Worship isn’t for me.
I don’t mean that I don’t like to worship, I mean that worship is not for my benefit.
Somewhere along the way, I’d forgotten this. In my earlier years as a believer, when my relationship with God was so brand new, all I wanted to do was to worship and offer my praise and thanksgiving to him. In fact, that’s all I did. It seems that everything I did and everywhere I went was about worshiping God.
I was so full of joy and gratitude for my salvation that there was literally nothing else to do but worship God. It’s all I thought about. My relationship with Him was all that mattered, and I talked to Him all the time. I was constantly reading, learning, praying, discussing, singing…
I was in Love, and there was no where else to be.
But in time, our relationship got comfortable. It became normal. It’s not that it wasn’t special anymore, it’s just that it wasn’t brand new. And with each day, week, month and year, I integrated my relationship with God into my day-to-day existence.
But now, after so long (it’s only been 18 years), I realize that my worship has moved slowly into those activities associated only with church, be it service on Sundays or a Bible study during the week. I have long since thought of my day-to-day activities being much in the way of worship.
Yeah, intellectually I know that everything I do should be my worshipa demonstration of my love of Himbut is it really? Has it been? And just how do I apply may daily, often mundane, tasks and responsibilities to God’s pleasure?
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.”
So how do I do that? Well, that means that I perform each task, take on each challenge, and handle each responsibility as if Jesus himself assigned it to me. And, more importantly, I carry on a continual conversation with him while I do them. I must dedicate (set aside for a special purpose) all of my actions to God and perform them with an awareness of His presence.
This is a key thought, because it directly affects the way that I think of the term “worship” itself, and being reminded that worship is synonymous with “offering” and “sacrifice”. It means to express my love to God by offering myself, my life, my actions, my thoughts, my words – everything:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God this is your spiritual act of worship.”
As I work to maintain the awareness of God’s presence in my life, and really grasp the love He has for me, the easier it becomes for me to worship him in all I do.
And then, because I’m thinking of Him, and have devoted whatever it is that I’m doing to Him, I’m no longer doing it for my own benefit. This means that it no longer matters what the outcome is, and it certainly doesn’t matter if I benefit from it in any way, because I’m not in it for me.
My worship is for Him. It’s how I express my love and gratitude to God. It is for his glory. And I do hope that he is glorified in all that I do. And when I fail to do what pleases him, I pray that he takes advantage of it and is glorified all the more!
For the kingdom, the power, and glory are His, now and forever. Amen!