When you hear the word “worship”, what comes to mind? Something you do during a service at church? With music? And other believers?
Worship can and often does involve these things, but there’s much more to worship than that.
To understand worship we should look to what the Bible says about it.
First, in the New Testament we see there’s indifference to the place and external form of worship: “Neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship God, but in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-23). This passage emphasizes worship as an inner experience.
Secondly, this inner experience is highlighted, take for instance, Matthew 15:8: “This people honors me with their lips but their heart is far from me.” Worship is not simply an outward expression, it must be an authentic inner experience with God.
Thirdly, Scripture teaches that the vital essence of worship is the act of prizing God. We are to cherish Christ as gain and to be satisfied with him in all that he is for us in Jesus (Philippians 1:20-21). Paul was intent on magnifying Christ in life and in death because he understood that to live was Christ and to die was gain. In other words, he believed, as all Christians should, that worship is the prizing of God in everything and to every end because He is more than anything the world can offer.
Finally, all of life should be connected to the act of worship. If the vital essence of worship is prizing God above all else, all of life should be worship. Romans 12:1-2 attests to this, saying:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
So our spiritual worship is to daily come to God and tell him that there’s nothing that we want more than to approve what is most worthy, value what is most valuable, treasure what is most precious, and admire what is most beautiful – which is Him – and then live it out.
Worship is more than meets the eye.
More than something we do once a week a church. More than a song we sing, or even saying that we love God.
Worship is an action: the daily action of offering up one’s life for what is more than life – loving and serving Jesus Christ.
[Adapted from All of Life as Worship on Desiring God.]
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