As I type I am listening to Cece Winans on CD sing: " Jesus you are beautiful"..........oh how I love worship music..........
One of the most wonderful things that I have experienced since leaving the LDS is learning how to "worship". I know some of you may be thinking "what's the big" deal .. well, it is a BIG deal to me! You see the LDS don't worship in the same way Christians do. Let me explain, what they call "worship" is basically their Sunday meetings where they go and sing a few hymns and then offer a prayer and hear a few talks on assigned topics from members of their congregation. They believe that taking the "sacrament" each week ( the equivalent of communion for Christians) and singing a few hymns "is" worship.
My first introduction to worship came when after about 5 mos after leaving the LDS church, I found myself attending a small home bible study. My husband and I walked into this small group at my then pastor's home and we were introduced to "worship". They were singing songs that were completely about Jesus, and they were deeply focused on what they were doing. Some were raising their hands up in adoration to the Lord and others were had their eyes closed, focusing on what they were doing -- worshipping . The songs they were singing were all about God. Not about "people" or "events" but God. I was touched.
I mean one never ever sees LDS raising their hands up during their services. There is a brief moment in the temple ceremony where LDS raise hands up and repeat the words " O God, hear the words of my mouth" and that is the only time I ever have experienced raising "hands" as an LDS. It is definitely not part of their worship service or culture.
In the next few weeks and months I experienced what it meant to "worship" the Lord.
The Bible also teaches that raising or lifting up our hands towards the Lord is a form of worship and completely appropriate for believers to do as an act of praise, adoration and worship to the King of Kings.
" I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting " . -- 1 Timothy 2:8 KJV
" Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. " Psalms 134:3
" O come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker." Psalm 95:6
" Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool, for He is Holy."
" For Solomon stood and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel and spread forth his hands toward heaven...."
2 Chronicles 6:13
As believers we should spend time each day worshipping our Lord. It pleases Him.
As I shared , I had to "learn" what "worship" meant. Thanks to a loving pastor & his beautiful wife and a wonderful group of believers to fellowship with, I learned what "worship" is.
I had been only exposed to a small selection of hymns in the LDS faith.
Now, I want to preface this by saying I really do like some of the old Hymns. I absolutely love the old hymn, " Amazing Grace" ( which by the way is not *sung* in LDS services, nor found in their hymnbook) and the Old Rugged Cross ( that one is not found in the LDS hymnbook either) . Although these old hymns are beautiful and worthy of being sung, I have absolutely completely fallen in love with praise & worship music!! One of the ways we can worship our Lord is thru music, and singing. The Lord delights in hearing our praises!
" Praise the Lord, call upon His holy name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted. " --- Isaiah 12:4
Psalm 15o tells us that we should "praise Him" with the sound of the trumpet, with the psaltery and harp, with stringed instruments and organs and with loud cymbals and praise Him with dance! Wow -- the Lord really loves music! My little ones love to dance while the rest of us sing praises to the Lord! Oh how precious!
" Speak to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and making melody in your heart to the Lord. " -- Ephesians 5:19
" If any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms."
When Jehoshaphat went to battle with the army of Judah, he appointed "singers unto the Lord" that would praise the beauty of His holiness, and sing before the army " Praise the Lord, for His mercies endure forever." 2 Chronicles 20:21
And when these singers began to sing and to praise the Lord, the Lord sent ambushments against their enemies. 2 Chronicles 20:22 Wow!! Their singing and praising God led God to deliver them from their enemies!! Can you imagine what that must have looked like? A group of men ready for battle and going forth singing praises to God???
Praise and Worshipping the Lord thru music has always been a very important part of the lives of believers and it continues to play an important role in the lives of believers today. Many Christian churches today have a time dedicated to "worship". This involves singing hymns, psalms or worship songs. The purpose of this "worship" time is to praise & worship the Lord God. Worshipping does not involve singing songs of praise about "others" ... only about God. My little Church I attend has a 1/2 hour or so dedicated just to "worshipping" the Lord thru music and praise.
This has been such an exciting and amazing blessing to me! I have learned to LOVE , LOVE worshipping my Lord. I have purchased lots of music CD's and my kids and I have enjoyed learning beautiful praise & worship songs.
There is nothing that blesses my heart more than seeing my 4 or 5 yr old raise their hands to heaven while they sing " Holy, Holy, Holy" ... it's so precious and I know it blesses the Lord too.
I think back to that first bible study I walked into almost 1 yr ago and I smile....... remembering watching my pastor and his beautiful wife raise their hands up now just warms my heart and soul........ oh how I love to worship the Lamb.
Thank you, Jesus for the blessed privilege of worshipping you!!!