Search an image library for “worship” and you often see pictures of people with their hands raised to the sun or sky. (Google worship images.) The images do communicate worship to us, but lifting our hands in praise does not even to begin to represent all that worship is. It’s simply one way to express worship, but worship is so much more.
First of all, our expressions of worship begin in our heart. And who can see the heart, but God? Sometimes the visual expression of worship are expressions from a pure, honest heart. Sometimes, however, they can be deceiving. Its a whole lot easier to look like we’re worshiping, than it is to genuinely worship.
The opposite is also true. Often we see expressions of worship that seem emotionless, heartless. Yet who can see the heart but God? How do we really know what’s going on in someones heart?
So who can really say what worship looks like, but God himself and each worshiping individual?
Second, we have some notions about what worship looks like. Yet its not so simple. Sometimes worship is visual, sometimes it is not. Sometimes the images of worship are commonly seen in our churches as God’s people gather to worship Him. Yet other times worship looks like someone giving a hug to support a friend in need. Sometimes worship looks like serving meals. Sometimes it looks like building a house. Sometimes it looks like inviting someone to church. Sometime it looks like attending your child’s junior high basketball game. Sometimes it looks like being kind to everyone you meet. Sometimes it looks like forgiving someone who’s hurt you. Sometimes its doing the best job we can for our employer. Sometimes it looks like reading. Sometimes praying. Sometimes praising. Sometimes preaching. Isn’t any thing done for God’s glory an act of worship? When we show our love for God and His people, sinners and saints, isn’t that worship?
We’ve got to begin to see worship as Paul did in Romans 12:1. It begins only when we give ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice, and involves everything we do for His glory, however great are small, visual or not.
Worship looks like people living every possible moment of their lives for the glory of God. If you think worship happens only on Sunday morning, you need to wake up! That is only a small part of worship. Worship starts when we get up in the morning and commit our lives to God. Every day is His. Virtually everything we do can be worship, if its done for His glory.