The call to Christian living is holistic and without reservation.
And although singing psalms and raising holy hands to the Lord is part of Christian worship, it is much more than that. Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true and proper worship.”
This implies that, unlike other religions, the call to Christianity is one of separation from the crowd and dedication to a life of worship.
Worship must permeate every facet of the Christian life such that there is no delineation between a Christian’s acts of worship and their daily living. Thus, a life of worship includes but is not restricted to the following ways.
Worship Through Music
Worship, being an expression of love, praise, awe, glory, and reverence to the Lord, was encouraged by the apostle Paul to the believers in several churches of his time.
When we, as God’s called-out ones, understand why we worship with music, we cease seeing music as just a routine, and we can enter into worship, keeping our focus on God without getting distracted.
Paul in Eph 5:18-19 encouraged the believers in the church in Ephesus to not only worship God in music but also to worship through the singing of psalms and spiritual songs as the Spirit leads.
“Don’t be drunken with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” Ephesians 5:18-19
Also, Paul, in his letter to the church in Colossae, spurred them to worship through music.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord.
Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him. Colossians 3:16-17
Worship through music is one of the many ways we show and reveal the beauty of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Worship Through Service
The central theme of the Christian faith is in its simplest and most explained terms – Service. It’s giving up one’s self to another. 1John 4:20-21 says:
“Anyone can say, “I love God,” yet have hatred toward another believer.
This makes him a phony because if you don’t love a brother or sister, whom you can see, how can you truly love God, whom you can’t see? For he has given us this command: whoever loves God must also demonstrate love to others” 1 John 4:20-21 TPT
The way we show we have received and experienced the love of God, the way we demonstrate the Spirit of God dwells in us, and the way we show we love God is by loving the saints. We do this by service.
We do this by deeply loving others regardless of whether they deserve it. We serve the church with our talents and skills, demonstrate hospitality, and show compassion for hurting hearts.
We speak words that edify, and our conduct reveals the one who lives in us. We don’t do this as some form of religious duty to gain God’s approval.
Instead, we do it in response to that which Christ has done for us. We do it because the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5) sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts.
Worship Through Meditation
One of the Greek words in the Bible for worship is “latreu ō,” meaning “to minister.” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Meditate is to focus one thought on or ponder over something. Meditation helps attain a heightened level of awareness of what we as believers should focus on.
When we meditate on God’s Word, we are more aware of His presence.
We are better able to “latreu ō” (worship, minister) to him and him to us without the distraction of several voices of the things around us. This way, we revere God. Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:15;
“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” 1 Tim 4:15
Unlike the world’s definition of meditation, where there is a need for self-awareness and an other-worldly experience, Christian meditation entails a deep reflection of the person of Jesus. It helps us to gauge our walk with the Heavenly Father.
We heed the call to worship through reverence when we think about God, His promises, and His commands. When we meditate on God’s Word, we’re not just physically restored. We’re spiritually refreshed.
Worship through meditation helps us obtain direction and understand the nature of God better. Meditation keeps us in awe and reverence of the LORD our God.
Worship Through Knowledge
The greatest way to worship God is from a place of knowledge of your identity in Him and His integrity and identity.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Worship is an act of subservience to a King or person greater than you or you owe for a favor they have shown to you.
But, as Christians, worship is much more than that, and it becomes an integral part of us since we have died to the flesh and God’s Holy Spirit now dwells in us.
This implies that worship is now the new pattern of the Christian life, as we now live through God’s Spirit, who is God Himself.
Now, just like a child that is part of a new family, every Christian must learn the rules of God’s family through His Word.
This will be the only way to renew the mind and do God’s good and perfect will as an act of worship.
Worship Through Prayer
We have always learned that prayer is a way of talking to God and communicating our thoughts, needs, and concerns to Him.
However, we as Christians must remember that although God is our Father and loves us very much, he is also the supreme king and ruler overall. And so, even in prayer, we can minister to God, which by implication is our worship.
The Lord’s Prayer begins like this, “Our Father, who art in Heaven; hallowed be thy name.” This implies worship in prayer as we have come to a place of identifying the person of God and His role in our lives as our Heavenly Father.
1John 5:15, which says, “And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” also takes us through another phase of prayer as worship; it shows our inadequacy and total faith in God as a provider and Lord over us.
Total surrender to God in prayer is one of the highest levels of worship to God, as we give total control of our lives to Him and exhibit child-like faith. This moves God and takes us to a place of resting on God for everything.
