If you have been following THE WORSHIP LIFE blog for any amount of time, you know I’m all about a LIFE of worship and not just a SONG of worship.
I’m a huge advocate of Romans 12:1- Worship as living sacrifices!
It’s difficult for me to see social media feeds about worship as concerts, lights, and stages. Although I lead worship from a stage and musical worship is my vocation and calling, I do not brand that as the do all and be all of worship. And when people do….it just gets under my skin!
Especially when the Bible shows me an entirely different world of worship. One filled with blood and sacrifices and surrender and suffering. A life of obedience over song and justice over corporate singing!
I’d like to paint a biblical picture of worship, an unseen world, that God defined as the life of worship we are called to live that has nothing to do with the “brand” of worship we see in our modern culture.
Amos 5: 22-24 (NKJV)
Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them,
Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs,
For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.
Matthew 26:29 (NKJV) [Jesus in the Garden of Gathsemane]
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Romans 12:1 (NIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Psalm 51:1-17 (NKJV)
[A Prayer of Repentance. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him after he had gone in to Bathsheba.]
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
2 Kings 23:1-3 (NKJV) [King Josiah Restores True Worship]
Now the king sent them to gather all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem to him. 2 The king went up to the house of the Lord with all the men of Judah and with him all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of the Lord.
Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.
There are hundreds of references like this in the Bible about worship that have nothing to do with song. Yes, singing is biblical and dancing and shouting unto the Lord, and many of those references are made within the context of corporate worship and expressions of gratitude to the Lord, but I’m talking about the life we live before the Lord of obedience, sacrifice, and surrender. This is the unseen world or life of worship that we live out every moment of every day. In our homes, marriages, families, jobs, and communities that should be the “brand” of Chrisitan worship.
A.W Tozer quoted, “If your life does not worship God, your lips do not worship God either.” Sounds like another quote from the Bible in Matthew 15:8,
“These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.”
How much of our lives are spent honoring God with our lips, in song, and dishonoring Him with our lives in obedience, humility, and mercy? These things should not be. I strongly believe that our worship culture in the church is focused far more on having encounters than in allowing the living Christ to abide in and rule our everyday lives, relationships and impact in this world.
Jesus, Himself, lived to honor His Father in obedience and surrender. So we, as His disciples should model our lives after His. This is our true worship. Worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23).
Let Christ be Glorified in All!