Often what occurs in church services is done out of tradition, custom, or preference. For instance, having a song leader is fine-as long as that person is anointed, and qualified. Thank God for those who lead others into the Presence of God. Then there's clapping. In light of what we shared yesterday, why do people clap in church, other than in time to music or to express appreciation for, say, a guest speaker being introduced? To reiterate yesterday's page, clapping is neither praise nor worship; it's simply applause. The Bible gives no scriptural basis for anointed applause, clap offerings, or such like. Scriptural praise and worship includes our voluntary surrender to God, often accompanied by the lifting of our hands to our Heavenly Father in the Name of Jesus. It involves telling God how much we love Him, how grateful we are for His blessings (which are many). A quick side-thought here: we thank God for what He has done, what He is doing, what He will do in, through, and for us. We worship God for who He is.
In the natural we applaud at ball games, concerts, plays, and other settings for a job or performance well done. Appreciation, not praise or worship, is our purpose. With God we're talking about Someone far greater than all Mankind put together; the Creator of the universe, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Savior of the whole world. I believe God deserves something far greater than our applause; He deserves our very lives. Again, the lifting of our hands (I Timothy 2:8) is a biblically correct outward expression of our love for and towards God. It's an outward showing of one's inward reverence for the Presence of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
If clapping is praise or worship then we are praising or worshiping people when we clap. I don't know about you, but I don't ever want to bring God down to man's level. No, I always want to exalt, magnify, and glorify God, whether in church or in private. Over the years I've learned to lift up my hands in worshiping God. Like many, it was a process for me as I never saw this in the churches I attended, until I was nearly 18.
The next time you or those around you start to clap (applaud) as a form of praise or worship try an experiment:instead of clapping lift your hands and begin telling God how much you love and appreciate Him (don't be loud-unless everyone else is too). During or after this time before God, check down in your heart (spirit) to see if there's a difference on the inside. I believe you'll find a greater freedom worshiping in line with the Word of God. There'll be a greater anointing both individually and in times of corporate worship. Greater moves of the Spirit of God will follow.
If this has been a help to you, write and let me know in what way. To God be the Glory!