Nehemiah 8 is an interesting illustration of seeing the people’s heart through their outer posture. Ezra stood on a wooden platform for the purpose of reading the Book of the Law to the people. “And when he opened it, all the people stood up” (Neh. 8:5). Out of respect for the Word of God, the people could not remain seated. Then “Ezra blessed the Lord,” and the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” At that point, “they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (8:6). Out of humility, reverence and a deep sense of unworthiness in the presence of God, they fell on their faces.
In the New Testament, Christians are not given specific instructions regarding posture during worship. Instead, the focus is on the heart. Outer expressions can be manipulated and feigned, but not the heart. When you worship God, does your heart (i.e., your inner spirit) stand in respect and bow in humility–all at the same time? God is looking at your heart during worship. What does He see?