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Worship as a Way of Life

Worship is a way of life. Its not just about singing songs, meeting in a building or lifting up our
hands, its about a complete submission of our entire beings in adoration of one who is worthy of
our praise. Our society worships so many different things: pop stars, actors, fashion, wealth and
success, yet these are all earthly things that are here today and gone tomorrow. As Christians, the
only one worthy of our praise is the God of all who gave His only Son that we could have a
personal relationship with Him.
The ultimate goal of our worship is to bring glory to God and to exalt His name. However, over
the course of Church history, a misunderstanding has developed as a result of the term worship
being so frequently used to describe times of congregational singing. At Grace we are trying to get
back to the heart of worship and truly understand what this term means. Although we treasure the times we
can come together to worship through the gift of music, our family gathering times are also times
of worship through the Word, prayer, teaching, giving and fellowship. Then, when we step out of
the Church building, our worship continues.
Romans 12:1 (NIV), says: 'Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living
sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.' As Christians, we are called to live

lives devoted to the Lord and to honoring His name. When we lay aside our pride, selfish
ambitions and sinful selves and chose to follow the Lords lead in all aspects of our lives, we are
living as true worshippers.
Wherever the Lord has placed us: as parents, in the workplace, as students, as grandparents, as
spouses or as friends, we can choose to worship God in our everyday lives. When the focus of our
lives is to grow in the knowledge of Him that in turn we might use the teachings of Jesus to
impact our world for His glory, we are in its truest sense worshipping. For in Luke 22:36-39,
Jesus makes clear to us that the greatest commandment in Scripture is to love the Lord with all
our heart, soul and mind and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves. May we continue to
become the worshippers He created us to be. We invite you to join us at Grace as we seek to make our
entire lives an act of worship unto the Lord!

In Nehemiah we find a man who had a dream, but whose dream came at great cost and with
much opposition. Many of us in ministry can relate to Nehemiahs story. Although we may be
close to fulfilling our dream, we never imagined it would cost this much or that things would get
so tough.
Why is following our God-given dream so difficult? I believe theres a threefold reason.
1. Because we will be opposed. I take courage and comfort in knowing that Nehemiah was
taunted and mocked but stayed the course.
2. Because people will let us down. Nehemiah 5 describes how other leaders selfishly were
using the crisis for their own advantage.
3. Because we will face disappointments. What disappointments have brought you close to
giving up on your God-given dream? For me, it was the birth of our sixth child.
In 1998 we had four girls and one boy, Benjamin, who had Fragile X Syndrome. We believed
God was inviting us to take the risk of faith to have another child, and we prayed for another son
who would not have Fragile X. God gave us a wonderful gift, Isaiah Robert; but he arrived with
Fragile X.
He is almost 9 years old now, is still in diapers and hasnt spoken more than a couple words. He
needs fairly constant supervision and limits our family activities considerably. But we wouldnt
trade him for anything. In fact, through people with special needs we often see Gods grace in
surprising ways.
We need that grace to endure tough times; yet finding the strength to actually worship during
those seasons is another matter. Many times Ive been reminded that God is more interested in
my character than in my comfort.
Part of that process involves letting go of certain expressions of worship that are only sustained
by our need to impress. And that means being honest with how were really doing, not putting on
your Sunday smile when youre dying inside.
Worship isnt floating through life on a cloud of bliss. Worship is surrender. Its singing while
cleaning up after one more trip to the bathroom to change a dirty diaper. (Due to our two boys
special needs, Im almost 20 years into that joy!)

Once we find the strength to worship, how do we then sustain this posture in the middle of
adversity? I believe it often starts by reaching out to others who are also going through adversity.
We can always find someone else whos going through tougher stuff than we are.
Nehemiah helped the poor as he restored the walls and fought against discouragement caused by
his enemies. We can do the same. Somehow, each of our lives needs to touch the poor in some
positive way. This increases our gratitude, and a spirit of gratitude sustains us through the tough
A final thought: Sustaining worship at the expense of your family is actually sustaining religious
performance, not real worship. Those of us called to the ministry of worship have no business
leading Gods people in songs of devotion to God if we arent devoted to our spouses. Sustaining
worship is all about sustaining relationship because worship is a relationship of surrender with
May God strengthen us and help us to be worshipers through all the challenges that are sent our
way. Like Nehemiah, may we be faithful to God and love those around us as we continue the
adventure of worship.