“Then David danced before the Lord with all his might…”
2 Samuel 6:14 NKJV
Have you ever been in a worship service where the passion in the room was epic and the Presence of God electrifying? On the other hand, have you been in a room where it looked and felt like the people were baptized in the spirit of boring? In light of who we’re singing to and the gravity of what He’s done for us, passion should be the norm in our praise.
I remember when I first started following Jesus, I would go to Christian events where the latest worship leaders would be leading. The room was electrified with passion, dancing, singing, the lifting of hands and all sorts of outward expression. I found, though, when I went back home and attended a church service, that people’s passion was tamed, expression was much less, and well...just not as exciting or vibrant.
Before I go further, I realize that church isn’t a concert, different people have different personalities and expressions, and frankly, older people, in general, aren’t going to express as much as the “yutes.” That’s ok with me. But the same Jesus we were worshiping with passion at the conference or worship concert is the same Jesus we worship at church...and He’s just as much worthy here as He is there.
Later on I learned about denominations, styles, cultures, etc. What was the same, though, was we all read the same scriptures that exhort us to sing, dance, lift our hands, kneel, shout, bow, etc. before the King! Some places you do that and you’re normal, other places you’re weird!
Here’s at least 5 reasons why praise should be passionate:
1. It’s a human being thing
Naturally, all humans are passionate!
The expressions found in every other sphere of society (laughing in a comedic movie, dancing at a wedding, shouting at a sporting event) are all accepted as normal, but when you cross the threshold into the church, the rules change and you’re not allowed to be a human being anymore! That’s weird.
You were created for expression. Be a normal human and express. Be passionate.
2. It’s a biblical thing
As I already mentioned, outward passionate expression is not only modeled all over scripture, it’s commanded! I won’t put every reference here, but a scan through the book of Psalms would show plenty commands for outward expression.
3. It’s a natural response to the works of God
Multiple times in scripture when people were touched by God, expression made its way to the surface. In Acts 3, a man who was crippled from birth got healed. The first thing he did wasn’t boring and non-expressive; he jumped up and went into the temple leaping and praising God!
When I was in Brazil leading worship at a church, my friend prayed for a blind lady during the praise time. She got radically healed and started running around the church shouting in Portuguese “Glory to God! Glory to God!” To which I would say is a proper response!
Jesus said in summary that when you’ve been forgiven much, you would love much. It’s a natural response to the works of God!
4. It’s a sacrifice of praise
One of the definitions of a sacrifice is to kill something for a purpose.
When we bring passionate praise to the Lord, we are sacrificing/killing our pride and complacency on the altar.
We don’t always need to feel it. We can choose to give the Lord a passionate offering. Why? Because He is more than worth it...and He loves us more than we could imagine.
5. It’s the pathway to breakthrough
As I travel, I’ve found that out of all the outward expressions of praise, the majority of Christians have the hardest time breaking into dancing for the Lord. We’re generally not as afraid to hold our hands out and maybe shed a tear or two (of course while the lights are dim…), but when it’s time to celebrate with joy, shouting and dancing...that’s where the line is drawn!
It’s been said, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. If you want more, you’ll have to break out of the norm!
I believe outward passionate praise is one of the pathways to breakthrough in your relationship with God.
“I love you” isn’t just something you say, it’s something you do.
It’s time to cross the threshold of passivity into the pathway of passion!
When we realize the way that Jesus has loved us, we’ll have more than enough reason to give Him all of our passion.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being most passionate), how passionate and outwardly expressive are you in your praise to the Lord?
What are you going to do to increase your passionate praise?