The Bible makes it clear that first of all, obedience to God is worship. It is more than turning up to church on a Sunday. It is much more than singing and praying together with other Christians. Worship is obedience from the heart.
Obedience to God is Worship
In beginning his guidelines for Christian living to the church in Rome, Paul writes:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 NRSVA)
Worship is … Joyful Service
God has a plan for your life. That plan is good, pleasing and perfect. He wants you to be a new person. He wants you to live with a renewed mind. He wants you to live to honour and obey him. God wants only what is best for you. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ to be a sacrifice for the mistakes and failures in your life so that your new life could be made possible. Our only possible response to all of this is to joyfully give ourselves as living sacrifices for his service. Joyful obedience to God is worship in its truest sense.
Worship is … Counter-Cultural
Our culture, particularly western culture, is self-centred and often corrupting. Obedience to God is worship in that it leads us to reject much of the behaviour around us and to refuse to sign up to this world’s values. This needs to be done at “mind level” as well as in our behaviour. We must guard against pride, covetousness, selfishness, stubbornness and arrogance. Obedience to God is worship when we allow the Holy Spirit to renew us, to reeducate our thinking and to redirect our minds towards God.
Worship is … A Living Sacrifice
Obedience to God is worship when we offer ourselves as living sacrifices to him. This means self-denial: daily laying aside our wants and desires to follow him. It means putting all our energy and desires into allowing him to guide us, rather than what we think is right for us.
Is your life holy and acceptable to God? Is your life one of obedience to God?
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