“O Holy Night” is a beloved Christmas hymn, a regular in the yearly Christmas carol lineup. The song’s nostalgia and beautiful tune make it a favorite for many. The song’s real beauty however, is in the lyrics that narrate the night that the infant Jesus was born, the most holy night.
Part 4: Our Physical Posture
- “Come, let us worship Him. Everyone bow down; kneel before the Eternal who made us.” Psalm 95:6 (VOICE)
- “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored. When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.” Ephesians 3:12-15 (NLT)
- “Lay yourself bare, facedown to the ground, in humility before the Lord; and He will lift your head so you can stand tall.” James 4:10 (VOICE
- We bow to the Lord in worship, recognizing that He is the One who created us. He is the LORD, the Eternal One, and bowing to Him reveals our reverence and submission to Him. We also bow before the Lord because of all that He has done for us. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have been given the option of eternal life, and we are given the freedom to enter confidently into God’s presence. A true understanding of this should draw us to our knees. We also bow in humility before God, recognizing that He is the one in charge, not us. Upon accepting Jesus as our Savior, we recognize Him as the Lord over our lives.
- “I tremble in fear of you; I stand in awe of your regulations.” Psalm 119:120 (NLT)
- “And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Then all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen!’ while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” Nehemiah 8:5-6 (NKJV)
- “This is what the Lord says: ‘Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’ …” Jeremiah 6:16 (NLT)
- “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2 (NIV)
- Whenever we begin a worship set at church, we have everyone stand. Simply put, it makes sense to stand while we worship and sing, but why do we do it in the first place? Thankfully, the Bible has given us some examples. We stand in awe of who God is. This is almost more of a posture of heart, rather than a physical position. In Nehemiah, we read that the entire assembly of people stood to their feet, shouted, lifted their hands, and fell to the ground, bowing in worship to the Lord as soon as Ezra opened the Bible. If you read the preceding verses, you will find that Ezra was reading them the Book of Moses, the Law book. (They were reading about lineages and laws, not about the saving grace of their Savior-to-come, Jesus!) We stand as we seek and search for God’s path, waiting to move and step where He will lead us. We stand in awe of all that God has done for us, believing that there is more to come.
- “So let the music begin; praise His name—dance and sing to the rhythm of the tambourine, and to the tune of the harp. For the Eternal is listening, and nothing pleases Him more than His people; He raises up the poor and endows them with His salvation.” Psalm 149:3-4 (VOICE)
- “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” Psalm 30:11-12 (NLT)
- “And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.” 2 Samuel 6:14-15 (ESV)
- “Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!” Psalm 150:4 (ESV)
- “Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.’” Luke 18:16-17 (NLT)
- We can dance before the Lord. Really, all of the actions regarding our physical posture could be denied their value on the sole belief that God is a God of order, but dancing seems to get the most attention. (“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 (ESV)) This passage is talking about the proper use of spiritual gifts in worship—more specifically, about prophecy and tongues. In certain church cultures, dancing is prohibited on the sole belief that God is a God of order, regardless of what other scriptures say. We are given multiple accounts in scripture that promote dancing before the Lord. Furthermore, Jesus tells us to receive His kingdom like a child; when we see children participating in worship, they are free, unhindered by their own opinions, fears, or circumstances. We tend to restrict ourselves so often because we do not want to be seen as a distraction or embarrassment; meanwhile, David, a prominent and powerful king, made a fool of himself (in man’s eyes) as worship before the Lord, and God honored him.
- The way we present our bodies physically in worship reveals so much about what is going on inside of us. Whether we are bowing or kneeling, standing or dancing, it should reflect the worship that is taking place internally. In moments specifically created and set aside for worship, we should be intentional in connecting our internal emotions and understanding with our external expressions. God desires for us to love Him with all of our strength—what would that look like for you?
Part 5: Our Spiritual Posture
1. Our Minds
- “It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, ’Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!’ Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke. Then I said, ‘It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.’” Isaiah 6:1-5 (NLT)
- “I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NLT)
- “For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.”2 Corinthians 4:6 (NLT)
- “‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT)
- Worship begins with what we know. The more we know about God—His infinite wisdom, love, power, sovereignty, holiness, faithfulness, omniscience (the list goes on)—the more compelled to worship Him we will become. As we discover and learn about God’s attributes, we will realize that we cannot even begin to comprehend His greatness; and the more we know about what God has done for us, the more we will desire to worship Him. He is the Creator of the universe and everything in it—He spoke it into existence. God sent His Son to die in order to save us. Jesus chose to die for us in submission to the Father because of His great love for us, but God raised Him from the dead, conquering hell and the grave. The Holy Spirit has been given to every believer as a promise of the glory we will receive in heaven one day. Our understanding inspires our worship.
2. Our Hearts
- “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45 (NIV)
- “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21 (NLT)
- “Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (VOICE)
- “May the words that come out of my mouth and the musings of my heart meet with Your gracious approval, O Eternal, my Rock, O Eternal, my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 (VOICE)
- “All my heart will give thanks to You, Eternal One. I will tell others about Your amazing works.” Psalm 9:1 (VOICE)
- God desires our whole heart, so it is natural that we should love Him fully in every situation; however, what goes in is what comes out. We need to be feeding ourselves scripture and meditating on it day and night, allowing our hearts and minds to be made full of what is good and pleasing to the Lord. God desires to reveal more to us, and He often does so through reading the Word. If our treasure is in Christ, our hearts will be in Him as well. There are many things that vie for our love, so we need to be on guard, protecting our hearts at any cost. Let us love Christ deeply and fully.
3. Our Souls
- “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 (NLT)
- “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 (NKJV)
- “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh …” Philippians 3:3 (NKJV)
- We worship the Lord in spirit. As believers, we have been given the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, and as we worship, we rely on His Spirit, rather than our own flesh and understanding. We have been set apart to do this for God, and He desires for us to worship Him in this way.
- The spiritual posture of our bodies needs to be developed and maintained in order to have a properly functioning physical posture. God desires and deserves everything from us, internally and externally, and every fiber of our beings need to work together to give that to Him. Our minds, hearts, and souls will dictate the way in which we respond in worship to our Savior. Is your spiritual posture leading you to serve and focus on yourself or worship the Lord regardless of your current circumstances or preferences?
In this devotional, we have learned how to worship the Lord in the way He desires us to—in spirit and in truth. Our worship is internal before it becomes external, but our internal devotion should most certainly result in external expression. That being said, we can perform an elaborate show among men but lack the internal reverence and understanding required of biblical worship, but our God looks at the heart. He sees our intentions. I pray with expectation that this study will open the door of breakthrough in worship for believers everywhere. God is waiting. Will you move?
Worship Director / Central Church
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