Colossians 3:17: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
When you hear the word “worship,” what comes to mind? I know for me, my mind is immediately drawn toward singing together at church. While this is absolutely an important and unique form of worship done in community, worship extends beyond one hour on a Sunday morning. We need to broaden our definition of worship. Authentic worship is all-encompassing. It requires our whole beings and our whole lives.
In Romans 12:1, Paul urges all people, in view of the mercies of God, “to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Yet, this language may seem complex or confusing. I love the way Eugene Peterson writes this verse in the Message Translation, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” With a fresh perspective, we begin to see how our lives have great meaning and purpose. Our “spiritual worship” is to offer our whole lives to God, our everyday moments, conversations, jobs, and relationships. This is our proper response to our new identity in Christ.
The truth is, we all worship something. We all spend time focused on certain activities, hobbies, and jobs. Yet, these good things can easily fall into idols in our lives. Tim Keller writes, “When anything in life is an absolute requirement for your happiness and self-worth, it is essentially an ‘idol,’ something you are actually worshiping.” As the New Year gets under way, I need the reminder to offer my whole life to God, to truly worship God alone in every aspect of the life He has given me. It’s so easy to hold certain areas of our lives back from God. If we aren’t careful, we begin to place our hope and confidence, and even find our identity, in these ‘idols.’ However, as Paul urges us here in Romans 12, we must place our entire lives before God. Jesus gave his life for us, enabling us to have a secure identity in him by faith. He is the true source of our happiness and self-worth. Today, identify any idols or certain areas of your life that you are holding back from God. What would it look like for you to offer your everything, including your “everyday, ordinary life,” before God?
By Billy Berglund