Friday, January 17, 2014

From Circumstantial Worship to Continual Worship

The act of consciously worshiping God only at certain times and places is Circumstantial Worship.

We are in a religious culture of Circumstantial Worship. This is what I mean…

Most of us in the church today would call worship the 4 songs prior to the pastor preaching a sermon. That is only very partially right.  If that is our only view of worship, then we are guilty of engaging in circumstantial worship.

Please don’t misunderstand. As a worship pastor, worship through song is one of my favorite things to do. There is something truly special about singing songs of praise and worship alongside other believers. However God has so much more in mind for us when it comes to worship.

Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.

Paul is saying a lot here, and we could spend much more time than this blog allows with this verse, but I want us to focus our attention on the last couple of phrases. There, Paul is urging people to worship with all of their spirit, by doing what? By presenting their “bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.”

What does this mean for us? Moving past the disturbing and wildly radical fact that Paul is asking us slay ourselves by using the word “sacrifice,” he also qualifies this wild request with three things. The sacrifice must be living, it must be holy, and it must be acceptable to God. You see when an animal sacrifice was offered in Paul’s time, it was alive when it was offered but died because of the offering. We may not have been there, however we all pretty much know that is how sacrifices work, right? But Paul is unveiling for the believers of Rome (and us all) a better more joyous way to live; to live in continual worship.

You see, Paul can speak of believers as dying to sin as he does in Romans 6:2, but his emphasis here is on the glorious life that believers all now live with and in Christ (Romans 6:8). Apart from Christ our worship may be sacrificial even to the point of sacrificing our lives, but it won’t be living, it certainly won’t be holy and because of this it won’t be pleasing to God. Apart from Christ we are dead in our sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1), however if we are in Christ we are “alive from the dead,” (Romans 6:13) because Christ sacrificed His life and took our death. Therefore, in gratitude we give our new lives, made holy and pleasing to God through what Jesus has done on the cross, to God continually, moment by moment, thought by thought, action by action. This is the spiritual act of worship that we have been charged with as believers. True Biblical worship, then, is living a grateful and joyously devoted life to God because of what He has done in Christ.

This is huge. The worship that God is after in us, continual worship, is not once or twice a week for 4 songs. He wants our lives, specifically our newly bought lives, paid for and made holy by the precious blood of Jesus. Therefore, worship isn’t what you do on Sundays with voices raised, but your thoughts and actions Monday through Sunday. This is what continual worship is and I know it is God’s desire to move us at BCC from being circumstantial worshipers to continual worshipers. It is my prayer that God works in our hearts to make us more like His precious Son.

In our precious Savior Jesus,
Brett Best
Worship Pastor
Brevard Community Church