Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Worship Fuels Worship

Steven Curtis Chapman came out with a fantastic song back in 2003 called "Moment Made for Worshipping." It's probably one of his lesser known tunes, but it's one of my favorites and is particularly speaking to me now. Here's the 1st verse and chorus:

6:30 Monday morning
I'm here hiding in my bed
A song plays on my alarm clock
As I cover up my head
But somewhere in the distance
I remember yesterday
Singing, "Hallelujah!"
Full of wonder, awe and praise
But now I'm must wondering
Why I don't feel anything at all

This is a moment made for worshipping
'Cause this is a moment I'm alive
This is a moment I was made to sing
A song of living sacrifice
For every moment that I live and breathe
This is a moment made for worshipping

It's funny how I so often associate worship with music. I understand that tendency, though. Worship music was the means God used to save me - wonderful moments of transcendence and awe, and radical desire to surrender my heart. This was my life as a young Christian. But, as we all know, the music eventually stops and we go about our daily lives. As I've had to learn over and over again (and am re-learning now), worship is not merely singing and lifting hands, but is clearly defined for us in Romans 12:1 - "...present your bodies as a living sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship."

Steven Curtis was on to something. In his song lyric, he reveals that he's like the rest of us, that though we all want those wonderful moments of transcendence to last, they don't. But what he says next is the best of all - "these moments are made for worship!" These moments are opportunities! So if worship is like what Paul is describing in Romans 12, then here's how I worship throughout the week:

  • Doing the dishes
  • Taking out the trash
  • Waking up early with my 11-month old
  • Cleaning the showers
  • Sweeping and mopping the floors
  • Changing diapers
  • Opening up my home for a Bible study
  • Giving my wife a back rub
  • Getting in bed earlier than I want
  • Choosing not to browse Facebook when I could watch television with my wife
  • Giving the baby a bath and putting her to bed
  • Taking the dog to the vet

Do you see a common denominator here? All of these are acts of self-sacrifice. I don't list these to pump myself up, because it's often that I don't do them with the best of motives. But the point is this: Jesus modeled this by washing the disciples' feet, and by doing the same, by serving and sacrificing our wills and wants, we are worshipping Him! Is this not what Jesus meant when He said, "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal"? Of course it is!

So to bring this full circle: I find in my own life that, when I am worshipping by sacrificing my wants and my life, my worship time at church is heightened. And the contrary is true when I'm not living this way. The reason Paul described worship as self-sacrifice is because that's how Jesus worshipped the Father. It's been modeled for us - the healings, the teaching, the patience with His disciples, the cross - what about Jesus' life was not self-sacrifice? Why should we lable worship as anything but self-sacrifice? And ultimately, the music portion in our church services is also an opportunity for self-sacrifice as well. It's in those times that the music and the lyrics can move us to surrender our wills, and hopefully, propel us to self-sacrifice during our week.


  1. Rick -

    Loved this. So many people who are seeking God are often drawn by the churches who can offer up more "experiential" worship services, to fill spiritual voids. Sometimes I find myself looking for these very moments in worship. I amorously call it the "church high". I often forget that my entire life should be lived only for His glory and that everything I do can be raised for worship. The beauty of singing in church is that it gives us the opportunity to worship in fellowship and community! This channel of devoted love to the Creator feels great and it’s hard at times to translate in our trivialities of the day to day. I just have to remember that Jesus Christ is my biggest prize whenever I lose sight of the important things. Hugs.

    God bless!

  2. And you know, I don't think it's wrong to hope for those moments in worship. In fact, I think we need them. The problem is that they're unpredictable, and we can't control when they'll come. But the great thing about it is that we can still have joy in worship through self-sacrifice, even in singing, and so when those transcendant moments do come, it's icing on the cake!