When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” David said to Michal, “It was before YHWH, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord ’s people Israel — I will celebrate before YHWH. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” – 2 Samuel 6:20-22
King David didn’t seem to have any problem freely expressing himself in worship, so why do we? Why do so many others? Perhaps we have been conditioned to be reserved in our participation. We might have grown up in a church that emphasized quiet, reverent postures (not necessarily a bad idea). We may have even been punished by our parents for “expressing ourselves” in a church service! Of course, we should never become a distraction or draw attention away from the One whom we desire to praise (this goes for leaders as well).
Unfortunately, I think more often we do not allow ourselves freedom in worship because we are too concerned about what others may think. Perhaps this is our greatest obstacle and challenge, to forget about ourselves and place all of our focus upon the Savior, which is the primary task of the worshiper.
The next time you sit, stand, clap, dance in a worship gathering, ask yourself this question, “Am I thinking about the words, the music, the leaders, the person next to me, my friend across the aisle or God?” If so, stop it. Place all your focus upon the One who saved you and let the weight of His glory lead you to honor Him in the moment and as well as in all the days to come.
God meant that a convert should learn to be a worshiper, and after that he can learn to be a worker…The work done by a worshiper will have eternity in it. – A. W. Tozer