About a month or so ago, our pastor did a sermon series on worship, what it was, the depths and heights of what it meant to be able to worship our God. There were some things that I had never thought of. I am only going to touch on one here right now, but maybe sometime down the road, I will be able to share some of the other stuff.
One of the things he mentioned was worship is not just being in church and singing. We tend to call our church services “worship service” and we even have a time during the service where we lead in worship. We title that time in our bulletin “worship in song” and I think that alludes to the truth that music, singing, etc. is not the only way to worship. We are worshiping God with our lives and the things we say and do all day. We are doing that by bringing the glory and honor to God with our actions, thoughts, words, deeds… no matter if we are shoveling out a cow stall, collecting garbage, changing a diaper on a wiggly baby, taking care of our kids, walking outside in the sun, or leading the singing at church, or preaching a sermon. If we are doing what God has placed in our lives to do, equipped us to do, we are worshiping Him by doing those things to the best of our abilities. Using our gifts, and especially using them to show that it is God, not us, that needs to be honored and admired for them, is a sincere act of worship.
Today, I did a little bit of that. I have been sick from the stomach flu. I woke up this morning, feeling weak and tired and worn. But I had to get up. I was supposed to help sing on the worship team this morning. I got to church, still feeling under the weather. I let people know what I was dealing with, and asked for prayer. My associate pastor said to me, “Then you have been given a great opportunity today, haven’t you? To allow God to be your strength.”
Those words stuck with me as I made it through the rehearsal, and then through the beginning two songs of the service. Then it was time to get up for the longer set of music. When I got up there for the first song, before the music had even started, I was feeling light headed, dizzy and sick to my stomach. I started singing (barely) and just closed my eyes and said (internally) “God, only with Your power am I going to be able to make it through this set. I am too weak and tired to make it. Please help me and give me the strength. Take my body and my voice and make them what You want.”
Within 2 measures of the music, I started feeling better. I was able to allow God to just fill me and use me. I didn’t feel any powerful feeling in me, or even anything “significant” other than the ability to concentrate on the music, and a lifting of the feelings of dizziness and sickness.
Someone might say, “Well, your blood pressure was low, and so when you stood up to sing you just got lightheaded, and once your body readjusted, you were better.” Yes, someone could say that. And it might be true. But God gave me His strength when I needed it, and the presence of mind to ask for it. HE was the One who steadied out my blood pressure. Because HE is the One who made me and knows me inside and out.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 My act of worship today was to just offer myself up to God to be used, and to trust that He would see me through the service at church today so that I could honor my commitments and honor Him in the process. And isn’t that all that God asks of us? To show up where He calls us to, and to say “Here I am Lord, send me… use me… strengthen me… enable me.” What better form of worship can we have than to give back to Him the life that He gave us…