I was raised in a very conservative circle of Christianity. Worship was very structured and while raising of hands wasn’t forbidden, it wasn’t really encouraged. Traditional hymns were always sung with rarely any modern praise music mixed it.
I’m not trying to say that how I was raised was bad – I learned many things from that circle of believers and without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. However, in recent years I have felt God begin to teach me that there are many ways to worship Him. I think this first began when I took a missions trip to Uganda, Africa in 2011 where I volunteered at a children’s home for two months. It was there that I began to feel a freedom come over me while worshiping the Lord. The freedom to dance before Him and to raise my hands to praise Him. To tell the truth I am still learning this. Old habits are sometimes hard to break, but I am learning to act on that freedom He has given me.
One thing, though, that has stuck with me since I was young was how we need to have a life of worship. That praising the Lord is not just for Sundays. It’s for every single day of our lives. That everything I do or say should be a form of worship to Him. That everything I do should be pleasing in His sight. God has given me a gift of service. To be completely honest, I don’t always feel Him when I am in church, or when I’m singing and praising but when I am serving I feel Him. God has given me a deep love for children, so much so that He has called me to live in another country to help start a children’s ministry. Sometimes I sit and look around at the hundreds of children He has sent me to minister too and I see Him. I feel Him. I want to praise and thank Him for where He has placed me. I think that’s true for all God’s children – He has given each of us gifts, each of us a ministry, and as we use those gifts we are worshiping Him.
As we are doing His will we are praising Him. They should make us to fall deeper in love with Him – our Father. Then when we gather for a time of worship together, or if we are just alone – just spending time with Him - our worship and time in His presence will be so much deeper. When I see all the works of His hands it makes me want to jump and sing His praises. When a child I am ministering too runs and gives me a big hug I feel His love. It all makes me fall deeper and deeper in love with my Abba Father. It makes me want to raise my hands and worship Him even more.
I pray our lives can be filled with worship. That every moment of every day we will be showing God our praise and worship of Him, and that it will make our times in worships services and alone time with Him even sweeter because we will have been continually before Him walking in His paths!