I had a conversation with a sister in the Lord the other day about worship. She asked me what my definition of worship was. I replied that worship is supposed to be our lives. I thought about Romans 12:1 when Paul tells us to give ourselves as a living sacrifice to the Lord, and to me that defined worship. But as I thought about it, I felt like we were missing something, like there was more to worship than just singing and praising, then I was reminded of the first mention of worship in the Bible.
“And Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.’” Genesis 22:5
God speaks to Abraham in Genesis 22:1 and tells Abraham to take his only son, the one he loves, the one that was promised to him and give him as a burnt offering to the Lord. Abraham, the bible says “rose early in the morning” (vs. 2) and prepared to do what the Lord had asked of him. Most of us, when you hear the word worship, your mind goes immediately to the songs we sing every Sunday morning at Church. But I believe that worship is more than just the songs we sing, I believe that worship is our obedience to God through the everyday life we live before Him.
Worship means to bow down, it means to honor God. It is the attitude of our hearts towards God. Worship is what we were created to do. I am reminded of the Chris Tomlin song, “Made to Worship”. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9taG2SSp8k)The chorus goes, “You and I were made to worship, You and I are called to love, You and I are forgiven and free. When you and I embrace surrender, Whenyou and I choose to believe, Then you and I will see who we were meant to be”. When Abraham went to the mountain the Lord had shown him, He embraced the understanding that his worship meant surrender. He understood that his worship meant laying down that which was most precious to him and offering it to God. He understood that worship was in his obedience to what the Lord asked him to do.
Worship is who we are. We were made to worship. Worship is trusting God even when we do not understand what He is asking us to do. True worship is more than just singing songs and raising our hands on a Sunday morning. Worship is to be our lives. In John 4 Jesus meets a Samaritan woman who asks Jesus about worship. Jesus replied to her that there was coming a day when the true worshipers of God would worship Him in spirit and in truth. What Jesus was telling her, and us, is that true worship begins in our relationship with Him. It is an attitude of our hearts, it is an attitude of our minds, and it is seen in the way we live. He is showing us that true worship means that we are in obedience to God and His Word.
Worship is not an outward adornment of raised hands and bowed knees. Worship is an inward relationship of the heart with God that is seen outwardly. Our worship is not just about singing and praising God on a Sunday, clapping our hands and feeling good about ourselves. Worship is seen through our obedience to God’s word, the sacrifices we willingly lay before Him and through our faith in His Name. Worship is our willingness to give to Him all that is most beloved, beginning with ourselves. Worship is not just seen, it is lived. We are to live lives of worship, lives that bow before God, that offer to Him daily our lives and that praise Him for who He is. Sunday’s singing should be the culmination of a week spent worshipping Him and the songs we sing a testimony to His faithfulness to us.
Worship is the inward sacrifice of giving ourselves in complete surrender upon the altar of our God. Abraham was willing to give to God all that was most precious to him, and Abraham called it worship. Isaac also was a willing participant in the worship of God, and it was through their willingness to sacrifice that God was honored and God was glorified. It was through their willingness to worship God that they were blessed and God’s provision came. When we bow down ourselves, our lives and acknowledge His worthiness to be praised, then and only then do we become the true worshipers that Jesus spoke about.
Sometimes I hear people say that the worship wasn’t that great today. They didn’t feel anything; they didn’t really like a song that was played. When did worship become about feeling or about us? Worship is an act of the will to bow before our Holy God. Worship is not about how good you feel when you are singing. You were created to worship, not only with songs but with your life. Worship is our obedience to a Holy God who gave His only Son for your sake. Worship should bring us to His throne, in complete surrender of ourselves. Worship is the outward reality of the inward condition of the heart. When we worship, when we say we are worshipers, then we should be living as a worshiper of God. As Paul stated, we should bring ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, for it is our reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)