Worship Part 5: Worship as Everyday
Sovereign Grace Ministries
In 1997, after being a pastor for 12
years, I had the opportunity to take
a position where my main role involved
equipping and training worship leaders
and musicians both in my local church
and the 50-plus churches related through
Sovereign Grace Ministries. Soon after
my arrival, I realized that much of
what I had been teaching about worship
was drawn primarily from my own experience
and the experiences of others. When
I did use verses from the Bible in leading
worship, it was usually to support what
I was already doing.
As I dug into Scripture, I began to
see that my view of worship were focused
almost entirely on the singing portion
of Sunday mornings. Books like Engaging
with God by David Peterson and Systematic
Theology by Wayne Grudem helped me understand
that our worship of God not only extends
beyond singing, but involves every moment
of every day.
this series, we've seen how the Bible
speaks of worship as exaltation, expression,
encounter, and event. All of these are
contained, however, in worship as everyday
There are many Scriptural references
to worship as a lifestyle, but the best-known
may be Romans 12:1-2. "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 worship.
Do not be conformed to this world, but
be transformed by the renewal of your
mind, that by testing you may discern
what is the will of God, what is good
and acceptable and perfect."
is taking Old Testament language here
and applying it in a new way. The sacrifices
that please God are no longer bulls,
rams and sheep, but our very lives.
Of course, animal sacrifices were never
meant to replace humble devotion to
God, but were to serve as an expression
of it. Psalm 51:17 reminds us that "The
sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God,
you will not despise."
We typically think of giving our hearts
to the Lord in worship. Here God has
Paul intentionally use the word "bodies."
In his commentary on Romans, John Stott
explains, "Paul is clear that the
presentation of our bodies is our spiritual
act of worship. It is a significant
Christian paradox. No worship is pleasing
to God which is purely inward, abstract
and mystical; it must express itself
in concrete acts of service performed
by our bodies."
In other words, worship isn't something
we simply feel. Worship isn't the name
we give some experience that we seek
while singing, lifting our hands, or
closing our eyes. It's something we
DO with our bodies in all of life. We
can worship God through our eating,
drinking, typing, speaking, cooking,
driving, and countless other ways. We
worship God whenever we perform an act
out of a desire to draw attention to
His greatness, especially revealed in
sending His Son as a substitutionary
sacrifice for our sins.
I've often heard someone who is an expressive
singer described as "a real worshiper."
Whether or not we are a real worshiper
is better determined by how quickly
we forgive those who have offended us,
how we handle our finances, and what
we do when no one is looking.
When we become Christians, we automatically
become worshipers of God. The rest of
our lives is simply a brief preparation
for what will be an eternal occupation:
giving God grateful, wholehearted worship
which will never be exhausted, even
May God give us the grace to get a good
head start in giving Him constant, complete,
and passionate worship.