True worship is not praise and worshiping God with music in a Sunday church service. In fact, many people who sing the loudest on a Sunday only do so because they get wrapped up in the emotional atmosphere, when actually, their hearts are far from God.
Don’t get me wrong, the praise and worship we do on a Sunday at church, connects us with God (but only if our hearts are actually in it), but real worship is not singing or praising once a week.
Paul tells us in the Bible what true and proper worship is: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (NIV)
Therefore, offering ourselves up as a living sacrifice is what God really requires from us as worship to Him.
What does being a living sacrifice mean?
It means laying aside all worldly things and putting God first in our lives. What does this look like practically?
Making God our first priority
It’s making God our first priority, over and above our children and spouses.
Thing is, if we’re very honest about this, how many of us do make Him number one?
Because that would mean doing things His way: disciplining our children, making time to spend time with God every day, despite our hectic-paced lives, going to church even when our kids throw temper tantrums, putting our husbands needs before our kids, and so on. It requires us to know our Bibles and LIVE what’s in it.
Not going to places that would grieve the Holy Spirit
Way too many of us are still going to places we should not be going to. We may go to a casino to gamble with the girls, a get-together at the pub, a party where alcohol and secular music flows.
These are all places we should not be going to if we are to make ourselves a living sacrifice.
Doing unholy things
In 1 Peter 1:15-16, it says, “Be ye holy; for I am holy’”. It is not a request, it is a command. If we’re doing things that are not pleasing to God, we are not where He wants us.
What kind of things are unholy? Swearing, blaspheming, watching horror movies, committing adultery, gossiping and so on – the list is too long! Basically, it’s doing things that Jesus would not do. It is sinning and feeding our fleshly desires instead of our spiritual needs.
What do you get out of being a living sacrifice?
Well firstly, when you seperate yourself from the world (we are in the world but not part of it), your connection to God deepens and produces greater fulfillment. The closer we get to God, the more we become like Him, which is the goal.
Here are why being a living sacrifice is true worship:
- It honours God in everything we do.
- It changes the way we think and brings healing to our minds. This impacts all that we are. Our relationships improve and we get wiser.
- We show more love to people, which is how others are won over for Jesus.
- Our very characters change and we produce the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, self-control, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness. This is essential, because God says to us that it is through our fruits that we will know who are His real children – “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” – Matthew 7:15-16
- It gives you authority in the spiritual realm.
- God listens to your prayers. Harsh, but take a look at this verse in John 9:31: “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.”
- It activates your true purpose, so that you can be who God called you to be.
So there you have it. True worship is not done in a church service, but instead, it is living a life that is pleasing to your God, your Saviour and Redeemer, the One Who set you free; the One Who died on a tree for you and me.