What Is Worship?
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
When you hear the word worship, what comes to mind?
I think of going to church and singing. I think this is the answer that is drilled into our heads from an early age – not necessarily on purpose but by tradition. I don’t think that answer is wrong, but I think it short sells worship – big time!
Yesterday, I had the privilege to be a part of a leader/facilitators meeting for a foundations class that is being rolled out at our church. As we were discussing the leaders role in transformation, the following verse from Romans came up for discussion:
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. Romans 12:1-2
Typically when I read these verses, I read about sacrifice and about transformation. And I skip right over “this is your true and proper worship”. If I’m reading this from a leaders perspective, I worship God when I give of myself sacrificially to serve and to lead others. This didn’t say anything about going to church and singing.
So what is worship?
Of course, worship happens at church, but I think there’s so much more.
Worship is the way I live my life. I worship God when I put Him first in everything I do. I can worship God in my parenting, in my marriage, in my friendships, in my exercise, in my job, and even in my writing.
Our worship can be misdirected. We easily get caught up in this culture of consumerism and celebrity. We put movie stars and sports stars on pedestals. We watch TV shows like American Idol (I like that show), Dancing With The Stars, and Celebrity Apprentice. We are consumed with thoughts of greed – “I have to have this” or “I have to have that.” This is all misdirected worship.
God says, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Exodus 20:2-6
We have a choice to make. We can allow the distractions of this world to hijack our attention – our worship. Or we can choose today to worship God – at home, at church, at work, and throughout our lives. What’s your choice?
What does worship look like for you today? How do you worship God?