We Are Worshipers

What comes to your mind when you think of worship? I think this is an extremely important question to ponder. If I’m honest, when the word worship comes to my mind, it’s usually followed   by a picture of a “worship band” leading hundreds of people in singing songs about and to Jesus. I’m not sure what comes to your mind when you think of worship, but these are some popular phrases I have heard over the years growing up in the church:

“The worship was great this morning!”

“By the last song, I was really worshiping.”

“Bob sure is a real worshiper.”

With these comments, we live with the mindset that worship is something to be admired as if we are on the outside looking in. Or we assume that worship is generated and sustained by emotion. Or we assume that some people are just simply wired to worship “better” than we can, boiling worship down to external expression during the music portion of the Sunday morning gathering. The popular misconception of worship is what connects all of these ideas: worship happens when the guitars are strummed, the drum beat is loud and the voices rise as the church sings praises to our Savior. Singing and playing instruments in the context of the local church is a necessary part of worship. However, we do well to broaden our idea of worship instead of narrowing it to only music. When we have a narrow idea of worship, limiting it to the music portion of Sunday morning, we limit the God of the universe to one who is only worshiped when our favorite hymn is sung. God is worthy of our affectionate singing on Sunday mornings, yes. He is also worthy of the worship of our lives outside of Sunday mornings. In order for us to worship God well with our lives, we must realize that we are sinful worshippers who are in great need of God’s help to reorient our worship around Him—for His glory and our joy. 

We are worshippers. God created us to worship. Therefore, everything we do is an act of worship. This changes the question from“are you worshiping?” to “what are you worshiping?” So often we are guilty of separating our lives into spiritual activities and secular activities with “worship” being deemed as a spiritual activity. However, if we look through the lens of God’s Word, we see something different and very counter-cultural. Paul says in his letter to the Romans, “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 act of worship.” If we have been restored by the grace of God through faith, it is our great joy to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God. In other words, our lives should be as a continual offering to the One who has redeemed us and made us new. 

We live in a world full of idols that fight for our attention and affection. They fight for our worship—our time, energy, thoughts and longings. If we have been justified, we have One who is more satisfying than anything this world has to offer. He is worthy of our affection, attention and the reorientation of our lives around Him for His glory and our joy. As we look forward to corporately worshiping our Savior on Sundays, may we sing loudly, pray fervently and listen intently as an overflow of our worship of Christ throughout the previous week. May we be careful to not restrict our worship to one day a week. We have the glorious opportunity to joyfully worship Jesus every second of every day as we reorient our lives around Him for His glory and our joy. 

Let me leave you with this insightful definition of worship by William Temple. I hope it is helpful to you as it is to me…

“{Christian} Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His Beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin”.

 

Stephen Krumalis