Written by: Michelle Brainerd
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
I grew up hearing this verse every week as my coach taught my team to live our lives, even on the soccer field, to bring glory to God. Before each game my coach reminded us that at the end of the day, what mattered most wasn’t the score or how well we played, but that we had played with the right attitude. He showed me how something as seemingly insignificant to my faith as a high school athletic competition could be a form of worship.
Now life is much busier and more challenging than it was in high school. Often I struggle to weave the all-encompassing nature of worship through my life. On Sunday mornings I love standing in the gathering, singing and worshiping. I love listening to the band and congregation gathered together lifting their voices collectively as one body. I enjoy hearing Todd share the Word and challenge us with his message. But then I go home and I face the stack of grading and piles of laundry. On Monday morning I wake up and dread the long commute into work. If I’m honest, I don’t always feel like worshiping. Too easily the two hours on Sunday morning get drowned out by the other one hundred and sixty-six hours of the week.
This is why worship is a discipline; it’s an attitude that leads to a lifestyle. A habit is not formed in one day; rather it takes time and repetition. In the words of Elizabeth Elliot, “Worship is not an experience. Worship is an act, and this takes discipline. We are to worship in spirit and truth. Never mind about the feelings. We are to worship in spite of them.” Worship means choosing to focus on God in the moments when I want to focus on myself. Worship means giving God the glory no matter where I am, whom I’m with, what I’m doing or how I am feeling. I cannot constrain worship in my life. I am called to do everything for the glory of God; not when it’s easy but in everything and at all times.
It’s in the moments when worship isn’t easy that I have to remind myself Who God is. God deserves my honor and praise because He is my creator and sustainer. When I study the goodness of God I am compelled to respond. When I reflect on God’s provision in my life I want to declare His faithfulness. God is worthy of my worship because He is sovereign, righteous, merciful, eternal, all-powerful and holy. My external expression of worship on Sundays begins first from an inner heart of worship cultivated by seeking to know who God is.
To me worship means acknowledging God in everything I do and altering my whole lifestyle to make God’s glory known through my attitude and actions. It does not always come easily. I have to repeatedly return my focus to Christ. I have to remind myself of who He is and why I worship Him. But every time I consider the goodness of God I know that He is worthy.
So now I challenge you - take a moment to pause and reflect. What does worship mean to you?