Lately I’ve been learning about worship. How it’s more than just singing songs on Sunday mornings, more than praying at night. More than thankfulness, more than raised hands, more than lifted voices. Worship is a way of thinking and way of living day-to-day life. Romans 12 taught me this – it transformed the way I say what worship truly is.
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. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Worship is a way of living – it is the surrender of your life to be a life that pleases God. People think that sacrifice and surrender only result in losses and difficulty, but Jesus assures us that whatever we give out or surrender, we will gain abundantly more than what we have given up and lost (the parable of the servants and the coins). Our “true and proper worship” is something that isn’t momentary – it isn’t limited to a time of the day, or an amount of time set aside to worship – it is a continual way of living. It is rooted in us being different and set apart – not “conforming” to the world. Not only are we called to not conform but we are called to be “transformed” – we are called to replace the lies of the world with the truth of the Gospel, and to replace the actions of the world with actions of love. Our minds will be transformed when we read God’s Word and align our minds with His. We will be more filled with the fruit of the spirit: joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. We will see ourselves and those around us with new eyes, and that will translate into more loving, kind, peaceful… actions. This means that non-conformance is not just a passive thing. It is not just saying “no” to things – it is an active thing: intentional and something that we pursue. Then, as a result of living a life of intentional worship, we “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is” – we will begin to know what God’s plan for our lives as we take active steps to pursue a holy life! And that leads to such amazing results! Because God’s plan is the best plan for us! He created us and knows exactly what will excite us and fulfill us, and has a unique adventure in store for us! His plan promises “life in all its fullness” (John 10:10) for each of us. So, we can trust that it will be the best decision of our lives to pursue a life of worship that leads to God’s perfect plan!