What do you think? Is this worship?
I think so.
I grew up dancing. I've definitely spent most of my life dancing in a way totally unglorifying. But then the Lord opened my eyes to the fact that the traditional Southern Baptist church mentality that I had grown up in, was not the only way. This was huge to me!! I have absolutely nothing against the SBC, by the way, they have great theology. The problem comes in when God is placed inside a box and it is said of Him, "He can't do that. He doesn't do that. He only did that in the book of Acts." How dare we? How dare we say, He can't do whatever He chooses? How dare we box Him in and minimize His desire to be near us? Oh how this grieves my heart!! How it grieves me that people/churches see the dance above and it angers them because somehow they miss God in it! How can you? How can you not see, hear, and feel Him all over the above performance? I have no clue. I know it brought me to tears. I love how there is a combination of lyrical dance and hip-hop and yet it is totally for the purpose of interpreting the words and Word that are being spoken--all for the glorification of our Lord and to open our eyes further to who He is.
I had a conversation with a friend today about her small group. She is hungry to be with people who will press her in and run after the Lord in the way she is desiring. She was telling me that there are a lot of hurting people in this group. I asked her how that is dealt with in the group. Do you guys pray over them? "That's the problem," she said. There is an appearance of godliness, but no action. She insinuated that, to the group, prayer takes too long. It's too much of a sacrifice.
After living in KC and participating in the Little Rock House of Prayer here, I am absolutely ruined in the area of prayer. I long for and love times where believers come together for the expressed purpose of worshipping and talking to the Lord, of listening for His voice and for praying over and edifying each other in the Spirit. When you take just a drop of His heart, it ruins you. It wounds you to the point that you want more of Him. He is the only one that can heal the wound and so you take it to Him over and over again. Like sex traffiking. Like children, daughters and sons, not even teenagers in many cases, being sold into the sex slave trade for as little as $10 by their parents. These children are then forced to have sex with individuals. They are drugged and spend the rest of their lives this way. Don't you think this grieves the heart of God?! This is a burden that He is giving me. To pray for these innocent ones that are kept in the dark. To cry out for their freedom and safety. What about aborted babies? Do you carry that burden? Does it ruin you to the point that you can't hear about it without wanting to plug your ears? Don't you see? That is a taste of His heart. Oh that the things that grieve Him would grieve us; that they would propel us into action in the Spirit and in the natural!! This article and this one that my friend Enid wrote, describe this better. (By the way, Preserving a Generation is an amazing site that you should check out in general.)
All that to say, worship doesn't always look like we think it should. It is so much more than singing a few songs on Sunday. It's deeper than the words, "Worship is a lifestyle," although it should be a lifestyle. Our Spirit is grieved when we don't worship. Our hearts get dry and parched. We need Him. We need to be with others who are pressing into Him. We need to be sharpened and refined. We need to be able to share our hearts without fear or worry of criticism, and we need to be prayed for. And we need to pray. We need to grieve for the masses (aborted babies, homosexuals, beaten wives/children, sex slaves) that grieve God and we need to grieve for our best friend or the dude around the corner who are hurting. We need to do more than just grieve, we need to go to them and pray. This, also, is worship.