I just read a FB status from a friend and she was pondering how we are to worship God above all things, but recognizing how many times we all worship family, friends, home, money.... And that got me thinking (just as yesterday Joni Eareckson Tada's post got me thinking about what it means to take up our cross and follow Jesus....) "What does it mean to really worship God?" It's easy to write, say or even shout out in church, "Jesus, I worship you!" But that troubles me...because well, frankly, it's too easy. If there's one thing I know about my God, (other than his 24/7 goodness), it is that he rarely asks me to do anything that comes easily. Nope. My God is in the business of stretching me in every which direction so that there is more room in me to contain his immensity. And stretching hurts.
So, Okay. If worshiping God is more than shouting, whispering, or writing, "God, I worship you," then what is it really? Well, let's take a hint from the other things (idols) we worship. First and foremost, we spend our money on that which is important to us...on the things or people we love. And this is why it is impossible to worship Money and God at the same time. One or the other has to go...or be subservient to the other. So, I'm not just talking about dropping five bucks into the offering plate on Sunday. I'm not even talking about tithing. Honestly, I don't tithe. But I do give God whatever amount he asks me to give to those needs of his children that he puts in front of my face. And I'll tell you, the amounts that God asks me to give leave me gasping....because I live on a very limited income...and God frequently asks me to give up to 40% of it away. But, I have what I need, clothes, food, a home, and it's true: a pile of medical bills, LOL. But I've never ever been in serious need....even when very mentally ill, unemployed and not even serving God back then. I believe, wholeheartedly, that God met my needs, even as I spit into his face--to honor the money I tithed and gave him and his people in the first twenty years of my life.
What else do we do with the things we worship? Well, they get healthy chunks of our time, don't they? How much time do we give God? Again, I don't mean sitting in church for an hour (or three, if you go to my church !) I mean serving his people....the Body of Christ...serve them and you are serving him. Give them time, and you are giving him time. Also we are to demonstrate God's love to the lost people around us as well....Jesus poured out his blood for them, certainly we can do whatever possible to help them as well.. How much value do we place on his Word? Do we spend hours in study? Do we meditate on it? Do we memorize it? Honestly, if you worship someone, you would really really find his words and thoughts important. You would want to know what he likes and loves and you would want to become full of those qualities and characteristics so that he would find us attractive. (Do not get me wrong. We cannot earn God's good favor. But as an expression of his worth to us, it would make sense that we would seek to please him. He is worthy. Isn't he???)
The other thing I do with the idols I admit are in my life is that I make way for them.....I consult them or make room for them....If I have an appointment (or a soccer game, or a dinner meeting for your job, or if your family is going on a vacation...) I make room for it. How often do I make room for God? And that can translate by giving him Time or Money, or "merely" acquiescence. For example, if God places my nasty temper on my heart and lets me know it grieves him...do I take that as a serious injunction to change? To make way? If I"m being belligerent or pigheaded and God nudges my spirit, do I concede?
It seems to me that these are really more solid tangible means of worshiping God...and they are more valuable than our lip-service. Just look at what Jesus had to say to the religious elite of his day! He did NOT hold much value in their expressions of "worship." He wants us to step out in faith. He wants us to obey. And a little dancing never hurt anything either :)
(If you want another bit of conviction, take a look at Joni's definition of what it means to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus.)...http://www.joniandfriends.org/radio/5-minute/what-cross/#.UBxl61hakoU.facebook