Today’s post in the series Worshipping God in the Real World is contributed by Steve Wickham (BSc, FSIA, RSP [Aust], GradDipBib&Min) an online Christian minister and freelance author maintaining three blog sites (Epitome, ex-ceed and TRIBEWORK), posting daily to service a diverse readership. You can find his nearly 3,000 published articles onEzineArticles.com
This article was first published on Epitome
“Then say to [Pharaoh], ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness’.” ~Exodus 7:16 (NIV).
Worshipping God is a whole-of-life experience of faith, the spending of ourselves in love, and earnest learning in wisdom. It’s probably a whole lot more to boot.
It’s certainly not confined to Sunday church services and prayer meetings.
How do we convert the typical endeavour of worship for God at church — a comparative ‘Egypt’ by confinement of location and activity — and take such worshipful endeavour out into the world; to the comparative ‘wildernesses’ of our workplaces, homes and communities?
Freedom of Worship
If we consider ourselves free only to ‘worship’ at church — or within safe Christian boundaries — then we probably have the wrong concept for what worship is.
Worship may be any activity where we’re able to glorify God via what we do and through what meagre (or mega) portion we, of our hearts, bring.
Living like Christ, whilst we’ll often fail to meet the Saviour’s standard, is the freedom of worship.
Note that Jesus was free to worship God in his literal wilderness experience (Matthew 4:1-11). Out in the world, far beyond the Temple, he was tempted three significant times by Satan. Jesus worshipped the Father via straightforward, wise obedience. His worship, at least in this setting, was nothing about readings in church or singing Hallels.
We too are free to express our worship, not only beyond the gates of our churches, but via an amazing array of activity.
The Vast Worshipful Expanse
God has created a very big place — the universe. Yet, no matter how big things get (the universe is ever-expanding in size) it’s a scientific and a miraculous fact that smallness is equally big. Nanotechnologies and the like prove God to be unfathomable regarding the legacy of expanse, both macro and micro.
God is a limitless Lord.
We can extend God’s expansive nature to the issue of worship; to the degree of variety of worshipful activity at our fingertips.
Anything done with love in our hearts fits this Divine mould.
Where we rise to the heights of righteousness, plumb the depths of humility, reach out our arms in the width of justice, and scour the breadth of God’s wisdom, we worship; to a trillion different nuances.
As we’re unique persons, each crafted at the masterstroke of the Lord’s design, uniqueness becomes the authenticity of our worship. Nobody will worship in the world like we, perhaps, can or do.
The Mission is to Worship: Worship IS Mission
The entire world we can touch is our ‘wilderness’ and the mission of God in our mortal bodies and minds is beyond Egypt (the physical church buildings we present at each Sunday).
Not that we can’t worship in Egypt; we can worship anywhere!
To consider ourselves as pleasing God by remaining in Egypt, however, when the wilderness is the way to the Promised Land, is ludicrous.
We must extend our worship to the farthest reaches of our conscious lives, for through our worshipful ways we experience God. We should yearn after God’s Presence these ways, desiring more and more infilling of the Spirit that gives life; and that, through us, so our worship truly glorifies God.
When we take the Purpose Driven Life model, connecting both ends — worship with mission — we can finally retain the beads — fellowship, discipleship and ministry — ending with a string of beads constructed toward Christlike completeness.
Our mission is to find our worshipful purpose in all our moments.