.” But do we really mean it?
Psalm 7:17 says, “I will praise The Lord according to His righteousness, And I will sing praise to the name of The Lord Most High.”
I love how David reminds us that we are praising the Lord according to HIS righteousness. We are not praising Him according to our mood, or even our skill set. God doesn’t want our praises only when we are feeling particularly thankful, or because we woke up on the right side of the bed. He doesn’t want our praises only when our talents are on their best display. He wants our praises ALWAYS, because they are according to HIS righteousness. And His righteousness doesn’t change.
Zach Neese says, “worship is love expressed God’s way.” So what is God’s way? I think we can learn the answer to that by studying the life of David.
It is probably safe to say that David was a “model worshipper.” Though not a perfect man, he was a man after God’s own heart. If you read even a portion of the Psalms, you see that he was a man that worshipped! For now, we’ll focus on two aspects of how David worshipped.
Let’s first take a look at David’s public worship, which, by the way, didn’t always make him look super cool. We all know the story. In 2 Samuel, chapter 6, David brought the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and he was excited! It was a great day! He blessed the people, ate some food, and then he began “leaping and whirling before the Lord.” (2 Sam. 6:16). He also “played music before the Lord” (2 Sam. 21). It was a let loose sort of moment, and let’s just say that he may not have looked like he was recording a live album. Did God care what he looked like? I’ll give you a resounding NO!! And when David’s wife reprimanded him due to her embarrassment, he replied, “…I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight.” (2 Sam. 6:22) Do we have that in us? Can we humble ourselves in our own sight? It is His sight, alone, that matters. The fear of embarrassment can, at times, hold us back. I’m not suggesting that we put on some sort of crazy-show so that every eye in the room is bugging and no one can worship. I’m suggesting that, there are times when we must forget ourselves entirely. There are times when we are called to care nothing for ourselves, and only for HIM. There are times when the SELF-preservation we so often cling to, in order to avoid “embarrassing ourselves” should be lost and forgotten; times when we stop holding back praises for the only ONE who deserves it. Sometimes we need to be a little undignified! This requires us to let go of our pride and self-importance and, as David says, “be humble in our own sight.” Daniel Stephens said, “ Humility is the most important trait of someone who wants to lead others to worship. Humility is knowing who the object of your worship is.”
David knew who the object of his worship was. David LOVED God. He feared God. And he knew how to worship God publicly. But there’s more….
So where did David get this humble boldness to forget himself and worship God as he did publicly? It comes from the second aspect of David’s worshipping life. It came from the part of David’s life that no one saw.
David worshipped God privately. He spent years in fields alone with God and sheep….worshipping the Lord. He spent years hiding in caves alone with God….worshipping the Lord. I would venture to say that he probably worshipped privately more than corporately. Are we doing that? Are we worshipping privately? Or are we only worshipping when it’s time to lead others to worship? If our answer is leaning toward the latter, we need to stop, and examine ourselves. We need to stop, and repent. We need to stop, and worship.
If we are only worshipping when it’s time to lead others, when it’s time to sound our best, and “nail that song,” we are missing the mark. How can we lead others to worship The Lord Most High, when we haven’t been doing it ourselves, when nobody is watching? In order to lead worship, we have to first be a worshipper. God longs to be with us. He longs for us to know Him, and maintain a deep personal relationship with Him. We must first worship intimately, before we worship publicly. God wants our worship when it’s not our job, or even our service. He wants our worship during the good times and bad times. He wants our worship dignified and undignified. He wants our worship corporately and alone. He wants our worship according to HIS righteousness.
So let us worship The Lord! Let us bless The Rock of our salvation and let the God of our salvation be exalted!….publicly, and when nobody’s watching.