Note: This is a summary of what I taught this past Wednesday (09.07) as City Church kicked off our Fall Semester. We are taking 5 Wednesdays this Fall to recalibrate what our lives should look like ‘between the Sundays’ if we truly want to be the servant-leaders that Christ calls us to be in the City of Corpus Christi. It begins with asking the question: What do we worship?
We make the mistake of believing that at our core we are just Homo Sapiens: wise man/ reasoning / thinking man. We put the preeminence on the mind. But often we do this at the cost of what goes on in the heart. You see at our core we are not merely thinking man. At our core we are Homo Adorans: worshipping man. We are built to worship.
Every single human being worships something. To put it another way, every heart yearns for something (or someone) that we hope will bring us purpose, identity, meaning in life. The prophet Isaiah put it this way: ‘…he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, “Save me; you are my god.” ~ Isaiah 44:17.’ You don’t have to be religious to worship. All people (Christians and non-Christians alike) worship because we are built in the image and likeness of God. NT Wright, in his work Simply Christian, offers us a few simple definitions of worship:
- Worship is acknowledging the worth of something or someone.
- Worship is recognizing and saying that something or someone is worthy of praise.
- Worship is celebrating the worth of someone or something far superior to oneself.
Again, we worship what we think will bring us life / salvation / worth / purpose. This is why when Christianity talks about sin, it is so much deeper than just the mere breaking of rules. All of our misery and brokenness comes from worshipping the creation and not the creator.
The First Commandment is about God telling us that because of our sinful nature all of us are worshipping other gods before the one true God. If you want to understand the dynamics of that read Romans 1. The Bible tells us that though we are built to be in a covenantal love relationship with God, our sin twists that capacity in order to worship other things; things that won’t satisfy (power, wealth, sex, etc.,). The simple principle is this: We become what we worship.
If you go back and read Revelation 4 and 5 you’ll see a great picture of what worship should look like. These two chapters paint a beautiful picture of glad shouts of praise that arise to God the creator and rescuer and the triumph of Jesus the Lamb. That is the worship that is going on in the Heavens, in God’s presence, all the time. The question we ought to be asking then is this: How can we join in right now, right where we currently live?
We can begin by asking ourselves some simple questions: As Husbands and wives how does our marriage reflect worship unto God? As Fathers and Mothers how does our family life reflect worship unto God? How do our jobs do this? What about as members here at City Church? As citizens of this city how do we live, work, play as worship unto the Lord?
Do our lives reflect the kind of worship that declares Jesus as King to the people around us? If not what do our lives reflect? What do our lives say to our neighbors, co-workers, family members, friends? In order to truly worship God, we have to really spend time meditating on who He really is. In order for worship unto God to truly be the most fundamental characteristic that marks us, especially when we go through times of suffering, then we must spend real time getting to know God so that our worship comes from a heart that is truly in love with our Creator.