And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you”(Genesis 22:5 New King James Version).
Aaaah, worship. Just what exactly is worship? Many have answers, but which is God’s true answer? I am still learning this, but I will share with you what I have learned since I began my walk with Christ. Worship is not the songs we sing Sunday morning, or whenever we play our Christian music and open our mouths to sing. Worship is not doing what we want to do for God. Worship is not simply paying lip-service to God so we can have our agendas met. Worship is service; it’s active, it’s laborious, it’s rewarding and it’s humbling. Worship is being obedient to God despite the circumstances surrounding us or our perceptions. Worship is bowing down before God in trust and faith, knowing He’s going to do what He says He’s going to do. Worship to God is in how we serve Him. This can mean we worship Him when we sing; when our whole being is poured out in the lyrics and melody of the song we are singing to Him. This can mean when we do what God wants us to do, and we want to do what God wants us to do, we are worshiping. Worship can be public or private, depending on our obedience to God and where He has placed us.
Abraham was told to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Out of obedience and worship to God, he obtained what he needed to perform the sacrifice, and as an act of worship, he tied Isaac down and raised his knife. Because of Abraham’s act of obedient worship, God provided a sacrifice to replace Isaac. Has there ever been a time in your life when God asked you to do something which didn’t make sense, but out of obedience you did it, and saw what God had in mind for you after? Perhaps it was to turn down that exciting job offer, or maybe to meet with someone you thought you had nothing in common with, or maybe it was even to attend an event that you had no intention of attending. Whatever it was, if God told you to do it and you did, you performed an act of obedient worship.
There is also worship of God in which we declare what a holy and righteous and mighty God He is. This is the type of worship in which we bow down low before His throne, cloaked in humility, standing before Him in faith and trust. We cannot stand and worship before a Holy God and not be faced with our true selves. Worship of God in this sense requires an inner examination; we must confess and repent of our sin before we can enter His presence. We must stand before Him with pure hearts and motives, giving Him all of our selves, being available for His purposes, for His use.
All we do for the Lord while here on earth is an act of worship. When we want to stay home and do nothing, but we attend church instead, that’s an act of worship. When we sacrificially give of our time, our resources, our talents, our finances – these, too, are acts of worship. When we offer up our jobs to the Lord, we are worshiping. When we throw our hands up and declare that God is Holy, Mighty, Righteous, Just – we are worshiping. Worship is not just reserved for Sunday morning sing-along service.
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, You indeed are Holy. So very Holy, so very righteous, so very just! You are faithful and loving, but also to be feared. Father, forgive us for our attitudes towards worship, teach each one of us what true worship is, teach us obedience. Show us how to be joyfully reverent in Your presence and not hold to man’s definition of what reverence is. Father, we long to worship You, to sit in Your presence, to sing to You and be sung over by You. We offer You all we put our hands to do as an act of worship, we commit to You our talents, our resources, our finances, our lives to be used according to Your purposes. We love You and desire to please You. We stand before You in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
Today’s Act of Worship: If you are torn between listening to a secular song and a Christian song, as an act of worship play the Christian song. If you have someone you avoid dealing with often, take the time today to stop and say hello – you never know what God will do through you in that moment. If you are constantly on the move, no time for relaxation, for friends, for family time – stop and make time to sit before the Lord and tell Him how holy and lovely He is – it’s amazing how your priorities will realign themselves while in the presence of God.
Additional Scriptures: Genesis 22: 1-18; Matthew 14:33; Psalm 96:9