Worship with Abandon

Shout!

If you feel like it

 

Sing

If you feel like it

 

Whisper

If you feel like it

 

Bow

If you feel like it

 

Stand

If you feel like it

 

Dance!

If you feel like it…

 

Self,

Worship God with abandon!

 

Don’t just reserve your strong emotion

for things of this world

 

Nothing here should thrill you

like God!

 

May ALL that is within me

praise the Lord!

 

– Susie Stewart

 

O my soul, come, praise the Eternal
with all that is in me—body, emotions, mind, and will—every part of who I am—
praise His holy name.

– Psalm 103:1 (VOICE)

 

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

– Psalm 103:1 (NKJV)

 

Praise the Lord!
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.

– Psalm 146:1,2 (NLT)

 

I was privileged to hear Joni Eareckson Tada speak Saturday night at the Desiring God Conference.  Most of you know Joni, a quadriplegic, was paralyzed 38 years ago in a diving accident.  She gave a great and convicting message but as the time of worship began, I saw something that was more impressive than anything I heard.  I saw Joni dance.

Joni handles her wheelchair as deftly as any Nascar driver on a racetrack.  No sooner had the music begun than Joni began to “dance”.  As much as a quadriplegic can dance, she danced.  Joni has just enough movement and strength in her hands and shoulders to grip the controls on her chair and maneuver herself without the aid of others.  Suddenly the chair began to move with the music.  She thrust forward, then backward, then forward, then backward.  Smoothly, and yet with obvious passion, she turned to the right, then the left, then the right again.

Suddenly, the forward and backward and side to side movements gave way to spinning.  Well, as much as a paralyzed person can spin.  Joni began to turn her chair in circles, first clockwise, then back again.  If she ceased her movements, if was only so that she could lift her contorted hands as high as her paralysis would allow.  It wasn’t very high, but who’s measuring!

I had to ask myself why I often stand like a vertical cadaver.  I have the glorious gift and privilege of being able to celebrate God and honor Him with my body.  I can kneel, lift my hands to heaven, fall prostrate, clap, and yes, move to the right and left and dance.

I went home thinking about Joni and thinking about her God.  What kind of God is this who can inspire such freedom and joy in one who, from a human point of view, would appear to have very reason to hate Him?  What kind of God is this who has the qualities and characteristics and attributes and beauty and glory that He can be found worthy of the praise and gratitude and “dancing” of a woman who’s spent the last 38 years in a wheelchair?  Wow!  Now that’s some God!

– Dr. Sam Storms

 

I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes!…

– 2 Samuel 6:21,22 (NLT)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

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6 Comments

  1. Yes! May I always be free to express the joy of my heart however that leads me. I think often of David and his total abandonment in the Presence of his audience of One.

    Reply

    1. Me too, Melanie! I often think of David too. I want to be like that.

      Reply

  2. How awesome. Joni Erickson Tada is indeed one of the hero’s of our faith in this generation. She is an example we should all try to emulate. Paul said “Follow me as I follow Christ”. Joni could say the same! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    1. She is a hero of our faith, Pete. That’s true. She points us to Jesus. Thanks!

      Reply

  3. Reblogged this on thelifeididntchoose and commented:
    Susie is the daughter of the man who was my pastor for years in Aurora, Colorado-I learned much from her parents and am now delighted to follow her blog.

    Reply

    1. Thank you, Melanie! Lots of fun memories from Heritage 🙂

      Reply

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