1 Chronicles 15:25-29 – Praise Like Nobody’s Watching!

Posted: April 15, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 15:25-29

Moving the Ark to Jerusalem

After reading this passage, the song that came to mind was Here As In Heaven by Elevation Worship where the lyrics go like this:

The atmosphere is changing now

For the Spirit of the Lord is here

The evidence is all around

That the Spirit of the Lord is here

The atmosphere is changing now

For the Spirit of the Lord is here

The evidence is all around

That the Spirit of the Lord is here

Overflow in this place

Fill our hearts with Your love

Your love surrounds us

You’re the reason we came

To encounter Your love

Your love surrounds us

Overflow in this place

Fill our hearts with Your love

Your love surrounds us

You’re the reason we came

To encounter Your love

Your love surrounds us!

Surrounded by Your love, Jesus

We need Your love, oh, oh oh

Feel the song, feel the song, oh

Come on let’s sing this together

From the depths of our hearts tonight

Spirit of God fall fresh on us

We need Your presence

Your kingdom come, Your will be done

Here as in heaven

Spirit of God fall fresh on us

We need Your presence

Your kingdom come, Your will be done

Here as in heaven

Spirit of God fall fresh on us

We need Your presence

Your kingdom come, Your will be done

Here as in heaven!

Here as in heaven, Lord

Sweep through this place, Lord

Sweep through this place, Lord

Heaven come to earth

Heaven come to earth

Kingdom come

A miracle can happen now

For the Spirit of the Lord is here

The evidence is all around

That the Spirit of the Lord is here

A miracle can happen now

For the Spirit of the Lord is here

The evidence is all around

That the Spirit of the Lord is here

That song is kind of prayer for me right now.

As we struggle to worship corporately in this time of the Coronavirus pandemic, the ability to express our praise to the Lord is, I hope, building up a hunger in our people to really, really, really, worship when we are able to return to our sanctuaries and worship centers after the quarantine orders are lifted.

The absence of corporate worship has led me this week to remember some of those memorable worship moments of the past. There are some moments of church. In my previous modern worship settings, I have some great worship memory moments. These were moments where the worship band’s leader or the worship pastor serving as the band leader sensing a moment where the music and the words of a song have the crowd in a profoundly worshipful moment. He would direct the band to back off on the volume of the music. The sound would retreat a bit and the worship pastor would connect with the heart of worship of the audience with his words and then the music would come up loud and powerful again. The congregation would have hands raised. People would come down to the altar for prayer. Prayer team members would come pray with them. People would be praising. People would be singing loud and powerfully. And you could just palpably sense the presence of the Holy Spirit in the place. In the darkened, softly lit worship center, collective expression of the glory of God was felt. The worship band didn’t want to quit playing and the crowd did not want it to stop either. Sometimes, in these situations, when the move of the Spirit was profound, the senior pastor would cut short his message just to allow the power of the moment to have its full expression. Those are moments to remember.

As you know, I am now a solo pastor of a small town United Methodist church in South Carolina. Just because we are a smaller church with traditional worship music doesn’t mean these palpable moments have not occurred here. We have had our moments too in the traditional worship setting that I am in now at my church. A few weeks before the quarantine orders came down, we had one of those services, where the presence of the Spirit was felt. The combination of the traditional hymns, a modern worship style song sung by one of our choir members, the sermon, man, by the final hymn, I could feel the power of the Holy Spirit upon our place of worship. This particular service was where you just felt it. We had several people so moved by the service that during the last song that they came down to the altar. In my comments about the service later, they can’t all be like this past Sunday but glory to the Lord when they are. We can’t force it to be like that every Sunday but when services like that happen, you just soak it in and glory in the Lord. Since I am new at running Sunday morning worship services, I pray that when these spirit filled services happen upon us that I will get better at sensing the mood and allowing it to marinate in people’s hearts and get “off-script” if necessary.

In either style, traditional or modern, not every Sunday was a home-run service as far as feeling the spirit in the place, but ah, glory to the Lord when they do happen. Seeing as how we have not been able to worship in our sanctuary with full music, full choir, the congregation in close proximity to us in the worship team, man, oh man, do I hope and pray we have one of those services when we can go back inside our house of worship and worship there together. And I hope our people, with a worship hunger in their hearts, that they be like David here in this passage, letting the Spirit have full reign in their hearts and be unafraid to fully worship the Lord.

That willingness to let the Spirit reign is what I thought of this morning as I read through this passage, 1 Chronicles 15:25-29, this morning. Let’s read the passage now:

25 Then David and the elders of Israel and the generals of the army[a] went to the house of Obed-edom to bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant up to Jerusalem with a great celebration. 26 And because God was clearly helping the Levites as they carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams.

27 David was dressed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who carried the Ark, and also the singers, and Kenaniah the choir leader. David was also wearing a priestly garment.[b] 28 So all Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant with shouts of joy, the blowing of rams’ horns and trumpets, the crashing of cymbals, and loud playing on harps and lyres.

29 But as the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David skipping about and laughing with joy, she was filled with contempt for him.

In this passage, we see that David was willing to look foolish in the eyes of some people in order to express his thankfulness to God fully and honestly. In contrast, Michal was so disgusted by his undignified behavior that she could not rejoice in the Ark’s return to Jerusalem. Michal could accept David as a military conqueror and as a king, but she could not accept his free and spontaneous expressions of worship. In the same way as David, we should not be afraid to worship the Lord just because of being self-conscious of other people potentially condemning us or because others do actually condemn you for being expressive. Allow the Holy Spirit to have free rein in your heart and soul as you worship the Lord, whether it be in a private moment or a public one.

When we can get back together inside our house of worship, I pray that we now realize what a treat it is to be able to come there and pour out praise on the Lord. I pray that we have pent up worship energy that will propel us for a long time. I pray that especially that first service when we get back, we praise without worrying what our neighbor in the pew beside us, behind us, and in front of us thinks. I pray that those beside, behind, and in front of us don’t care because they will be in their own praise frame of mind. For David, it was just him and God. I want it to be that way for each of my church members when we get back to the house of the Lord that we call our own. To quote that old song that had a phrase that said, “dance like nobody’s watching”, I hope we praise like nobody’s watching. It’s just each one of us, individually, wrapped up in our own personal praise of God.

Amen and Amen.

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