written by Pastors Jeff Olds and Daniel Barkley
As we begin to consider the importance of worship in the believer’s life, there are some critical tenets we need to explore. Let’s jump in!
The importance of worship in a believer’s life begins with the foundational statement that we are created to worship. Our spirit longs to respond to our Creator. In fact, “worship is the natural instinct of the human heart”. (J. Ligon Duncan, Give Praise to God: A Vision for Reforming Worship, p. 15)
The importance of worship in a believer’s life is marked by what they love. Because worship is such an integral part of our existence, we need to understand that “worship is about what we love and what we live for”. (Bob Kauflin, Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God, p. 17) What we love is what we worship. The ramifications of that statement are immense. What do you love?
The importance of worship in a believer’s life is built upon knowing God’s Word. Biblical worship is grounded in knowing God’s Word. “The better (i.e., the more accurately) we know God through his Word, the more genuine our worship will be.” (Kauflin, Worship Matters, p. 28)
The importance of worship in a believer’s life is grounded in the person and work of Christ. Constance Cherry in The Worship Architect, tells us that biblical worship must be grounded in the person and work of Christ. He is the cornerstone of our worship. Consider these passages:
- Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (Matthew 21:42)
- So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
- As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)
If the importance of worship in a believer’s life is marked by what they love, then what type of fruit should come to bear in their life?
In short, a life of worship is a life of patterns. Not just patterns like a quilt, though that may be a better analogy than most, but the kinds of patterns that consist of repeated practices. Waking up, brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, tv, shopping, and sleeping are just a few examples of things you have probably done multiple times this week, and they all have had an effect in shaping the type of person you are.
What if all of those actions and practices were aimed at a single goal? A goal like this one: knowing and loving Christ. This is the life of worship. Each day, and every single moment that comes with it, are opportunities to worship. This day is one that the Lord, Himself has made according to the Psalmist. If Christ is Lord of all creation, that means He is Lord of each moment, and those moments are a gift of grace to mold and shape into a life of worship, piece by piece.
Tish Warren, in her book Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, writes: “God is forming us into a new people. And the place of that formation is in the small moments of today.” (p. 21)
Are you wondering how to live a practical life of worship as a believer? It’s as simple as “beholding” and “becoming.” Do those things that turn your eyes towards Jesus. Do the things that you do each day, aiming them towards the glory of the Savior. You can wash dishes in a way that pleases Christ. You can pick your kids up from school in a way that shares the glory of Jesus with the world around you. You can do all of these things to the glory of the Lord. And as you fix your eyes upon Him, asking Him to give you grace to remain fixed upon Him, this wonderful transformation occurs. You become what you behold.
That is the life of worship. Behold the Lamb of God and be made like Him… from now, through all eternity.