What Is Worship?

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    What if someone told you that on some level, you worship your car? Or your spouse, your kids, your favorite sports team, favorite restaurant, favorite band, the family pet. . . . Worship, at its most basic definition, is declaring the worth of something, or showing ardent devotion or adoration for something or someone. With that definition, we can see that to some extent we worship all sorts of things.

    Whether you are extolling the virtues of a new movie you just saw to a friend who hasn’t seen it, or discussing all the highlights from the latest game you just watched while trying to convince your uninterested friend to tune into this sport, or whatever it may be, you are participating in a small version of worship by declaring what worth that something has for you.

    The thing is, we associate “worship” with church, or God; and while that is true, we seem all too often to think that worship of God only belongs in church. We get an even narrower definition when we limit the term “worship” to just the singing section of the service (which happens a lot in different churches, regardless of the flavor of church). And while it may be helpful to understand that in “church-ese,” worship often means the singing portion of the section, we need to understand that it’s supposed to go beyond that. Way, way beyond that.

    Worship is supposed to be a lifestyle. In the New Testament, we have several different places where it is clear that our whole lives are to be wrapped up in this. Declaring the worth of Almighty God isn’t something we can just do on Sundays. For it to be real, it’s got to be an every day, entire life sort of thing. Colossians 3:17 tells us “And whatever you do or saydo it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us: “ Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

    So basically, anything we say and do, from random conversations to the way we use our bodies, reflects our priorities. If God is to be our priority, then our entire lives should reflect that, every day. And while none of us will ever perfect this, the goal itself and what we do succeed at will make for a radically different lifestyle—a life of worship of Almighty God.

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