I remember a few years after dedicating my life to Christ, the excitement that I had for going to church on Sunday. As time went by, however, I caught myself in a bad habit. I found myself beginning to show up about fifteen minutes after the service began… consistently. It started with me running a bit behind in getting all of the family together in enough time to make the twenty-minute drive to church. Eventually, I recognized my tardiness had become a habit. You see, during that season in my life I was growing in my understanding of what the term worship truly means.
My immediate default to a worship experience was praise and worship and I thought that the song selection was for my pleasure and that the worship leaders and artists were put in place for my personal enjoyment. Boy, was I missing the point! What I came to realize was when I missed those fifteen minutes in service, I was missing a chance to praise God. It wasn’t about me. It never had been, and it cannot be. The reality that I had to deal with at that time was that if I didn’t truly understand who God is, and if I didn’t truly appreciate the sacrifice that Jesus had made for me on the cross, how COULD I worship God in a way that He would be pleased? What was missing was a deeper sense of awe and appreciation—not just for what He has been done for me, but because of who God is. That was a game-changer for me, no question. I began to be more intentional in reflecting on the holiness of God (Isaiah 6:1-3) and His many attributes (faithfulness, goodness, justice, mercy, and grace to name just a few), which then helped move me to a much more enjoyable experience during those first fifteen minutes on Sunday.
I would also say that my definition of worship has expanded. What I’ve learned is that we can honor God in many different ways. As I appreciate God for who He is (Psalm 99:5), how could I NOT worship Him in my giving? How could I NOT worship Him in my service? How could I NOT worship Him by being faithful in discipleship?
I thank God for revealing these things to me. I am so thankful for the transformation that we all experience as brothers and sisters in Christ. And I am even more excited about what God is doing here at Fellowship!
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being. Revelation 4:11 (NIV).