Worship Through Forgiveness
Jesus gave an example of two servants who had debts to pay. They each had a debt of different magnitudes, but their master canceled this debt.
Now, the one with the greater debt is likely to be more generous and forgiving towards others.
And so, it then makes sense that Jesus would say in Matthew 6:14, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
And just as in the manner of Christ, Paul admonishes the Ephesians in Ephesians 4:32 to “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
This implies that living as Christians in the pattern of forgiveness, which our Heavenly Father has shown to us, is an act of acceptable worship.
The world is already full of those who are malicious and keep records of wrongs, and we are Christians because we are called to show an example of Christ-like living to the world.
This means that we have to forgive even before the offense, just as Christ did on the cross for us, paying our past, present, and future debts of sin.
Worship Through Thanksgiving
We train Kids to say thank you. Then, as they grow older, it becomes a subconscious automatic response.
It becomes something that is said sometimes with in-depth meaning, sometimes with shallow meaning, and at other times, it’s just said without giving any thought to its meaning.
Merriam-Webster defines thank-you as “of, relating to, or expressing thanks” or “being glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.”
Thanksgiving is beyond just having good manners or being polite. The Psalmist calls us countless times to thank the Lord for His loving kindness, mercies, and miracles among men.
The Bible makes us understand God’s perfect will is that we learn to be thankful for everything.
“And amid everything, always give thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 TPT
The Bible also tells us to praise the Lord for his goodness and his mercy, which endures forever (Ps 106:1; 107:1)
Giving thanks to the Lord is worship. It’s in remembrance and acknowledgment of what the Lord has done for us. It’s about trusting God. Without trusting God, we can’t truly thank God.
A thankful heart combined with trust in our Father is a great expression of worship.
Worship Through Identity
As believers, God has given us an identity in Christ Jesus. This should mean something to the Christian in his daily life. John 19:31-37 tells us of the death of Jesus. John gave a graphical description of the spear pierced in His side and blood and water pouring out of that great gaping wound.
Our Lord not only died of a ruptured heart. He died from several complications due to the trauma He decided to face to purchase our salvation. This awesomeness is that when a man or a woman receives the Lord into his life, they become a new creation.
We are now actual children of God. The old nature that once linked us to sin, death, and satan ceased to exist. we now belong to God as the spiritual nature of God is now part of us.
We are now sons and daughters of God. We have the God-life in us. We are now righteous – as righteous as Jesus is because of the shed blood of Jesus. We now have power over sin, death, sickness, and diseases, over the enemy and his cohort, all because of what Jesus Christ has done.
“He is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven.” Eph 1:7 NLT
“Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.” Eph 1:11 NLT
This knowledge spurs us up in appreciation, deep awe, and reverence for God our Father. It leads us to worship and thanksgiving to our Lord. It makes us want to scream, “Abba, thank you for loving me.”
By becoming aware of our identity in Christ, we honor the finished work of Jesus, the Christ. This is worship.
Worship Through Sacrificial Living
The Bible in Matthew 6 talks about worldly pleasure, which the people of the Word chase after, and how they would end up in worry and hurt because these things are fleeting and would never bring satisfaction.
Jesus then tells His listeners not to chase after those things because their heavenly Father already knows that they need provisions to survive but to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all other things will be theirs.
This is the foundation of sacrificial living. Here, the believer does not fret over amassing wealth and worldly treasures for themselves but thinks of propagating the Gospel of peace.
The early church was in one accord in their practices and living such that they sold all their worldly possessions and shared the proceeds within themselves, and none was needy among them.
This showed that their identity was not in the goods that they possessed at the time but in the finished work of Jesus – this was sacrificial living.
Many of them had to leave their homes, wives, jobs, and much more to follow Jesus. The question for us is this; what have we left for the cross?
Worship Through Faith
Through faith, Abraham believed in God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. Does this sound familiar? Hebrews 11 takes us on a journey through the heroes of faith and tells us how they suffered untold hardships for the sake of the promise, which they never saw.
However, because they were focused on the integrity of the God who had promised them, they did not waver in their faith but held on to the promise.
Jesus told his disciples after the incident of the fig tree that if anyone would have the faith of a mustard seed, they could speak to mountains and change patterns.
We see faith as worship in our daily lives and affairs as we discover ourselves in God. There is a vast reserve of God’s promises in His Word that may look far-fetched.
