Dwight Fletcher | What is worship?
Last week, we looked at what worship means and the fact that it is powerful and has been used as a weapon in both spiritual and physical warfare. We also saw in the Bible that we were made to worship. Since there is this great emphasis on worship in the Bible, there needs to be a great emphasis on worship in our hearts. For what is important to God should be important to us. As a matter of fact, “ … true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.” John 4:23 (NLT).
However, is worship only about what we do when we stand up and sing? Worship is not only about that church service on a Sunday morning. Worship isn’t simply an event or a place, it’s an orientation, a lifestyle. It’s the result of our decision to exalt God above everything else.
The Bible clearly tells us that God desires that every aspect of our lives be done as an act of worship to Him, in giving Him glory. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10: 31 (NIV). God is saying that even the most menial, routine, everyday things we do without giving it much thought, must be done so as to glorify God. This can be anything from a school project to how we treat the supermarket cashier.
Before we get into the forms of worship and the power of worship, let’s speak more about the ‘lifestyle of worship’. Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Christians are called to a lifestyle of worship, and this is what Paul is speaking about in Romans 12. Before we can truly experience the glory of God in the event of worship, we have to relate to Him through a lifestyle of worship. From this passage, let us extract some principles about this lifestyle. The Bible gives us three clear things that will help refine our view of worship and transform our lives.
I must first recognise that I am a living sacrifice and God wants all of me. In speaking about worship, the Apostle Paul used the language of the Old Testament temple to communicate this concept to us. One of the key elements of worship in the Old Testament was the sacrifice. The worshipper had to get a spotless sacrifice and offer it to God. The offering would have to be killed and it would be fully surrendered to the cause and in that way bring worship to God. This act communicated to the people the concept that worship costs something.
The Apostle Paul instructs us:
Just like in the Old Testament God is looking for an offering of complete surrender.
Join us next week as we continue to look at what it means to be a living sacrifice and how this is part of a lifestyle of worship.