How do we do worship without reducing worship to merely something that we do? What is the connection between a worship service and a life of worship? Why does it matter?
I have now brought the 'Worship is Life' message to four different continents. I have found that all around the world the word 'worship' has become synonymous with the idea of music and singing. Yet, out of the more than 120 times 'worship' is found in the Scriptures, only a handful of times is it in the context of music and singing. So God's description of worship is much deeper and broader than our current church cultural idea of worship.
The first three blogs of this series have been a challenge to use more relational language. The same challenge not only applies here but gives us a glimpse into why it matters. As I have studied the context of where we find 'worship' in the Bible the one word that best describes these passages is 'relationship'. God always looks through the lens of relationship. Everything God does is in the context of relationship.
What is profoundly and beautifully true about referring to singing as worship is that singing songs to God, about God, and for God, is one of the most effective and meaningful ways to enter into God's relational pattern of revelation and response. The lyrics of revelation and response help us to engage with God and our awareness of his response is amplified to the point that there is a tangible encounter with him.
However, God's description of worship shows us that he invites us to engage with him in his relational pattern of revelation and response all throughout the day and in a variety of ways. He is always revealing himself to us and inviting us to respond and when we respond then he responds. This is how he works in us and through us to touch our world and grow his kingdom.
For better or for worse, everyone has experienced relationship on some level. The more we can use our language to create the picture of relationship, the more we can break down the barriers we inadvertently build between a worship service and a life of worship. Worship equals relationship. Relationship is the purpose of life. Worship is life!