But, if we hold on and are sure of God’s Word and believe that He can do more than we can imagine, then our reality begins to expand to accommodate the vastness of God.
We begin to see our imaginations and beyond become a reality for us. The very act of trusting in God without reservation is worship.
It has nothing to do with what you can think and has everything to do with what you know that God has said concerning a matter.
Worship Through Purity
2 Timothy 2:21 says, “Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.”
Purity is a continuous act and must be intentional. When Jesus died, he made us saints who became holy and acceptable unto God, without blemishes, stains, or wrinkles.
However, as much as you become part of God’s household when you become a believer, you must still consciously work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Of course, you are the Lord’s, and no one can snatch you from His hands, but you can also be a carnal believer when you choose not to grow in the Word of God.
Purity entails aligning characters’ thoughts, behaviors, and patterns with biblical principles and godly doctrines. It involves intentionally shunning evil and embracing the right things, even when they are difficult or may mean that you are standing alone.
This is an act of worship, one that God sees and understands.
James 1:27 summarizes purity in worship; thus, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:27
Worship Through Love
The world defines love differently from what God has to say about love. The world sees love as a feeling, and when this feeling fails, it frees you from responding in love. However, God sure has a lot to say about love. In John 3:16, we find how God loves and how he wants us to love.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life..” John 3:16
The above Scripture describes how God loves and how he would have us love. The love of God is a love that gives.
It’s a love that would give first; then ask the receiver to give from the overflowing abundance of what he has received.
It’s an exemplary love. It’s a love that gives first in service to another and in honor of God. It’s a love that motivates good works to be done.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says:
“Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when a blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its importance.
Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect nor selfishly seek its honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense.
On the contrary, love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing in the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.”
This love is a practice that stems from reverence and understanding of how much God loves us. It’s the kind of love that flows from the reckless love of God to the giver and the receiver.
To love properly, you have to have received the love of God. That conceives our worship; it motivates our worship – worship and sacrificial life born of the love of God shed in our hearts.
Worship Through Mentorship
A great story that interprets mentorship well is that of the boy that grew up alongside crippled people. Even though his limbs were functional and strong, he never attempted walking because he had never seen anyone do it before.
In Genesis chapter 2, we read that God came to man in the cool of the evening to fellowship with Him. I would like to think that God also came to teach a man how to run the garden and handle every animal under his care.
This same thought is present when I read of Jesus making disciples so that they might be with him, and he might teach them and send them out to preach.
He appointed twelve, that they might be with him, and that he might send them out to preach Mark 3:14
Mentorship is thus teaching others how to serve and submit to God through the Word of God. Service and sacrifice may rob you of pleasures and time for a while. However, like Paul, you will say, “I have finished the race.”
A race is never complete when there is no one to take over from you, so acceptable worship also entails training people after God’s pattern and mind.
This had been God’s pattern of leadership from the beginning of time, and following this path is service to God and, therefore, worship.
Worship Through Evangelism
The Great Commission to every believer is to spread the Gospel of peace to everyone willing to listen.
In Matthew 28:19, Jesus instructed his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. This command makes for the success story of the spread of the Gospel.
Unfortunately, from the days of the apostles to this present day, there have been many perils against Christianity and the furtherance of the Gospel. So much so that Christians tend to neglect this part of worship and concentrate on church worship and services.
It is thus a timely wake-up call and a reminder to every believer that our first assignment as Christians is soul-winning.
We received the Gospel of peace freely, and without payment, we should also extend this gift to the souls perishing daily. Not just by words and tracts, but by leading daily lives that show the Christ-like pattern.
This involves personal and experiential knowledge of the person of Christ, His sacrifice, and the benefits of living in Him and through Him.
For a believer, evangelism is not a suggested way of worship; it is our core purpose and a mandate to draw people to the wonder of the cross.
Worship Through Encouraging The Saints
Jesus spoke to His disciples and told them that they would have many troubles in this world, but they were to take heart because He had overcome the world.
Now, it may have been comforting to them when He was physically here with them, but probably not as much when He had ascended, and they started to face persecutions from those against the church.
At this time, the apostles and their disciples had obtained the gift of the Holy Spirit, who was to comfort them in difficult situations and teach all things.
However, in 1Corinthians 14:30-31, Paul admonishes that prophecies should be for the encouragement of Christians. In Hebrews, the writer admonishes the saints not to neglect the gathering of believers as they would be encouraged there.
That then implies that encouraging the saints is an act of worship unto God, as it spurs the weary and tired believer to work on their walk with God.
