What is Worship? Romans 12, and Matt 15:8
“The glory of God, and as our means of glorifying Him, the salvation of souls is the real business of life.”
- C.S. Lewis
Let’s talk a little about worship. It seems that we may have mis-defined it somewhat along the way. Many of us think of worship as something we do for a couple of hours on a Sunday morning. Something we cap off our week with. However, taking a looking into Scripture and into the theology of worship reveals something that is much deeper and much more committed. This is the heart behind C.S. Lewis’s quote above: truly glorifying God means that we are carrying out His will for our life. Living out the Great Commission to go forth, evangelize and see people come to faith in Christ. By this terminology worship is something that is lived out.
Scripture backs up this thought that worship truly is a lifestyle and not a single weekly event. Reflect on Paul’s words in Romans 12: “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.” Paul says true and proper worship consists of a life lived in surrender and sacrifice to God’s will and plan. If we aren’t willing to sacrifice and surrender our lives to God’s will, are we really worshipping God at all? To answer that question please consider Jesus’ words in Matthew 15:8 (quoting Isaiah 29:13). “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Do we see the seriousness and charge in Jesus’s words here? We can pretend to honor Jesus with our lips, our words, our worship songs, and our church services all we want but if our hearts aren’t near to God and His will for our lives- we are not really worshipping. We are fooling ourselves.
Worship: may I suggest that God defines worship not in what happens over a two hour window at the end of our week? Praise can definitely and most certainly happen in those meetings! The people of God can be edified and fed and encouraged. Decisions can be made to live lives that glorify God. We should be undeniably faithful to these meetings and taking every opportunity to giving God all of the praise and honor that He deserves. But may I suggest that these meetings are a place where worship only begins to happen. For God defines worship more by what we do with the other 166 hours of our week.