Everyone worships something. Even atheists and agnostics look to someone or something to give their lives meaning. What we worship reveals the things and people we value the most. For some we treasure our comfort or independence above all else and that gives us meaning. For others our children or spouse are most precious and shape who we are and how we live. Sometimes it's food or sports or sex or drugs/alcohol. At other times it's power or approval or success or pleasure.
We often don't think of these obsessions as "worship" and yet the devotion we show them and the passion we pour into them show they really are. They are often the thing that gets us out of bed in the morning and drive us through the day.
Warren Wiersbe writes, "If worship does nothing else for us, it helps us discover the things that are important. Real worship will transform your life."
Who or what do you worship? If someone observed your life, what would they say is your "treasure" or what you love the most? How would they know?
Read: John 4:23-24; Romans 12:1-2
John 4:23 "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and truth."
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.
True worship comes when we put God first in our lives. It's more than just singing songs or going to a weekly gathering for worship. It's a lifestyle. It's a daily choice to die to ourselves and our desires for the purpose of exalting God and allowing Him to be first in our lives. It is daily sacrifice that gives God central place in our hearts and our thoughts.
The heart of worship is a hunger to know God and to love him. It doesn't mean we don't love or enjoy the people and things in our lives, rather it keeps those things in their proper place after our love and devotion toward God.
How do we worship in spirit and in truth? How do we offer our bodies as living sacrifices? For each of us it will be different but it starts with surrender and is lived out by the choices we make moment-by-moment and day-by-day. It comes as we daily take time to be in God's Word and to commune with Him by prayer. It happens as we consciously choose to love others and consider them more important than ourselves. It is embodied by living first and foremost for God and not for ourselves.
As we offer ourselves to God in this fashion, we are indeed counter-cultural. Our hearts and our minds will experience the transforming power of the Holy Spirit and we will find discerning God's will and knowing how to live it becomes easier as we become more familiar with doing it.
What's your preferred style of worship? How does that impact your image of God?
Consider the names of God. Which one describes your relationship with God right now? Which do you wish reflected your relationship with him?
What about God moves you to worship?
If someone were to observe your day - how you spend your time or money; what you talk or think about most often - what would they think you worship?
Where does your mind go when you have a quiet moment? Leave yourself reminders around your house; in your purse or wallet; in your car...or set an alarm to go off randomly during the day. Use these prompts to draw your attention to God and in that moment give Him praise. It might be a "I love you Lord" or "I praise you Father" thought to God. Or it might be a chance to stop and offer a longer prayer of worship. But set prompts around you that you might draw your mind and heart to the object of your worship and praise throughout your day.