1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For those that grew up on KJV, Rom 12:1 may be puzzling in regards to worship, because "spiritual worship" is translated "reasonable service." The original is logiken latreion, "latreia" a word that has morphed from "community service" to "liturgy", roughly ":acts of worship. "logiken" = logically. A very VERY rough translation of this phrase that seems to defy translation in two words might be "it only makes sense that you would worship in this way". The book of Romans puts to rest the notion that "doing stuff", such as sacrificing an animal on an altar, makes us right with God. Just as Jesus was our great Sacrifice, we are to be mini-sacrifices.
You know what? If I try to compress this thought into a comprehensive analysis, I'm going to end up with theological mush; but I hope you get what I'm driving at, in confirmation of Mark's quoting from Romans.
Definitely agree. I think the choices we make in every day life is also a form of worship. Not the easiest though because there's always the battle of the flesh and the spirit. I don't "win" all the time, although when I do it right, I can feel the sense of peace and God's "approval".
Do you find also that the closer you are to God the more able you are to discern what is the best thing to do? It's almost as if your conscience gets more and more sensitive as we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit.
Yep, I think so too. A worshiper's life is one of repentance, surrender and obedience on a daily basis. The choices that we make and every act of service (every cup of water give in love, every kind word, every smile, every toilet cleaned, every meal cooked for one who is unable to cook, etc.) are all worship to the Father if done from a heart of love for one another. I believe this is fulfilling the Romans 12:1-2 scripture which Mark referred to.
because this issue has come up so much I decided to write a song about it and i will include some of the elements of it here. ..this isn't the song but the elements are in it...
A life of worship is grateful to God for everything
Jesus lived a life of worship
Praising God through the pain and trials is worship
seeking God when scared is worship
leaning on His strength is worship
surrendering everything to God is worship
working through our fear issues with God is worship
offering our whole life (living sacrifice) to be in His will is worship
So its not activities its attitude and lifestyle all worshipful...God is God and I am not....
Here's a short list of stuff I try to do everyday to lead a life of worship. Usually when I read these discussions I prefer VERY specific and practical things because I'm not too good with "general instructions". Well, here goes, I hope that it blesses you =)
1. Keeping a prayer journal to consciously pray for others, and to keep track of answered prayers. Answered prayers can be powerful testimony and can encourage us when we're down and feel "faithless"
2. Making a very conscious effort to turn away from bad habits. E.g: I've stopped shooting sarcastic remarks at my VERY annoying little sister. Now I've found that I've change, she's changed, our relationship is better, AND the Lord opened new doors to prayers that I've been praying =)
3. Pray and talk to God continually about small things. "Thanks for letting me get to the cashier so quickly!", "Lord, I'm bored. What are You trying to teach me today?" etc.
I think of 1 Cor. 10:31 "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." and Colossians 3:17 "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."
Worship isn't limited to any activity (or set of activities), but rather is defined by my attitude in that activity.
Am I vacuuming with a heart filled with gratitude for the home that God has provided? In my workplace, do I have a constant awareness of God's perfect purpose(s) for me there, including providing for my family's needs, and also representing Jesus to my co-workers and customers? How well am I learning to recognize God's hand in every area of my life (because it IS there!), and how readily do I give Him credit and glory (first in my heart, then with my words and actions)?
Great thought-provoking question, one that I find I need to revisit regularly!