What is worship?
In days of old it had to do with sacrifice. But did it really?
“And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22).
God instituted sacrifice way back to teach us something. But what he really wanted, then as now, is our obedience.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).
I understand these verses to mean that I offer my whole self to God. I am His. I am a living sacrifice. I am at His disposal for Him to do whatever He wants with me. I obey Him completely.
What does this look like? It looks different in each person’s life, as God does not have us all doing the same things. In my case, obedience to Him means I’ve given birth to and mothered ten children. I realized this truth about worship meaning obeying God about twelve years ago. And so when I was doing my motherly duty, this thing that I was doing in obedience to God, I realized that all this mothering stuff I was doing, was my worship. I would sometimes change my baby’s diapers singing, “This is my worship!” It made a difference to how I saw all that diaper changing, let me tell you. It reminded me of the gloriousness of what I was doing.
If you are obeying God, doing what God has for you to do, whether it’s mothering, teaching your children, doctoring, preaching, working in an office or on a construction site, or whatever, then that is your spiritual worship to God.
If you are a Believer and have not even considered what God wants you to be doing, then I suggest that you “present your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God,” because that is “your spiritual worship.”
There is nothing to be scared of in doing this. God created you and gifted you in special ways and knows best where you fit into the big picture of His amazing plans. And if His ideas take a bit of adjusting to, well then…adjust. It’s worth it!
If you are doing glorious things that you think are for God, but you are neglecting what He wants you to do, then it’s not worship, no matter how spiritual it looks. It’s disobedience and that is not good – not for you and not for others.
I mentioned that when we present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God, it will look different as God has all sorts of different things for each of us to do. But the way in which we do these things, the attitude with which we do them, and the aroma that comes from us (love, compassion, kindness, meekness, humility, patience, etc.) should be quite similar. Doing God’s will in God’s way will bless us all!