We worship what we value
We worship what we value.
Whatever it is that makes us think our lives would have more meaning, or be fuller and richer, is what we tend to worship. If that is power, or success, or acceptance by the people around us, then those things tend to be what we focus on. But when we begin to ascribe to God the value and the worth that belongs to Him alone, our focus changes and we can begin to worship authentically and completely.
When we worship God, we create a lifestyle of integrity in which we are continually giving back to God in every part of our lives. Romans 12 in the Message says this about worship: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life–and place it before God as an offering.”
Our worship of God needs to be an “all in” thing! It is much more than coming to a church building on a Sunday morning and singing some songs, hearing a message and visiting with our friends. Those things are wonderful, but they alone are not worship.
We worship God when we pray. When our prayers lift up and acknowledge God’s attributes of holiness, mercy, grace, patience and sovereignty, they are the prayers of a worshiping people. We need to be praying for the kingdom of God to advance in this world and asking God to use us as instruments to make that a reality. This is worship.
We worship God when we confess our sins. When we have unconfessed sin in our lives, that can create a barrier that prevents us from worshiping freely and honestly. Yes, we know that we have forgiveness of sin. But a failure to bring to God our daily shortcomings, our selfishness, our failure to act as the hands and feet of Jesus, gets in the way of worship. Confession of sin orients or turns us back toward God’s generous gift of grace.
We worship when we give thanks. We have so much to be thankful for! We have been given the promise of eternal life. Our sins are forgiven. We have been given the right to be called sons and daughters of God. But sometimes we focus more on what is not going right in our lives, or on what we think we haven’t received, than on these gifts. And it is true, sometimes we do go through very difficult struggles and it can be hard to be thankful for those! But in 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul tells us “Be thankful in all circumstances”. Paul does not say that we are to be thankful “for” all circumstances! Some of the things we go through are just too hard to be thankful for. But through even those–through illness, unexpected or tragic death, bankruptcy, betrayal, we can worship our God who is actively at work in our lives. He uses even our trials to perfect our characters and help us to develop endurance.
When we truly understand the value of God in our lives, we will worship Him wholeheartedly.