Thoughts on Worship
What picture or visual comes into your mind when you hear the word “worship”?
If you said ‘singing praise’ or ‘going to church’ that would be how I would first answer too. And it is a correct answer. It’s just not the only answer.
There are lots of ways in which we practice Worship and singing praise songs to God is certainly the way I connect to God most often and most meaningfully. But here are some things God has revealed to me as I thought and studied on the word ‘worship.’
Think about what you might see people doing in their time of worshipping. Arms upraised, palms outstretched. It’s a pretty common practice for a lot of church goers, however, the church I was raised in did nothing like that. For me, those practices were best left to the Pentecostals, Holy Rollers and such. I was raised much too strictly to entertain thoughts of losing myself in the act of worship.
So, it was an incredibly freeing and powerful moment the first time I was brave enough to let my guard down and raise my arms up. And in that physical movement I realized what was at the heart of worship.
You see, worship begins with the attitude of the heart. We know from the very beginning what can happen when you bring an offering to God with the wrong heart attitude. (Remember Cain and Abel?)
What God wants most from us is our heart and the heart of worship is surrender. That is why we raise our arms as we worship. We are physically offering ourselves up to the One who Created us. We surrender ourselves.
Romans 12.1 says “Offer your body to God as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God—This is your spiritual act of Worship.”
So, while my most natural way of worship is through giving God praise through music, I have come to discover other ways…
*When I write. God created me with a gift for writing and to paraphrase Eric Liddell, “When I write, I feel God’s pleasure.”
*Nature/ His Creation. Some of the best conversations of the heart and spirit that I have ever experienced have occurred when Bruce and I are out in the woods, hiking. We reveal in God’s creation and see His fingerprints on everything we see. (now we also experience some mighty deeply theological discussions while we drive to the dump too so….. safe to say, God is in everything!)
* Using my spiritual gifts. Acts of service, compassion, leadership… when I do it for the glory of God, it becomes my spiritual act of worship. Today God said, “bake brownies for the class tonight and tell them it’s from me.” (unfortunately 'burnt offerings' was not what either of us really had in mind.... oh dear!)
So, while worship thru' music is still my favorite, I see now that everything I do, when I do it with the right attitude of the heart, is worship.
And God says, “That is what I created you for.”