Summary: Defining worship in its holistic form.
Start with a question - "What is worship? (get some answers from students)
Rick Warren, in "The Purpose Driven Life" defines worship as "bringing pleasure to God." In other words anything that you do that brings pleasure to God is, or can be worship. So now the question becomes, "what makes God happy ... what brings Him pleasure?"
Well let’s start in the beginning ... when God sees Adam and Eve at creation what does he say about them? He says "Tobe Meode" which means "very good." God is happy with his creation, and that is why Jesus can tell us that if we stop worshiping God, then the rocks will cry out in worship. They are a part of God’s creation, and His creation makes Him happy ... it’s "Tobe Meode" I believe that the rocks would truly and audibly cry out, but even if you don’t, we still see that God receives worship from every aspect of His creation!
So God’s creation makes Him happy, but how and why? When I start to think about that, I can’t help but think about how many times I disappoint God or let him down. I think of all the times when I do things outside of his will or I do things that may look good, but with the wrong motives. I’m still his creation and I don’t think that God could possibly always be happy with me. And the explanation for that is this: God created us with intention and with purpose. Each of us may have a very different purpose, but every single human being that has ever lived was originally intended for something. God takes delight in us and we worship him when we become the person that he originally intended us to be.
Video Clip - Chariots of Fire
You see, worship is not a moment or a song. It’s a life of seeking to become the person God made you to be. It’s not confined to the church and when I was writing this, I was ready to say that it might not have to be that only Christians are capable of worship, but that anyone regardless of their faith or lack of it can become who God made them to be. But I’ve since realized that that is wrong ... you can’t please God if you don’t believe in Him.
Read Hebrews 11:6
After reading this verse over and over, I think I figured it out. It is impossible to please God without faith because God created us to be in relationship with Him. If we aren’t in relationship with Him, if we don’t believe that Jesus exists and loves us, then we have not become the person we were originally intended to be; we’re missing a key ingredient. Imagine that you were building a car so that you could go from place to place and once you finished, you turned on the car, the AC worked, the radio worked, but the car wouldn’t go forward. The wheels just wouldn’t spin and you couldn’t get from one place to another. Would you be happy with your creation? Probably not ... it isn’t doing what you originally intended it to do!
This defines worship even a little bit more. Not only is worship pleasing God by becoming what He originally intended you to be, but it includes desiring to become that person because you know and love the fact that God is sovereign or in control and wanting to please Him because you love Him. Not you want to play baseball, but recognizing that God gifted you to be a great athlete and realizing your build in potential to fulfill God’s purpose for you life. And no matter what your job ends up being (right now it is to be a student) it is possible to please God in that job. Has everyone heard of the Great Commission? Has anyone heard of the Cultural Commission? The cultural commission says this:
The first thing God says he wants us to do is to multiply and take care of the earth. How would the earth be if we didn’t have garbage men? What about if we didn’t have doctors? How about inventors, musicians, painters, politicians, people in government, builders ... I could go on and on. God is glorified when you strive to become the person He originally intended you to be, and you don’t have to be singing or preaching to do that. Your job and my job is to worship God, and the way to do that is to find out what God made you for and do everything you can to do that thing, or those things as well as you possibly can for God’s glory.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:31
The sooner you recognize God in everything you do, the sooner you will be able to worship Him in everything you do. And that will be the best life you could ever imagine. Not my word, but God’s!