Living, glorifying, worshipping

In reference to this post on the distinction between “vertical” and “horizontal,” a longtime friend and reader wrote,

Perhaps the concept that we “go to worship” is a part of the problem.  Our life is to be “worship.”  “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I Cor. 10:31.  Those who leave “worship” in the building and go about as though God is not their Father … well, yes, as some people say, “That is between God and me.”  That’s really The Problem — not willing to surrender to God, but lay out the guidelines according to what they want.  God will have something final to say about that.

My friend’s emphasis here — that our lives should be lived for God — is right on.  And I would agree that the conception of worship as A) a sequenced event/”service” B) in a church edifice has done inestimable damage to the theologies and belief systems of countless believers.  Worship is primarily a verb, not a noun that we go to, or sit through, as others do it for us.  We can go to the assembly for a lifetime of Sundays — and I do believe heartily in assemblies of Christians — but, sadly, it is quite possible to go/attend for decades without ever truly worshipping.

Being a disciple of Jesus — and living seven days a week for the purposes of God’s Kingdom — now that’s what it’s about.  I generally reserve the term “worship” for vertical communication with God, wherever it occurs.   But being an ambassador for God and seeking to live each hour as His child, bringing attention and glory to Him — that deserves just as much attention as vertical adoration and reverence (“worship” proper).

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3 thoughts on “Living, glorifying, worshipping

  1. John Eoff 02/07/2013 / 8:43 pm

    Jesus, himself, identifies the worship which God desires from us. And in identifying it he contrasts it with the worship which the Woman had in mind when she ask him to tell her the proper place to perform it. She gave him two options, in Jerusalem where most of the Jews worshiped, or “in this mountain” where a second temple had been built by a disposed high priest, Onias, in the fourth century B.C. Of course God had stated that he was to be worshiped at ONLY the place where he put his name and David had brouight that worship to Jerusalem and would have built the Temple there if God had allowed him to do so. However, Jesus did not reply to the woman that Jerusalem was the proper place but stated that the time was coming, and now was, when true worship would not be performed in either of those locations but would be done in spirit and in truth. In spirit and in truth is in contrast with the worship the woman inquired about. The truth part rest in the nature of the sacrifice contrasted with the shadow of the truth that was represented in the woman’s worship, and also in that performed in Jerusallem. Various animals were sacrificed in those two places as worship to God, but they were not the “truth” which God desired—they were but a shadow. Jesus himself was the truth that those animals only represented. The worship the woman asked about was performed by humans, physical acts of slaying the animal and then performing the required work on it. The worship God desired and still desires, is not physical but is spiritual. It was done for us, by Jesus, and all we can do is accept it as being full recompense for ouir own sins. The worship God desires has nothing to do with our actions. It is not in some mysterious way related to the way we treat others or how we live daily. It is spiritually accepting Jesus’ redeaming work as being imputed to us in place of our own soiled righteouness. Righteousness from above, of God, greater than that of the pharisees, PERFECT.

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    • Brian Casey 02/08/2013 / 10:10 am

      Portions of this viewpoint are intriguing, and portions are also a bit imaginative, I think. Now, don’t get me wrong — I tend to like “imaginative.” 🙂 Being creative can get us out of practical ruts. You get my head and heart going with these thoughts. Please look for a reply in the form of another post in a day or six.

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