Worship is such a huge topic; writing a blog post on “Worship” is a much more daunting task than I thought it would be at first. Whole books have been written on worship, there are magazines devoted to it, and oh yes, and people love a good argument on the subject.
I really don’t feel much like arguing today, and I don’t quite have the time for a book-sized post, not that anyone would read such a thing. So, with all respect for the proper technical definitions and academic discussions about the forms and categories of worship and all the rest of that stuff, I thought that I would simply share a little bit about how worship plays its role in my daily life. Now you must understand that as I do this, I’m not suggesting that your experience must, or even should be anything like mine, for God comes to us where we are, and in this respect, one size not always fit all. Rather, I hope that you might get an idea here, or maybe some encouragement to pursue His presence in ways that perhaps, you haven’t thought of before, if anything here makes sense to you.
The way I see it, worship has very little, if anything, to do with rituals or forms, even though it can be individual, in a small group, or in a large body of people; all are equally valid and important. Yet whatever the setting, worship is actually about a relationship, as opposed to a ceremony. You see, ceremonies are the inventions of men; there aren’t any “Christian rituals” in the New Testament that I know of!
Thus, for me, worship is all about spending time in His presence, at His feet, before the throne…
Sometimes, worship is a conversation in which I share my thoughts, feelings, challenges and/or questions or struggles with Him. Other times, I find worship to be found in serving other people, or sharing or in the message of the Gospel, or in giving. Yes, and sometimes I even find blogging to be an act of worship when I am sharing, in spite of my obvious imperfections, the Gospel or the Word with others.
Over the years, I have come to recognize that worship finds more situations, and takes on many more forms than I ever learned about in Seminary! Yet along the journey of a lifetime, I have also learned that worship is never found in certain situations, like when I am too busy feeling sorry for myself, or in times when I am fuming because I didn’t get my way in something, or when I am refusing to help another person. It isn’t found in a situation that I know I shouldn’t be involved in; you know, the ones when I’m off doing something I know I shouldn’t be doing. Yet, whenever I am doing something that I know to be part of God’s will or God’s purpose, such as sharing the Gospel, He is always there and I am engaged in an act of worship. I’ve come to the conclusion, after much thought and prayer, that this happens because worship is not supposed to be about me, what I want, or about my convenience, but rather that it is entirely about God’s will, God’s needs and expectations and accomplishing God’s purpose by serving others.
A reasonable person might read that last sentence and ask if worship is a difficult burden to carry through life, something that we must somehow do to please God, and to have over with. It doesn’t hit me like that at all, in fact it is the best of times in this life, for when we are worshipping God by living our purpose, the very purpose for which we were created in the first place, not only does He sustain us, but we are filled with an indescribable joy, the sort of joy that I, at least, miss when it isn’t there, the kind of joy I want to get back as soon as I possibly can.
That brings us back to the place where I began, talking to Him, a conversation, asking for people to serve, looking, listening and responding to His lead; for me, this is the heart of worship, whether corporate, small group or individual.