Raising Hands (Continued)

Last time I wrote, it was about raising hands in worship (Link here). At the very end of the post I said I would challenge myself to raising my hands.

I started off in just my living room, all alone. Turned on the worship music and I raised my hands. It may have been one of the most awkward things I’ve ever done. I kept thinking to myself, this is so silly! But quickly I was reminded of that verse about King David after he was caught dancing before the Lord. David says this in 2 Samuel 6:22

I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes..

Something about that encouraged me. It brought me peace and joy. In that moment raising hands didn’t even seem like it was enough anymore, I wanted to do more! I began to embrace the silliness of it, because some how it brought me so much joy that I could worship God in that manner. I could fell God’s joy taking control of me.

I was excited to do it again, but next time not alone, but with others my age in the church.

When that time came, I was perfectly content keeping my hands in my pockets. I didn’t see the point again. I thought, maybe I will in the second half of worship. When the second half of worship came, again I was perfectly content with keeping my hands in my pocket.

I thought about worship. It bothered me that I knew exactly when a large group of people could raise their hands. I could predict on the beat when it would happen. There are certain worship cues that makes it happen. Sometimes it’s the progression of the drums beating faster, sometimes it’s the progression of the band playing louder. Sometimes it is triggered through certain words, such as “fire,” “heart,” “raised hands,” and etc.

It discouraged me.

I felt like worship time almost because a performance from the bands perspective. If we just do “this,” “this,” and “that,” than we will have people raising their hands and that will make our performance successful.

I honestly don’t think that’s the case, but in the moment, that is what I was being fed. I didn’t want to be a part of that system. I didn’t want to be manipulated to raise my hands. I didn’t want others to think I was raising my hands because of the progression of the drums, the loudness of the band, or even the stillness of the band. I didn’t want to be a part of the created experience.

Pride had set up a wall to keep me from worshipping God. A wall so high I couldn’t see what worship was really about, about praising God for who He is. To be honest, I believe we most let go of control. After all, isn’t it the worship leaders job to get us to praise God? What I learned is that I need to let go of my pride, and my control, and hand it over, in this case, hand it over to the worship leader.

Let go.

It took me to the last couple songs to be reminded why I had even wanted to raise my hands in the first place, just to pray over the people. It took me a while. I kept thinking, “I don’t want to raise my hands now because I know everyone else will be.” or, “I don’t want to raise my hands now because there’s no reason to in this point of the song and I don’t want people to think I’m dumb.” Just back and forth, back and forth. The thing is, if I were to listen to those two statements, than I would never raise my hands, I would never do anything but sit back and watch everyone else.

Something promptly, and I finally took my head out of worship and I just started praying with raised hands. At first, again it was so incredibly weird. Not to mention, it takes a lot of strength to keep holding your arms up. But I did. I embraced the silliness of it. It didn’t take long before I couldn’t imagine praying any other way. As I finished my prayer, I kept my hands raised and enjoyed the rest of worship like so.

Embrace it. God is so great, the more you can let go and just let the ‘silliness’ take over, the better. Don’t hold back, let it go.

Raising Holy Hands to God

1 Timothy 2:8

NLT

 In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.

The first time I noticed this passage was a while back while reading it from the NLT version. What really stood out to me was that men should raise their hands during times of worship to pray to God. For what? I had supposed it was to pray for the people and that their hearts may be opened to God’s greatness and that all would worship Him as one body.

It stood out to me mostly because, well I am not a hand raiser. Why? I’ve never seen how raising my hands make me any closer to God as to not raising my hands. I’ve always thought it was a personal thing. Some people raise hands, some people dance, some people sing, some people run around, some people digest it all inside. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own way of worship and I am personally not one to conform to what everyone is doing just because. I need a reason.

Shortly after I read this passage I heard a sermon by Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch (or ChurchOnline). His message was about worship and he made an interesting point about raising hands in worship. It basically went like this: If you’re surrounding yourself, wether to the police or in a game, don’t we surrender with our arms in the air? Or how about when we receive victory, let’s say a touchdown, goal, etc. Don’t we also celebrate by placing our arms in the air in celebration?

Now, what is the point of worship? Isn’t it to surrender our lives to Christ while also proclaiming victory in His presence?  It makes me think a little, but the idea of it just seems silly. But then I think of 2 Samuel 6:21-22

.. will celebrate before the Lord.  I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes..

