I’m sure all of us have asked this question at one time or another during worship: What will people think? What if I raise my hands? What if I go forward and kneel? What if I shout “Amen?” What if I clap on 2 and 4? (A little musician humor...)
Look what King David did once when the Ark (the presence of God) was paraded through the streets: Wearing a linen ephod (type of clothing), David was dancing before the Lord with all his might. (II Samuel 6:14) He did this publicly and passionately, out in the middle of the street with everyone watching.
David was so filled with joy and a desire to express his praise to the Lord that he publicly danced before the Lord. He didn’t ask, What will people think? (And he had an entire kingdom of subjects who would be quick to judge him.)
I am not advocating that all of us dance before the Lord (unless that is God's specific word to you). I am however, suggesting that we consider what the Lord may be encouraging us to do in worship. And, to make His voice stronger than the voice inside of us asking, What will people think?
A few years ago when I was a youth pastor, I was about to speak at a conference of several hundred high school students. Just before I was to go up and speak, a student was on the stage singing a song called “All Rise.”
As I sat there on the front row, worshipping with my eyes closed as she sang, I felt a prompting in my heart to rise, to stand. She sang, “All rise, All rise, To stand before the throne in the presence of the Holy One.” But these thoughts crossed my mind: "What will people think? I’m the speaker. I need to set an example. What if the students think I’m crazy? Protocol says to sit calmly during a solo.”
Finally, I obeyed the Lord and stood. And as I did, I looked around and noticed that I was the last one to stand. Everyone else had stood and lifted their hands while I was sitting and wrestling with the Lord on whether I should stand or not.
Oh, may we hear the Lord in worship, and obey Him as we express ourselves… Lead Well!