The present-day Christians have such a litany of activities that we rarely realize that part of our Christian circle is waxing cold or losing faith.
And so, true worship includes looking out for one another and strengthening a feeble or tired brother through the words that we speak or other means.
Worship Through Teaching The Word
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God, and the word was God.”
A person’s Word says a lot about the identity, beliefs, motives, and morals of such person. Hence, once you have a person’s Word with integrity, you can confidently say you have the person tied to their Word. This is also true about God and His Word.
We understand that in the beginning, everything that God created came into being through His Word, and John explains that this Word became flesh; and dwelt among men in the person of Jesus.
Hence, when we teach the Gospel, we are telling the love story of a God who was sinless and yet died to redeem His creation that had willfully gone against His rules.
He did not have to save humanity from death and condemnation, but God came and suffered every fate of the fallen man to reconcile man to Him. The act of rightly dividing the Word of truth edifies Christianity, like those of the household of faith are sound in doctrine and character.
That is true worship to God, serving as one to put the bread of God’s Word at the reach of those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.
Worship Through Obedience
Obedience entails willingly laying down your will and letting another control your actions. It must be out of service and purity of mind, without grumbling or complaining. This becomes an act of service to the one that you are obeying.
Sometimes, like Saul in 1 Samuel 15: 21- 23, we are quick to give excuses for our disobedient act, hoping that we can somehow bribe God into reconsidering our disobedience as good.
However, we realize that God’s standard is the same for every man, and He would never compromise His laws just to keep us happy.
Thus, we must make up our minds to obey God’s laws and precepts in all circumstances, no matter how hard or unattainable they might seem.
Jesus shows us the importance of worship through obedience in John 15:9-14. It says, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is My commandment: you love one another as I have loved you. “Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends. “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
You can only live a successful Christian life when you consider total obedience as an act of worship.
Worship Through Intercession
Intercession means praying for other people or the needs around you. Usually, it takes your focus off of you and your challenges and gives you purpose as you prioritize other needs above yours.
The Christian life comes with challenges, temptations, and trials. However, you begin to truly worship God in your conduct and mind when you neglect the needs that are pulling at you and focus your attention on the needs of others.
This involves selflessness that only becomes part of the regenerated man after we have accepted Jesus into our hearts.
We become carnal and selfish when we begin to see our needs as superior to that of others.
This is an old trick that the devil has played repeatedly with Christians, and many have fallen into the trap of selfish desires that have clogged our will to worship through intercession.
Therefore, Paul admonishes Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, ” First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, four who desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”
When we truly intercede, things begin to align with God’s will for the earth, as God’s kingdom becomes one with the earth.
Worship Through Giving
The nature of the fallen man is to hoard things for himself and try to get more things because there is always a fear of losing and becoming broke.
However, in Jesus, we realize that a way to worship is letting go of the mind games that accompany lack and selfishness. We first hear of Tabitha when she dies in Joppa.
Acts 9 is a chapter that tells of widows mourning over Tabitha’s body and showing Peter all of her kind acts towards them. This woman showed an extraordinary gift of selflessness and concern for those around her, and it became an act of worship.
For the most part, giving is burdensome because you must first cut ties with the things you hold so dear and put the needs of others before yours.
Giving is worship because true giving signifies love for God and your neighbor, which summarizes the law and the prophets. Giving is sacrifice, and Jesus gave the most for us that we may become alive in Him (John 15:13).
Worship Through Speaking In Other Tongues
One of the gifts that came with our salvation was the ability to speak in other tongues when praying. The Bible in Romans 8: 26 gives us clarity as to why this is so. It says, “Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
It is much more than gibberish or uttering empty sounds. It is a pathway to the Father’s heart.
Romans chapter 8 helps us understand that no one understands the mind of the Father except His Spirit, and since we have God’s Spirit in us, we can completely understand what He wills that we do.
Hence, speaking in other tongues is a way to show our inadequacy and weakness, which helps us gain edification in the person of Jesus.
Jude 1:20-21 says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”
It is impossible to streamline the act of Christian worship in a certain number of ways. That is because worship is the manner of Christian conduct and becomes the Christian’s identity as they grow in God.
Hence, we see that the Christian becomes a living and moving place of worship as they lead lives that show people the true identity of God.
No matter how much a Christian has grown in worship and reverence of God, there is always a greater depth to seek in worship. Hence, we keep looking into the perfect law of God as we become more like Him daily.