David knows his dancing is silly before the Lord, but He doesn’t care, in fact he says he will get even more silly. Why? Because his love for God is greater than his own pride/ego. That’s interesting to think about.

But there’s more. I looked at several other versions of 1 Timothy 2:8, and the NLT was the only version to use the word, “worship.”

1 Timothy 2:8

NLT

 In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.

ESV

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

NIV

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

NKJV

 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

MSG (8-10)

Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.

All these other versions say “everywhere.” Paul is telling us to raise our hands in prayer everywhere, it’s not just in the place of worship, it’s everywhere(well actually worship can be any and everywhere). I think that is pretty radical. For me, it’s a challenging idea.

Pray with your hands lifted to the Father.

That’s what I want to leave this post to be challenged by. Just once, try it. I know I will.

Why? Well cause I can’t imagine any other idea what Paul would have meant in raising holy hands to God. Maybe it was just a figure of speech, but maybe there is also some kind of power of lifting your hands, free from angry, free from pride and embracing in the silliness.

I don’t now, but I am willing to try.

Tuesdays Tunes

Tonight – TobyMac

Great pump up song.

Hey!
Everytime I try to go in alone I get shut down,
Locked up and held captive in the clutches of my down
We go back, we go forth,
We go back
I’m sick with vertigo
Weary of my ways, my days
My lips are frozen
I wanna feel a new day
(There’s gotta be more than this)
I wanna live a new way
(There’s gotta be more)
I wanna feel a new day
(There’s gotta be more)
I wanna live a new way
(There’s just gotta be more)

Right here, right now
Under the stars, I promise you my heart

Cause it starts tonight!

We wanna rise,
We wanna touch the other side
(It starts tonight!)
We wanna soar
We wanna reach right out for more
(Cause it starts tonight!)
We wanna rise,
We wanna touch the other side
(It starts tonight)
We wanna soar,
We wanna reach right out for more
(Cause it starts tonight)
Tonight tonight
Tonight tonight tonight
Tonight

Can’t feel like any night before
Under the sky full of stars
With hearts that want more
(Tonight)
Like the rhythm no dam can hold
Bein’ drivin by a source overflowin our souls
(Tonight)
Won’t be like any night we have seen
It changes everything (e-e-e-e-everything)

Right here right now
Under the stars
I promise you my heart

Cause it starts tonight!

We wanna rise
We wanna touch the other side
(It start tonight!)
We wanna soar
We wanna reach right out for more,
(Cause it starts tonight!)
We wanna rise,
We wanna touch the other side
(It starts tonight!)
We wanna soar,
We wanna reach right out for more
(Cause it starts tonight!)
Tonight tonight
Tonight tonight tonight

Tonight

So let us seize this night
Let us make off great
It’s on like the break of dawn

So let us seize this night
Let us make our flight
It’s on like the break of dawn

Tonight
Tonight

Cause it starts tonight!…

Cause it starts tonight!

I wanna feel a new day
I wanna live a new way
(It starts tonight)
I wanna feel a new day
I wanna live a new way
(We don’t wanna fall tonight!)
We wanna rise
We wanna touch the other side
(We wanna shine tonight!)
We wanna soar
We wanna reach right out for more
(We don’t wanna fall tonight)
We wanna rise
We wanna touch the other side
(We wanna shine tonight!)
We wanna soar,
We wanna reach right out for more
(We don’t wanna fall tonight)
Tonight tonight

(We wanna shine tonight!)
Tonight tonight

Cause it starts tonight!

Tuesdays Tunes

Lecrae – Background


Chorus.
I could play the background.
I could play the background.
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way.
So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead, lead, lead.
So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead, lead, lead.
And I can play the background, the background.
And You can take the lead.

Verse 1
It’s evident You run the show, so let me back down.
You take the leading role, and I’ll play the background.
I know I miss my cues, know I forget my lines
I’m sticking to Your script, and I’m reading all Your signs.
I don’t need my name in lights.
I don’t need a starring role.
And why gain the whole wide world, if I’m just gon’ loose my soul.
And my ways ain’t purified, I’ll live according to Your Word.
I can’t endure this life without Your wisdom being heard.
So word to every dancer for a pop star,
Cause we all play the background, but mine’s a Rock Star.
Yeah. So if you need me I’ll be stage right.
Prayin’ the whole world will start embracing stage fright.
So let me fall back and stop giving my suggestions
Cause when I follow my obsessions I end up confessing.
That I’m not that impressive, matter of fact I’m who I are.
A trail of star dust leading to the Superstar.

