Through the years, as I grew in my relationship with God, I became more and more open with my worship, and when I was open with my worship, I began to be more open to the Holy Spirit. The more I opened to the Holy Spirit, the more I was able to pray in public, the more I was able to talk to people, the more I grew. Despite all of those things, which are wonderful things, people give me strange looks, but they are usually the people who are uncomfortable with on expression. Now, I am not saying standing straight with your eyes closed is a bad thing, in fact free people could learn a thing or two from those people, but what I am saying is we should exercise our freedom more.
I am naturally a happy person, I smile and laugh more than most people, it makes me seem odd I suppose to its who God has created me to be and I’ve started to embrace it. I’m not one to go and start conversations though, I am very shy, very introverted, and more often than not I want observe rather than talk. Something happens when I worship, I become so free, and I dance and sing at the top of my lungs, I let the Spirit guide me. Structure is great, and I don’t mind it, in fact I like when things are organized and planned, I’m a task oriented person. However, I think that those of us who are task oriented, us planners, need to exercise our freedom of expression, our freedom in praising God. This doesn’t just apply in worship though, this can be talking to someone and praying over them, to paint, to dance, anything that God has given us abilities in. Often times, I’ve found that some creative people can be very nervous about being open and bravely doing what they love to do because we get so nervous and scared of what people will think.
Creative minds sometimes have temperamental hearts, they are sensitive, and sometimes they don’t understand why others won’t open up as well. I used to be terrified of doing what I felt in worship, I used to be terrified of sharing my writing with others, and I was terrified of singing in front of people. Then I went to bible college, the Lord told me, this is what He wants me to do. As someone who would rather be in the back of the room at all times, I often find myself drug to the front of the room, often times being put in positions of leadership. I often ask God why He feels the need to put me in certain situations. For example, I am planning my senior recital, not only do I have to memorize all my songs, but I have to get a band together, and make sure I have everything we need and that everything is good for the audience. It is an absolutely scary thought, I am not excited for it, but the more I find myself practicing and praying that God would be with me, the more I can hear Him clearly say “Everything will be fine, I am with you.”
My best friend is a dancer, her spirit is just free in that environment where she gets to dance for the Lord, and I can see the Holy Spirit around her when she dances. Her freedom of expression, reveals the kingdom of God to others. This post is not about putting people who are not as freely expressive down, but to encourage the ones who are but are afraid to be. God loves our praise, He adores us, and loves to see our expressions of love to Him. What father does not take joy in a drawing his child has done? What father takes a story written by a loved one and throws it away? God loves all of those things we do, even when we feel like its for us, when I paint, its so intimate I always get embarrassed showing my paintings to other. Painting is a way I communicate with God, and I’m sure He loves those times of conversations, why be afraid of sharing those moments with others?
God has made us all with a specific purpose, and we need to do that purpose freely, because that purpose is so much more beautiful than anything else we can do! I say all this to encourage you, if you’re worried about raising your arms because of what the people around you will think, think about Jesus. He didn’t care what the people thought of Him because He knew His heart, He knew the Father and the purpose for Him. Raise those arms, spend time with the loners, paint even if others don’t understand, dance if you feel the Spirit moving you. Do not be afraid!
Recently the new Bethel Music album came out, and one song by Jonathan and Melissa Helser, there is a wonderful phrase, “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.” Wow, how amazing is that? You. Are. Free.