Some months ago i proposed the positioning line “A Life of Worship” for the newly-conjoined ZOE Group | New Wineskins Web site before the advisory committee, believing that it encapsulated the objective mutually sought by both the online magazine and the inspirational worship ministry.
“Worship” and “serve” are two words that occur together frequently in scripture. I think there’s a reason for that.
I think that serving God – letting Him work through us – gives us a glimpse of His work first-hand, and it inspires the praise He alone deserves.
I think that worshiping God – giving Him due credit for what He has done, whether through us or not – inspires the kind of selflessness and humility that are a prerequisite for God working powerfully through us.
They go hand-in-hand.
They are not segregated by time or space. We do not just worship between 8:30 a.m. and noon on Sundays, and serve only the remaining waking hours of our week. (“Enter to worship; depart to serve” is a charming sentiment, but it is certainly not scriptural.)
We serve by worshiping. We worship by serving.
A life of worship is a 24/7 lifestyle. Christ is not an article of formal wear we put on in order to look nice at church. In baptism, we put on Christ, never again for Him to be shrugged off and hung up because of the inconvenience He might cause in our lives.
We live like Him out of respect, gratitude, indebtedness, willing servitude.
Paul puts it this way to the flock he has not yet met in Rome:
“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.” ~ Romans 12:1
We offer our bodies because He offered His.
And if we deem His example too exalted to imitate, may I suggest an humble, human one: a aged woman; the Theresa of Calcutta of century one:
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. ~ Luke 2:36-38
What a tribute in three concisely-worded verses! I count these choices of hers worthy of enumerating separately:
- She never left the temple.
- She worshiped night and day.
- She fasted and prayed.
- She gave thanks to God.
- She told about Jesus to all who would listen.
Anna lived a life of worship.
Her example may seem extreme, but I truly believe that if you and I just chose one of those avenues of service, and prayed for guidance in it and focused solely on it until it had mastered us … then another … and another … if we only were mastered by two or three of them, we would still be well on our way to a life of worship.
And God would be very, very praised.