All my life I have gone to church. Anyone can go to church. Church can be a deep and meaningful experience or it can mean nothing at all. There have been times that I blamed other people for the meaningless and unsatisfying experience that church has given me but I now know that nearly everything that I gain from church has to do with me and how I prepare myself to receive it.
A part of that church experience has been called “worship”. It usually involves music. Someone stands in front and plays and instrument and the piano keys get tickled and a voice leads the congregation in beautiful (or not so beautiful) music.
Sometimes this is a really special time, something happens inside and some spiritual need is met and I call that “good worship”.
The fact is I worship constantly. I just tend to worship God at specific times and worship everything else the rest of the time. To be honest, I think I tend to worship myself more than I worship God. I don’t do it intentionally. I have still not learned just what worship is.
Romans 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
What do I want from my relationship from God? Do I want the quick ticket to heaven or do I want more? Do I want a rich and full life or and frustrating and unsatisfying struggle?
I’ve learned a lot over the last couple of years or so. Do I want to decide that is enough? Or do I want to push on beyond the limitations I have set on God?
I don’t have to settle for limited worship and a partial outpouring of God on my life. I can go beyond conventional Christianity. I can lay my all, my entire life, on the altar of sacrifice and contrary to popular belief, it will not kill me.
God doesn’t demand this and beat me when I don’t comply. I have to willingly comply on my own. No matter how much I experience God, there is always more. Worship isn’t just singing away for a while on Sunday morning. It is a way of life. If I refuse myself the worship that I need with God, I will replace it with worshiping something else. It is what I am designed to do. I am a worship machine and if I don’t turn that desire to God, it has to go somewhere.
Because of all God has done for me, because of his never-ending mercies that endure forever and ever, because of his acceptance of me when I refused to accept him and his unconditional love that never fails, I need to be willing to present my body, my life, my will, my all to him as a living sacrifice.
This isn’t the end of me but the beginning because the things that I lay down to die, he will raise in his power and his glory for his kingdom.
It is good to hunger for more out of life. It is better to know how to find it. It is glory to step out in faith and lay myself down as a sacrifice to him.
Today I go to work, I can struggle to do a good enough for my boss or worship God with all I do.
I feel like I have an inside advantage to doing this in my life. I am working the twelve steps through Celebrate Recovery. A lot of Christians don’t feel the need to put in this kind of hard work but I know that I do or else I will collapse like a house of cards in a windstorm.
But even though I have taken a few steps in the right direction, I have so far to go. There is the potential of so much more in my life. Sure, I’m getting older and opportunities don’t come around like they used to but that’s no excuse. God wants my life as much as the next guy’s. He wants yours as much as he wants mine.
It isn’t because he just like collecting people, it is because he wants to make all that he has already done for you worth the cost. He wants us all to experience him the way we were built to experience him. There is more than Sunday. There is more than a quick prayer whispered before a meal.
God loves me twenty-four seven. He just wants me to love him back.