So let me summarize and then embellish and muse a little more from the past two days.
To summarize, I’ve been writing about worship. I’ve written about how worship can be made to anything that we present our bodies as sacrifices to. I also wrote about Romans 12 and how it defines worship. It defines worship that is spiritual as the action of presenting our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God.
Now to muse more on this.
This is how we are to worship God: With our bodies on an altar. A sacrifice always involves a body. Its a body being prepared to be cut and bled and burned. Most of the time the body has to be prefect before it’s going to be dismembered and burned. God wants perfect bodies to be destroyed essentially. To be offered up to him. Men and women were to burn the fattest and best calve or goat or sheep. They were to offer only the best. God would only accept the destruction of the best, not of the worst.
There is no offering up the worst. That may be more practical to us, since the best would be of more use to us, but God doesn’t work that way. He wants you to destroy the best. He wants you to offer up the best.
Our spiritual worship is us offering up ourselves, our bodies, to be destroyed for God. And our bodies are only perfect because of the mercies of God that gave us Jesus Christ who washed us clean and removed spot, wrinkle, and blemish from us. So, our spiritual worship is resting upon the mercies of God, trusting His mercy is sufficient to make us clean and make us acceptable to himself, and offering back up that which God has declared righteous to Him so that it would be destroyed.
We are not deserving of God’s mercy. We’re the lame and blind goats. We’re the men with crushed testicles who cannot go into worship God. We’re the lepers. And yet God declares us to be something else. And by faith, though we don’t see it, we trust that Christ has done it, and so we offer our bodies to be destroyed.
A living sacrifice is a sacrifice that isn’t your typical sacrifice. However, it’s still a sacrifice. This means we will not be killed but we still must be destroyed. We still must be a sign to others of something other than what we are. We must be symbols of God’s holiness. We must be symbols of God’s righteousness. We must be symbols of God’s wrath.
This means that all of our lives, every area and aspect of our lives, is worship unto God. All of our time. All of our breaths. All of our eating, and drinking, and playing, and resting, and working.
This is what I mean when I said that we cannot divide up the spiritual and the physical yesterday. Both exist and both are different and distinct, but both are Gods, belong to God, and are good. We are living bodies, which is our physical state. However, a sacrifice typically dies, yet we are to be living sacrifices. Therefore, sacrifice is a spiritual thing now, not a physical one. And, this spiritual sacrifice is your daily physical life being lived out before God. Which is why Paul says, this presenting your body as a living sacrifice is spiritual worship. Paul is noting the distinction. Your worship is not killing animals, it’s you dying. However, its not dying physically but in a spiritual sense. Killing the old man, and offering up yourself to God every moment you live as though you are doing holy work unto the Lord.
Therefore, worship isn’t singing songs to God. That is apart of worship. But just as much apart of worship as is sleeping. Just as much apart of worship as is painting toenails, and working out biceps. Paul is tapping into all of life. All of our life is to be one big burnt offering of ourselves to God. And that burnt offering is to be holy and blameless. But that burnt offering is only acceptable, holy, blameless, because of the mercies of God by the blood of Jesus Christ.
This means your work is just as much as worship as your praise. Your hair color, clothing, and attitude are just as much worship as your prayers. Your eating, drinking, and fellowship are just as much worship as Bible reading.
But this also means that your bible reading, prayers, and praise can be a false sense of security of salvation. These things can be substitutes for true worship. God spoke and said, “these people praise me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” He also said that, “you search the scriptures thinking in them you have life, but it is they that point to me.” He also said, “when you pray, do not pray as the pharisees, who love being seen by men.”
These actions done by us may also be done because we idolize the praise of man, or believe that by doing these things we will somehow get something from God.
This is why the Reformation was so important. The Reformation set things right again. Men began to realize that we cannot earn God’s favor, God’s favor is bestowed upon a person freely by His choice. When God’s people realize this, when they realize they aren’t trying to earn anything from God but have been already given, their motivations to work, act, and move and worship are much greater and further reaching.
Our spiritual worship is presenting our bodies as living sacrifices for the reason of demonstrating our love of God because of the mercy He has freely given us. We don’t work diligently according to God’s command because we want God to accept us as children. We do it because God is our Father, and we desire to demonstrate our love, and it pleases us to please the Father.
If you have ever thought that worship is just a Sunday thing, then you’ve thought wrong. The coloring of your toenails may be worship. Working out may be worship. The key difference between it being worship or not worship is this: did you paint your toenails for God honoring reasons? Did you work out for God honoring reasons?
In order to know this, you need to know the one who has loved you far greater than you deserve as a sinner. You need to be saturated in His word.
Start small. Figure out how to honor God in Bible reading. Figure out how to honor God when you gather together. Start obeying where you know you need to start obeying God. And from them work out. You may have tons of areas of disobedience. You may have tons of areas of life you’ve never considered that should be apart of offering yourself up to God. Start with the most important ones first, and then work further out to least important ones.
But it must be iterated that the least important ones are still apart of your spiritual worship.