By Brooke Holt
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1
As one raised in the Episcopal church, I have questioned the meaning and significance of liturgical worship. While in college, I visited many other denominations and enjoyed different styles of worship, but I was always drawn back to the Episcopal service. Something about the liturgy was ingrained in my soul. That is my truth, but I have heard many others who have the complete opposite experience. In fact, I have heard many criticisms about liturgy as people have felt they were just “going through the motions”.
What is important to you in a worship service – the sermon, communion, music, the prayers, or the people gathered there? Worship has so much for you to receive, but is that what worship is all about? When Paul admonishes you to offer yourself as a living sacrifice unto God as your means to spiritual worship, what do you think he means?
Many people in the church today cringe at the idea of spiritual worship. They fear the Holy Spirit will go wild and people will start speaking in other languages and falling all around them. That may happen in spiritual worship, but I do not think it is what Paul refers to in this passage from Romans. Instead, he addresses your posture in worship. Paul wants everyone to realize the significance of what Jesus has done on their behalf and what he is offering – salvation, forgiveness, and reconciliation to God.
Paul wanted them and you to comprehend the vastness of Jesus and then to respond appropriately. Paul’s entire life changed when he encountered Jesus, and his life became focused on knowing Jesus, sharing the Gospel, and building the church. Paul gave his whole self to be used by the Lord – his time, gifts, education, passion, desires, career, etc. Paul held back nothing.
Paul withheld nothing – the very definition of spiritual worship. It is recognizing Jesus is above all things, all things in heaven and all things on earth. Spiritual worship entails knowing the goodness and glory of God in your mind and then responding to that glory with your heart. When the Holy Spirit has full access to your life, you come to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength; this is the first step to spiritual worship and what you were created to do!
Ask the Lord to lead you into spiritual worship today. It is not just for Sunday morning but for every hour of every day. It is about bringing glory to Jesus Christ and building his kingdom here on the earth. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
Comments will be approved before showing up.