[A cross posting from theblazingcenter.com]

by Mark Altrogge on June 3rd, 2009


Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright. PS 33.1

I’m not a particularly emotional person. At football games I’ve never shouted and high-fived. I never danced or moshed or sang along or held up my lighter at concerts. And I was raised in a church in which the most expressive thing we did in worship was exchange the sign of peace with our neighbor – my brother and I would give each other a sideways glance and a smirk, then give each other the peace sign.

When Jesus saved me, I became convinced from preaching and the Word that God desires expressive worship. But for me to raise my hands or shout to God or sing with gusto was like telling me to do an Irish step dance at an opera.

But I wanted to become more expressive in my worship. I only had to overcome my fear of man.

I read about a man who conquered his self-consciousness by going out in the woods and shouting praises to the Lord. So I decided to try this. I lived on a farm at the time, so I tramped across a cow pasture to a stand of woods where I knew no one would hear me.

I looked around, raised my hands, and shouted, somewhat meekly, “Halleluiah!” I did it again, a little bit louder. I felt weird. What if someone heard me or saw me? Looking around, I shouted again, “Halleluiah!” I kept shouting over and over again, until I began to get used to it. I did this for about 15 or 20 minutes, then trudged back through the field to my apartment over the garage on the farm.

The next time I worshiped with the church, when the leader exhorted us to raise our hands and shout to the Lord, with the Lord’s help, I overcame my fear of what others thought of me and shouted my praises to Jesus.

30 years later, I still battle the fear of man at times during worship. But whenever it’s appropriate during our times of corporate worship, I love to shout my praise to the Lord. It feels good.

It feels good, because praise befits the upright.