I Longed for Something More
"... 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. I will become even more undignified than this..." 2 Samuel 6:21-22a (NIV)
I grew up in a traditional church, singing traditional hymns. Being a Christian was very matter-of-fact for me. I was a Christian in the same way I would have told you I was a student. It was very academic.
Nothing much changed in my faith experience. Every Sunday, I gathered with faithful men and women of God, who taught Sunday school and served on committees. It was wonderful and I grew up loving God's Word and His church. Yet something in me longed for more.
Then, when I was a high schooler in the late 70s, I was introduced to Christian "rock and roll." I heard songs by Keith Green, Second Chapter of Acts and Phil Keaggy. These songs depicted a faith in God that was passionate and alive. Something stirred within me as I listened to that music on my record player. The "more" I wanted was taking shape. My faith was moving from head-knowledge to heart-change.
I can still picture myself in a sold-out symphony hall before a live concert as one half of the room yelled, "We love Jesus, yes we do. We love Jesus how 'bout you?" I was on the other side, and we answered as loudly as we could, repeating the challenge. Joy and celebration vibrated through the hall as we shouted, jumped up and down, and waved our arms in the air for love of Jesus.
It was completely undignified and I was completely undone ... never to be the same. I knew I wanted a faith like that. I wanted to be so excited about Jesus that it overflowed, and I didn't care what my worship of Him looked like to others.
A few years ago, I read the story of King David dancing before the Lord. Now there was someone who didn't worry what others thought. David had overseen the return of the ark of the Lord, and as it neared, he couldn't contain his joy. He replaced his kingly attire with a simple outfit and danced with all his might.
His wife, Michal, watched from the window and didn't approve of David's behavior. She was disgusted with him, and told him so. David wasn't fazed, and responded with words that encourage me today, "... 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. I will become even more undignified than this..." (2 Samuel 6:21-22a NIV).
David was so in tune with God's heart, that he was unconcerned with the judgmental comments of others. David's only focus was on worshipping his God with sincerity and abandon.
That is my hope and prayer for myself. I want my longing for more of God to help me release completely the fear of man, and worship with uncontained joy. When I am older, too old to dance in some people's opinion, I hope you'll find my wrinkled hands raised, my gray head bobbing and my body swaying in worship - still wanting more. And then one day, beyond that, all my longings will be fulfilled. Oh what a day that will be!
Dear Lord, King David got it right, and I want to as well. You are worthy of all my worship and adoration. Forgive me for letting the opinions of others influence my worship of You. Help me to focus more on Your majesty, and less on myself. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 29:25, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” (NIV)
John 4:23, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Set aside time this week to worship God. Read the Psalms, listen to music or just sit somewhere quietly. Write down five characteristics of God that make Him worthy of our praise.
Read 2 Samuel 6:14-23. Describe the scene in verses 14 and 15. What are some of the ways people are rejoicing and worshiping God? How can David’s answer to Michal help us overcome the fear of other’s opinions?