Are you the type of worshipper who worships constantly and with your whole being?
Recently I was impacted by a message I heard that reminded us we as Christians should be characterised not by religiosity or merely Sunday-morning formal worship – but a lifestyle where our heart attitude is set towards truly worshipping God with our whole mind, intellect, emotion, affection, strength, will, and time. The preacher referred to Philippians 3:3. Here the Apostle Paul sets up a comparison between His former life of working to try and gain God’s favour, and His transformed life in Christ where righteousness is attained by faith. In this context, He says these profound words:
“For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3– ESV).
Paul is saying that God’s true people don’t just have an outward symbol of spiritual need (physical circumcision in the old covenant), but their sins have actually been removed and hearts cleansed by the blood of Christ (true spiritual circumcision of the heart). He then describes three characteristics that describes true believers in God: they worship with their whole being, they glory in Jesus, and they don’t put confidence in their flesh but in God.
Worship in the spirit.
The first of these three characteristics we ought to have particularly challenged me. Even as one who leads worship regularly, I confess I have often fallen into the trap of subconsciously confining ‘worship’ to Sunday morning. The idea Paul gives however is of the Christian worshipping God in an ongoing and continual manner; spiritually serving Him in all they do out of respect and reverence for who He is. Some translations say “worship by the Spirit of God” or “worship in the Spirit of God” but though we can’t be fully sure, it’s likely that a better translation is “worship God in the spirit” (like in the NKJV). It refers probably not to the Holy Spirit but our spirit, speaking of worshipping God with our whole inner person, not just outwardly. Worshipping Him in ‘spirit and truth’! (Jn 4:23-24)
The implications are enormous. Is your life characterised not just by Christian activity like attending services, hearing sermons, and going to Bible studies – but by your heart continually set towards living for Christ Jesus, whether anyone is watching or not, at work and in your home? Only you and God know that.
Who are you living for?
That’s a big question. A crucial question. Ask it again. Don’t fool yourself. Stop a second and truly look at your heart and ask yourself who you’re living for. I have to confess that even though I preach from time to time, lead music at services, study papers at Bible college, and help out with a young adults ministry – many times I’m living for me. I’m not worshipping God in the spirit.
Things Worth Pondering.
What are the real desires of your heart?
What gives you great joy?
What consumes your spare time?
What do you typically think about?
When are you most happy and content?
If we’re honest, most of us couldn’t give an answer to those questions like “communing with God; living with Him and for Him”. It’s a sad reflection on the state of much of the church. It’s a sad reflection on me.
True Christians should be characterised by worshipping God constantly with all they have. According to the Bible.
So with God’s help, let’s grow in consecrating all our thoughts, decisions, plans, intellect, gifts, body and heart to God. Let’s grow in becoming people characterised by worshipping God in the spirit, glorying in Christ Jesus, and putting confidence in God and not in our own strength and wisdom and flesh.
Let me exhort you – through God’s grace and help – worship with your all!
So what are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below….