Chorus.

Verse 2
I had a dream that I was captain of my soul.
I was master of my fate, lost control, and then I sank.
So I don’t want to take the lead
Cause I’m prone to make mistakes.
All these folks that follow me gon’ end up in the wrong place.
So, just let me shadow You, and just let me trace Your lines.
Matter of fact just take my pen.
Here, You create my rhymes.
Cause if I do this by myself I’m scared that I’ll succeed.
And no longer trust in You, cause I only trust in me.
And see, that’s how you end up headed to destruction.
Paving a road to nowhere. Pour your life out for nothing.
You pulled my card, I’m bluffing
You know what’s in my hand.
Me, I just roll to trust You, You cause the dice to land.
I’m in control of nothing. Follow You at any cost.
Some call it sovereign will, all I know is You the boss.
And man I’m so at ease. I’m so content.
I play the background like it’s an instrument.

Chorus.

Bridge
I know I’m safest when I’m in Your will and trust Your word.
And I know I’m dangerous when I trust myself, my vision blurred.
And I ain’t got no time to play life’s foolish games.
Got plenty aims, but do they really glorify Your name?
And it’s a shame the way I want to do these things for You, yet,
Don’t even cling to You. Take time to sit and glean from You.
It seems that You were patient in my ignorance.
If ignorance is bliss, its cause she never heard of this.

Chorus. 2x

Tuesday Tune’s

Family Force 5 – Zombie

What I have always loved about Family Force 5 is that it is up to the listener to decide what the lyrics mean. The band members are all christians, and they have a few songs directed straight at christians, but for the most part they try to appeal to those outside of the Christian circles in attempt to bring them to Christ. Because of this, all their songs have more than one meaning, they are quite the lyrical geniuses.

Here are a few samples from some of the lyrics and how they can relate to us Christians.

Chaotic, psychotic, death defying lifeless logic – In context this is talking about how being a Zombie is a route that seems very silly to the rest of the world. In this song, I like to view the word “Zombie” as the same as “Christian.”

Not dead, undead, a new creation Zombie regeneration – When you become a Zombie, you don’t die, rather you become undead and morph into a new creation. Same goes during the Christian Baptism. We get rid of our old selves and become a new creation in Christ.

Wordwide, infected, I’m back resurrected –  This one can go two ways, it can be viewed the same as above, or, the way I like to view it as, as Christ coming back from the dead and being resurrected.

Watch me walk like a Zombie – Watch me walk like a Christian.

I’m a Zombie, who I want to be, And I don’t want to be but a Zombie – Just like being a Christian, we want nothing more than to be servants of Christs and to please Him.

Bon-Appetite, I got a new appetite, Transformed, be-be-be-be-born, uh, Love bites and it’s in a rare form – When we give ourselves to Christ we gain a new appetite and become transformed. No longer are we hungry for the sinful desires of this world, but rather we are hungry for the Lord and His desires. Christ’s love bites us.


We Found Love- Lindsey Stirling- VenTribe

This second song is nothing like Zombie from Family Force 5. A saw this video this morning on youtube. I enjoyed how Lindsey Stirling, in this video, was able to find this joyous love among all the children that she visited in Kenya. I like to view it as a feel good video, but I really enjoyed it. It isn’t necessary a Christian video, but rather just a good song that we can all enjoy!

Tuesday’s Tunes

I am so happy I accidentally named this “Tuesday’s Tunes” instead of “Tuesday’s Tune.” This past week I have been blessed with so much new music its crazy! To pick just one song to share would have been impossible. I could easily share ten songs with you this tuesday, however I doubt anyone would actually go through and listen to all ten. So I managed to narrow it down to just two, learning of one of them just yesterday. Enjoy!

Family Force 5 is my personal all time favorite band. Their lyrics do not always have  a direct correlation to Christ. For that many Christians often diss them. Some of their lyrics may be questionable though. What I love about Family Force 5 is their music is all about partying for Jesus. I have seen them live many times and every time they always share their love for Jesus. They use their music to reach both Christians and non-Christians. I just love the fact that I can listen to their music and dance/party for Jesus in the process.

This song however is not one of those dance around party songs. It’s a slow song about us running away from God, but He is always there for us. He is our Superhero.