Many years ago, we attended a church where the worship team was simply the pastor playing guitar and his wife singing along. They worshiped very passionately. Occasionally, he would pause and strongly exhort people to participate more in the worship. I was mostly annoyed by that.
Then one day I was sitting at the back of the church during the worship. The lights were dimmed and I thought, “Maybe I could stand up and clap my hands and move around a little bit since probably nobody would see me.” So, I got up, looked around to see if anybody was watching and then began to clap my hands and sort of shuffle around a bit to the music.
Suddenly, I experienced a tremendous sense of the presence of God! Then I felt almost overwhelmingly compelled to praise God without caring what I may look like to others or what other people may think. The Holy Spirit had hold of me and I didn’t ever want to be released from His embrace. Until that moment I did not realize that I could experience God in such a profoundly personal way through worship. A few moments later, when the music ended I could hardly bear it. I was like, “NOOOO! This should never, ever, ever end!” Worship was never the same after that.
Then one day, I saw this video playing at a Christian book store about the day the Spirit of God took hold of Shirley Caesar in a very similar way. It is my prayer that everyone would experience this dynamic connection to God through worship. But we must be willing to step out…