Are You Barren?

By EXW Staff
August 14, 2023

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- A Look a Michal

I have spent years in the traditional church as a Christian as well as part of the church staff. Because of my background, I had a lack of understanding when it came to this thing called worship. To me it was the song service that we would perfect from week to week, followed by a sermon, and topped of with an invitation. It didn't vary much from week to week and I found myself grading the service on how much I got out of it. If the music was good then it was a good service. If the sermon and music were good it was a great service. How well it moved me and what I got out of it were the determining factors on how I graded each service.

I had a few friends who were from a charismatic background, and their church was very different than mine. The times when I would go and visit, I found myself chuckling because these people would be dancing, raising their hands, swaying back and forth, and seemed to be extremely into what was going on. For years I found things to say in defense of my ignorance about Charismatics. You see them on television and wonder why they have to get all excited about church. Why do they put on a show to see who can out do each other in their singing and participation? What was wrong with these people? Where is the reverence? Where is the self control? Surely what they where doing was not right! I was embarrassed to be associated with them. I didn't want the world to put us and them in the same boat. I didn't want to be associated with those fanatical Christians. Pretty narrow-minded, wasn't I?

I know I was not alone in my feelings about this matter. Even today, there are many who would agree with my thinking on this subject. Ironically, today I desire to be more like my charismatic brothers in my worship. I desire for my church to be more expressive in it's worship. This issue has already been dealt with in the Bible and the outcome was a woman never being able to have children. We all know the story of King David and how he danced before the Lord in his underwear. He danced in the presence of mere slave girls like a wild man as he worshipped the Lord. When he got home, Michal, his wife, let him have it. She came down on him for being a fool before the Lord and the world. She said, "How the King of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!" (2 Sam. 6:20) She also states in verse 16 that she despised him in her heart. Wow! That's a pretty harsh thing to say to anyone, much less a King. David responded with, "It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord's people Israel--I will celebrate before the LORD. What was the result of Michal's actions to the King and his worship? She became barren, never to have children for the remainder of her life.

Is there a danger for those who continue to mock the worship of others, to become barren in their own worship before the Lord? Could we become dry in our expression to the Lord? As I visited with a friend on this matter, we began discussing why someone would make fun and look down on another who chose to worship differently. We came to the conclusion that it was out of their own lack of understanding, and possibly pride, that would lead them to ridicule the actions of another. There is a concern for me that I do not draw attention to myself while worshipping. That is a valid fear. However, if we are all worshipping, then this won't be an issue. If we are all focused on God and giving Him the praise and honor He deserves, we won't have time to worry about others. I challenge you to check the thermometer on your church's life. Where are your people in their worship? Where are you? Have you become barren and unable to express your love to God? Do you make fun of others because they do the very thing you desire to do, but are afraid of what others will say?

For me the danger of becoming barren was a reality. Although I sought to be a worshiper that loved the Lord and wanted Him to know it, it took a long time for me to bring myself to the place where I can worship Him how I want and not care about what others think. Remember that worship is not about you or me, it's about God. David was truly a man after God's own heart. I believe that which Michal saw as foolish, God saw as true praise from the heart of a worshiper. I have tried to teach our people to set aside preferences, personal tastes, inhibitions, and come before the Lord with a heart that is true. If you feel like shouting, then do it. If you feel like dancing, then do it! If you feel like raising your hands to the Lord, then do it! There is a need to be sensitive in worship, but if we would all look to God and seek what He desires, then it won't matter. He wants us to be fools for Him. He wants for us to die to ourselves and do His will.

The next time you see a brother who is worshipping in a different manner than you are accustomed to, thank God that he is able and willing to worship the Lord with everything he has. Ask the Lord what He would have you do in worship. What is God's heart in the matter? Why did David decide to dance instead of sing or some other form of worship? What caused him to strip down and jump around for the Lord? I believe it was because it was what God moved him to do at that moment. Did he say, I can't do that Lord? What will these slave girls think? I am King, not some lunatic. There is no way I am going to do that. I have a reputation to think about. A King wouldn't act like that in public. Instead he was obedient to the Spirit. There was a price to pay for his actions and worship, the price fell on the one who mocked it. I pray that we will keep from making fun lest we too become barren in our own worship and walk with the Lord.

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