Posturing Ourselves in Worship – Should I Be Lifting My Hands?

Posturing Ourselves in Worship Should I Be Lifting My Hands? By Jordan Holt

There are so many forms of expression in worship – The receiving side hands, one hand in the air with one hand on the heart, the classic double hands, the rock and swing and everyone’s favorite – the observer.

Does God really care how we physically respond in worship?

If He does, what should it look like for each person and why does it matter?

Keep reading to learn more…

“I’m just not an expressive person.”

This might sound familiar to some. Maybe you’ve said it yourself, or at least internally during times of worship.

It’s true that people have different personalities and expressions of worship to God (similarly to how we all play instruments differently), but what does it say to God when we refuse to posture ourselves in a place of adoration towards Him? Is He worthy of us getting a tad uncomfortable and lifting our hands for a moment?

Too often we define our response to Him based on what we feel or don’t feel like doing, whether we like the song being sung, what others will think of us, or if there are too many “distractions” happening. When has God desired for us to be managed by how we feel about things rather than what directs us to become more like Him? Most of our walk with God is Him inviting us out of our comfort zone because that’s where change of heart is developed.

Should We Raise Our Hands in Worship?

I’d like to propose another question – Are we trying to find an excuse to love God less or are we wanting to give Him more?

It’s similar to the common debate over tithing ten percent…are you trying to find a metric to make yourself comfortable giving less or is your heart to give God the best you can?

God wants to experience our love, not just hear it.

In any passionate and healthy marriage, love will be expressed in multiple ways. Each person is wired differently and shows love in various ways. However, if you are a good spouse you should also be willing to do things that aren’t as comfortable for you – simply because you love them.

For instance, if your spouse appreciates acts of service and a clean house, and you don’t as much, you will learn how to serve them through that if you love them. Love is best manifested through sacrifice.

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

The same goes for our worship. If you love Him, you are going to show it in multiple ways and even do things that are uncomfortable because you know it pleases Him.


Posture Has the Power to Direct our Spirit

There is something powerful about choosing to put ourselves in a posture of worship that in turn makes our spirit focus on God. Going back to the previous metaphor, when you express love for your spouse, even when you don’t feel like it, your heart will begin to follow your actions.

There are countless times at church when I’m exhausted, find it hard to focus, care too much about what others think of me, and ultimately don’t feel like singing or raising my hands. But those are actually the perfect times to change our physical posture. It forces us to get over ourselves and focused on Him.

There are many studies about how our physical posture in day to day life affects our thoughts, feelings and choices. Here’s an interesting TED Talk if you want to learn more:

God Doesn’t Want a Lukewarm Heart.

He wants fire. He wants passion. I think it’s one of the reasons why He uses the metaphor of marriage for His relationship with the church.

He also doesn’t want works just for the sake of works. He wants our heart. Giving two pennies with a passionate loving heart is more meaningful to Him than a million dollars from someone with a lukewarm heart.

If you are on fire for God you will express yourself. You won’t care about what others around you think of you.

Do we really believe the magnitude of how gracious God has been to us? If we did, I don’t think we could stand still. That alone convicts me every time I walk in the doors of church and makes me want to pursue greater revelation of His goodness.

Have we become too accustomed to freedom? Comment your thoughts or questions below! 


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