When you see people undignified in worship before the Lord, are you embarrassed for them, or are you encouraged?
I’ve spent years in reverent worship and polite praise, but I was released from the yoke of oppression and now I take every opportunity to worship with my whole body, soul and spirit. This past weekend at a conference, an acquaintance approached me after the conference was over and told me she was encouraged by my worship. She called it undignified before the Lord.
Yep, that describes my worship. Having grown up in a Mennonite culture where dancing ability is bred out of our genes, I don’t have a rhythmic bone in my body but that doesn’t stop me from dancing – and at the front, no less. I’m aware I can’t keep a beat and I have a poor sense of my own body. In a word, it’s uncoordinated.
2 Samuel 6:12-23 describes the scene when David brings the Ark of the Covenant to the city of Jerusalem. It says he removed his kingly ephod and essentially danced in his underwear as the ark was transported. His wife Michal despised him, and took offense at his exuberant display of celebration before the Lord, especially in front of the servant girls.
Later, when the couple talked about it, David proclaimed he would worship and celebrate to the point of humiliating even himself because the favour God had granted him to be king over all of Israel. But the Bible says Michal had no children until her death.
Michal accused David of being dishonoured in the sight of the servant girls but what she spoke prophesied over herself. In that day, a woman’s honour was derived by having children. To the day she died, Michal was dishonoured in the sight of the servant girls by not bearing children (fruit).
I am certain we cannot respond in the same way Michal did because somewhere or other, we will not bear fruit. I don’t know about you, but that scares me. My life’s desire is to bear fruit that remains and bring glory to my Father, my God and my King.
But why wasn’t Michal with David? Why wasn’t she worshipping the Lord? I’d like to suggest her heart was already far from God; she wasn’t impressed by his Presence. She had already decided a course for her life and it didn’t include God, except in the most perfunctory way. The Bible says draw near to God and he will draw near to you. He is ever present and always ready to receive us but he will not force himself. We must come willingly to the King. And who knows you never come empty-handed, but always bring a gift worthy of a King. Our praise and our worship is the gift we bring.
Dignified or not, I will praise and worship and celebrate, will you?