I remember the first time I lifted my hands in worship. I was about 15 or 16 years old. I was so nervous my hands went numb. I mean come on, I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church. Hand raising was really only for a few really excited worshipers (unless you are doing the hand motions to Our God is an Awesome God, that didn’t count). So when I felt compelled to lift my hands at a revival service filled with people from a full gamut of denominations, I thought those around me would think I was crazy. But I did it anyway (and nobody seemed to even notice).
From that moment on, something began that never stopped. I began to let go of what others might think of me and express myself in worship to God. It took a long time for me not to care. And I still care a lot about what people think about me (that is another post for another time). But today, when I worship, I feel free to express myself to the living God.
So for those of you out there who maybe don’t get it yet. Maybe you don’t see the need to express yourself, after all, God knows your heart. Here are a few reasons why I lift my hands…
1. I lift my hands in celebration. People do it at a football game, why can’t I do it because I am excited that I worship the God of the universe. And I have come into His house with His people and we are saved and able to worship freely, so I celebrate.
2. I lift my hands in surrender. If I sing the words to a song that says, “Lord have your way,” I want to express it with my hands. It affirms it in my heart too.
3. I lift my hands in expression. I clap, I smile, I lift my hands because I am expressing my love and affection to the Lord.
4. I lift my hands as an offering. When I sing something like, “I offer my life to you,” I hold my hands out, like I am physically offering myself to God.
5. I lift my hands as if I am reaching out to my Father, like my children reach up to me. Like a cry for help or an expression of my need for Him.
Expressing yourself in worship does not have to happen in a corporate gathering. It can happen in your car or in your house, in your private time with the Lord. I hope that next time you feel the need to express yourself outwardly towards the Lord that you will have the courage to do it and do it again. And yes, God knows your heart, but He wants to see your expression.