Worship Isn’t A Song or and Event
It is our very life!
May the grace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ leave you in complete, life changing awe of their love and care for you!
Not now…. Then!
I would hope by this time of the service; your mind is clear of the distractions of life. That you are getting ready to engage in what God created you to do, to be. That you have been encouraged by hearing all your sins are forgiven, that the music has inspired you to look to Christ, that the readings have compelled you to draw closer to Him,
It is nearly time…
In about 30 minutes, after the sermon, after communion, after the Benediction and then we begin to worship!
Yes, you heard me right, we begin to worship!
As Paul tells the church in Rome, it will be time to “give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let all that you are become a holy and living sacrifice. This is the kind of worship that God finds acceptable.”
That is what Paul says, “This is truly the way to worship Him!”
This is what worship is! It isn’t just sitting in here, singing your hearts out. It isn’t just kneeling here, as you receive Christ’s precious Body and Blood. Indeed, those events are part of it; this service should encourage your worship – but it isn’t what worship IS.
Worship isn’t a song, or an event, it is your very life!
So how does this happen?
How it all starts, being in awe,
I asked a question this week online, and I got an incredible answer. The question was, “Do we desire God’s presence? Do we desire Eternity?”
Here is what they wrote”
“In answer to your question do we really desire to be in God’s house. Maybe one of the reasons is because we keep trying to make it Our house that elevates Our presence rather than Gods.”
Brilliant theological insight! We make it about us, rather than God
This insight is exactly what keeps us from a life of worship. We somehow think this is our life, not His, That it is our church, not His. That what matters is what our will desires, not His, that this is our time. Our place, our job, our family, our life. We ignore God’s presence in it, His part, His desires, His plan.
That is why Paul starts out with a discussion about the incredible-ness of God. He wants us to see God’s glorious nature! To realize that we cannot understand how thoroughly He works.
Remember, God promised back in chapter 8 that all things work for good for those who love God? Yeah, we don’t see that all the time, even with 20-20 hindsight. We can’t give Him advice, though we try.
A Life of worship starts in being in Awe of God.
In realizing we can’t know His ways, but we can trust Him.
That we aren’t His guide, He doesn’t need our support; we need His!!
That we can never give Him so much, that He is indebted to us, but that He gives us freely, out of the heart of love.
A life of worship recognizes that He is God, we are His children. And this realization comes as He reveals Himself through His word. This life of worship starts as we become find ourselves in awe of God. As we realize what it means that He has given us the Body and Blood of Christ.
When we find ourselves in awe of God’s work in our lives, the very work He promised, we find ourselves being changed. Which brings us to step two.
“let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
This is part of the worship, allowing God to convict us our sins, in order that He can cleanse us of them. Easy to face? No, but knowing in advance that God has promised to heal us and He is doing so, makes our confession different. It is an act of trust, it is worship!
This transformation isn’t just about being freed from sin. Hear how Ezekiel describes God’s promise:
26I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. 27 I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws, and respect and practise my judgements. Ezekiel 36:25-27 (NJB)
This is what God is doing in us, to us, and by the Holy Spirit. He is transforming us, as Paul says renewing our minds, changing our hearts, counting us not only righteous, but making us holy!
Making us able to trust Him, to live out our faith in worship!
So as we are in awe of God, as we are being transformed, and as the Spirit takes up residence in us, the change that is made in our lives turns them into a life of worship! We begin to see our actions are being done in praise of God.
That is what Paul is talking about, as he talks about us having a proper perspective about ourselves. Not how tall, or handsome, or intelligent, or how many things you have suffered through. No, the way we evaluate ourselves is much simpler and much more real. Do you trust God? Are you willing to let Him use you, where God would put you?
How we measure ourselves is based in this simple thought.
If God calls us to use the gift He has given us, will we listen and obey, trusting that He will make it work for good? No matter whether we get it right, or whether we see the outcome, that it will be a blessing to us, and to all who love Him?
Will you use the gift God has given you, at this time, where you live, work, and hangout? Will you proclaim God’s love, trusting in Him?
Will you serve others, meeting needs, whether physical, spiritual, emotional, and trusting in Him?
Will you teach those who need to be taught, trusting in Him??
Will you come alongside and lift up those who are down, trusting in Him?
Will you give generously, even sacrificially, knowing that God will care for you?
Each has a different gift, and some different gifts for different periods of their lives, but will you use them, not trusting in things of this world but trusting in God?
Not holding those gifts back, not resisting the transformation that God is doing to us, in us. That happens as the Holy Spirit works in our lives, causing us to live in and reflect the glory of Christ.
That’s worship! Whether we are asking God to use our life, singing, or when we put out our finances to support His work, or when we offer a cup of cold orange juice and some pancakes to a hungry person.
Worship is our very life, every moment, for worship is living in awe of His presence, here and now, whenever that here and now is. Worship is letting God run our lives, wherever He sends us.
Worship is also a life in awe, and therefore in a miraculous peace, for we live with God…. His believed children, and guard in Christ. AMEN.