Indeed true worship is a spiritual act that is ultimately between us and God.
David moved the ark of the presence of God into Jerusalem after a long time. The scene as depicted in 1 Chronicles 15 was truly a festal occasion. The priests, Levites (temple workers), the elders of Israel, the king and a massive throng all marched up into the city from the place where the ark had been kept prior.
During this event, we are told there was much joy with the congregation, so much that King David disrobed from his kingly robe, donned humble priestly garb, and worshipped the Lord with much vigor and fervency, dancing jubilantly at the fulfilled reality of God’s holy ark being housed in his home town. David’s display of passion for God would have shocked the analytical or critical observer. It did so his wife Michal. In 2 Samuel 6 she displayed her disdain for his lack of decorum, and essentially scolded him for being undignified.
My devotion today is titled undignified worship. I believe worship intrinsically is not meant to be cute, appealing to cultural tastes or our human approval. Indeed true worship is a spiritual act that is ultimately between us and God. True worship is a two sided coin that will have an aspect of self denial whereby one is willing to be humiliated for God, but also divine acknowledgment where God is honoured and made known to all.
I remember watching veteran Olympic champion Donavan Bailey in an interview with the Canadian media at the Rio 2016 Olympics. This interview was a preamble to the main event of the 100 m race with the current eligible participants of whom was a fellow Canadian that Bailey was rooting for. The race begun and all eyes were on the runners as they blitzed the track in just under 10 seconds to the finish line. The first and second place finalists were clearly seen breasting the tape but what was not as clear was whether the Canadian star had also made the cut for medal standing. In a few short moments that seemed like eternity it was finally announced that the Canadian runner had been the 3rd finalist. Cheers erupted from the Canadian bench and fans, as well as Bailey who was caught on the camera hopping excitedly like a school boy. All decorum had temporarily been dismissed for this fellow Olympian who knew the joys of winning a medal, and was all too ready to altruistically share in his counterparts celebration. Baileys jubilant celebration though trite in comparison with David’s worship of God, reminds us about the importance of forgetting oneself when one is truly consumed with joy. God wants us to be consumed with the joy of the beauty of his presence so much so that with celebration, rejoicing and literal dancing we forget ourselves, our egos, and those that highly esteem us. Instead in a moment of true worship we would temporarily exchange our desire for greatness in others eyes for a desire of greatness of him in our eyes.
David danced unto the Lord because having God so near thrilled his heart. Is God near to you? If you are a believer, He lives in your heart, but is He near in experience or simply latently residual? Maybe you have lost your passion for God, then I urge you to put on the mindset of truth: God is literally in you. You can experience Him as you decide to praise him from your heart. Isaiah 61:3 instructs us to “put on garments of praise”. Essentially see ourselves as dressed for worship, like the priests in the tabernacle would have been. Change your mindset about worship, decide to honour Him who died for you whole heartedly, sing, dance, call on him, and watch him respond in ways that will truly touch your heart.
Alternately if you have not believed, then my prayer is that your spiritual eyes would be open and that you would receive the presence of God in your life. God’s presence comes to us when we believe in His son Christ and His saving power. David was not content with having God far from him. Are you content with God not being in your life? Come over to the Lord, and He will thrill your heart more than you can ever imagine as he floods your soul with joy, restorative peace, and love.
As we close this devotion today, let us worship the Lord unashamedly in word and deed, and spread his fame bringing his presence to others like David did.
– Pastor Olu Jegede