A New Forum for Blog Content
By Dr. Randall Downs, GCU Center for Worship Arts | October 13, 2022
Welcome to the new Canyon Worship website. Please enjoy and tell all your friends. The blog tab of the site will have consistent material, varying in areas of specialization. However, since this is one of our first posts, I feel it is important to cover the topic of true worship.
A Life of Worship
Everyone is a worshipper. We are called to be worshippers of the one, true God. Everyone worships something, but not everyone worships the Lord of all.
A common misconception is that worshipping equates to singing. Singing is certainly an important component of worship, but God desires more than our songs. God desires our lives, our all.
Romans 12:1-2, a familiar passage to many, states, “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (NASB, 2020).
The Apostle Paul clearly states that our bodies must serve as living and holy sacrifices before God. This is the definition of worship. What does it mean to sacrifice our bodies? Out of context, it sounds slightly morbid.
When this passage mentions sacrifice, it uses two descriptors: living and holy. A “living” sacrifice cannot be dead. Certainly, many Christian men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their faith, which is a powerful testimony and act of worship. However, this passage speaks of worshipping God through the surrender of every aspect in life. Whatever we think, do, and say should be used to glorify God.
God uses us wherever we are at currently, whether that be at home, work, church, school, the marketplace, etc. He will use a surrendered life for His glory in the most unexpected ways. You might have a conversation with an individual at the grocery store that leads to a Gospel conversation. This is an example of being a living sacrifice.
Being a living sacrifice is not the only aspect of worship, but we are also called to be a “holy” sacrifice before the Lord. What does it mean to be holy? It means being set apart, not like the world. It also refers to moral and spiritual excellence—godliness.
Leviticus 11:44 reads, “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, because I am holy…” (NASB, 2020). This passage tells us that God is holy, perfectly holy, and He expects us to be holy as well. If it were not for Christ, this would be an impossible task. However, in Christ, we are clothed with righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) and equipped to live holy lives (Hebrews 13:20-21).
Romans 12:2 carries on with the theme from verse 1. For us to truly worship God, we need not conform to the world—being set apart—and we need renewing of our minds. The world will try to indoctrinate us with lies and half-truths that are contrary to Scripture (Colossians 2:8). Therefore, by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the precious Word of God, we can experience a renewed transformation in our minds. The way we think and react will honor and glorify God. Ultimately, in conclusion, our purpose is to discover and do the will of God (Matthew 6:10). As our lives are offered as living and holy sacrifices, God will make His will known to us and empower us, by His Spirit, to accomplish these things. This is how we offer lives of worship to the Lord.