Spirit-Directed Worship

Different denominations of Christians have different views on many things.

And different denominations of Christians have different ways of disagreeing with other denominations’ views on things.

One such topic is raising your hand(s) during worship. Some call it superstitious. Others view it as a sign of Pentecostalism. And some say that it’s too emotionally driven (because supposedly our emotions are evil).

Here’s what i say: If you feel like you should raise your hands during worship, and you don’t, then you are actually suppressing the Spirit (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Paul wrote the following in Galatians 4:6-7,

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!”  So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Galatians 4:6-7 (HCSB)

I first started writing this post on November 2, 2019, while i was at a men’s conference. It is humbling to me how different my life can look after 3 months and a week. When i started drafting this post, i didn’t have a girlfriend; when i started developing this post, i wasn’t sure what to do with my life; when i started drawing up this post, i was fighting against desires in my soul that were tempting me to turn away from the church.

A beloved hymn of mine says,

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, oh take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

--Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

I share that song, unsure of whether or not we sang it at the men’s conference because it is my testimony in a nutshell.

Why are children such a handful? It is partly due to their explorative nature. Once they learn to walk, the whole world becomes a place for them to explore. They wander here and there and everywhere. They’re not trying to hurt themselves, but if the front door is left open and no one is watching, they could end up in the yard or in the street.

Prone to wander, Lord, i feel it.
Prone to act like a foolish kid.

Now, at this point, you’re probably thinking, “Does this blogger have ADHD?” But i promise you, it will all make sense if the end.

We started by talking about hand-raising during worship songs at church. I’ve now brought you more up to speed with the background information that informs my understanding of this topic.

If you feel like you should raise your hands during worship, and you don’t, then you are actually suppressing the Spirit (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Let’s reread Galatians 4:6-7.

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!”  So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Galatians 4:6-7 (HCSB)

While i was at the conference, i raised my hands during the song, “Be Thou My Vision.” This stanza affected me:

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

--Be Thou My Vision

Note the third line. In November, i was writing a new novel for 2019 NaNoWriMo, the topic of which involves a father and his two sons. The book starts with their births. As i reflected on all of these things at the same time, i thought, “What better way to express, ‘God, i need You so desperately; i need You to carry me; i need You to protect me,’ than to raise my hands like a child crying out for his father?”

The Spirit is the One crying out, “Abba.” So, if we don’t raise our hands in worship when we feel like we should, we are actually silencing the Spirit’s cry for the Father.

So if you are worshiping in proximity to me, don’t get weirded out because my hands go up sometimes. Don’t act like i’m some crazy, superstitious person. Don’t cry, “That’s not a very Baptist thing to do.”

It is a very biblical thing to do!
(I’m not a Baptist by any stretch of the imagination anyway.)

When my hands go up during a song on Sunday morning (or in any church service), it is merely a reminder that God has my best interests at heart. He is the One I must look to. He’s the One who provides, guides, loves, and protects me in this world.

Apart from Him, I’ll wander away and get lost and hurt.

Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son.

In this with you.

Soli Deo Gloria
Sola Scriptura
Sola Gratia
Sola Fide

Thanks for reading.

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