Worship- Ardent devotion; adoration.
Psalm 29:2 (New International Version)
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of his [a] holiness.
"It is in the process of being worshiped that God communicates His presence to men." C.S. Lewis
I like the quote by C.S. Lewis about God communicating His presence to men when He is worshiped. It’s not that God needs worship, but that I need to. Only in those grasping moments of worship does my life really respond to God as God. The more time I discipline my spirit toward a state of worship, the more time I’m really understanding the universe, and Him and myself in the middle of creation. Worship teaches me to glimpse truth.
I think I’ve always been something of a worshiper by nature but I’m not patting myself on the back for that. We are all worshipers by nature. Intended to do this thing, we seek out sports heroes, celebrities, lovers and even our own images as places to focus our devotion. I love to worship. As a small child I loved to stand in church and hear the collective cry toward heaven. I love the very feeling in my muscles when I lift my hands and stretch my body toward the throne in church or in my own home. Sometimes in my car I have to really concentrate because certain songs will take my spirit into that response and my mind off of the business at hand, driving!
I love it when my life responds as it was intended, in worship. Worship reminds me that God sits over my life with majesty, with power and with mercy. I miss out on the fullness of Him when I fail to worship like I should. How should we worship?
Constantly. Simply put, continually, always, unceasingly, without stopping. Clear enough? But I’m not always in a church full of co-worshipers, not always in my car with my favorite music or in my quiet home so how to pursue the life of worship in world of noise?
Worship is not just music set to a stirring rhythm. It’s not just corporate or Sunday morning appropriate. Worship is my life, continually thrown face down at the throne of my Savior. My Creator constantly acknowledged, as the Psalmist writes, due glory and in splendor. Worship is in constant glancing toward Him and saying, this life is lived for You. The action is taken for You. This word is spoken for You. Maybe I’m not in continual worship because much of my actions, words and life is performed for me. Much time is spent in worship of...me. I suspect we are DNA driven toward worship, toward adoration and devotion. My theory is that I am at all times, devoting myself toward something. Too often the something is on the Sara Agenda. Avoiding unpleasantness, seeking enjoyment, guarding myself.
It changes the backbeat of my days when I flip the switch and do all toward Him. I’m learning that my life is sweeter and fuller when I approach mundane tasks and say, “Here God, this is for You.” We don’t offer sacrifices anymore, like in the days of high priests and temples. We don’t have offerings to bring to the altar. The only offering I have is my life, the only altar is my heart. We do know though, that offerings were expected to be brought with joy and not resentment. We know that the sacrifice was the best we had to offer. Could it be then, in this age of grace, that my offering is excellence? Yes, I know that the perfect sacrifice has been laid down for me in the person of Christ. I’m not talking about a salvation offering. I’m talking about a daily act of worship.
Excellence in my attitude, my actions, my words and my motivation is my act of worship, my offering. I find that if I’m cleaning my house for my own sake, it is unsatisfying work. I think about why someone else should be helping. I resent that THEY made this mess and I have to clean it. I often don’t even do the work until I can’t escape it, then I’m more irritated than ever.
I want to live in worship though, doing everything toward God. I want my every breath, thought, action, word and motivation to be my offering to Him. I want excellence in my sacrifice. Not because I can purchase His love but because it reminds my heart of His glory, of how worthy He is, this God who gave the sacrifice that saved my life.
Worship is my thank you card. Remember the days when we sent thank you cards? Dear Grandma, Thank you for the blue sweater you gave me for Christmas. It will keep me very warm and it is so pretty. I will think of you when I wear it. Love, Sara.
We don’t send enough thank you cards. We don’t often enough acknowledge the kindness, the generosity of others. The thank you card is not just for the person receiving it though, it’s a message to us that someone loves us, someone graced us with kindness.
Worship reminds us that someone loves us. Someone graced us with kindness. God doesn’t want a thank you card, He wants a thank you life. A life stretched out toward Him, acknowledging His generosity. A life of worship. Hey, we’re worshiping something, why not God?
Thank you for life, for your purpose for me and for your grace. Thank you for sending your son to be my sacrifice when I didn’t have anything to put on the altar for myself. Thank you for strength to live the life you’ve breathed into me. Thank you for another chance to live toward you. Thank you for loving me.