When you hear the word “worship,” what immediately comes to mind?
There might be a number of things, but if you’re the average, modern Jesus person, the first thing that probably popped into your head was the music part of church. Nowadays, the terms “worship leader” and “song leader” are basically synonymous. Not that that’s terrible or anything, but conflating “worship” and “music” probably does a disservice to both.
When you worship something, you’re ascribing it worth; you’re saying, “This thing is worth something.” Or in a religious context, you’re saying, “This thing is worth more than anything else.”
So, worship is not music. In fact, it’s not necessarily any particular thing we do on Sunday. But rather, worship is any time we put something first in our lives. And, hopefully, when we come together on Sundays, we’re worshiping God, and that’s good. That’s us recognizing who God is and acknowledging his identity through our actions. And one of those actions is singing songs of praise.
But this means that whenever we put something else first, we’re worshiping that thing instead of God. And there’s a word for that. Idolatry. And idolatry is not cool. In fact, it’s such a big deal that TWO of the Ten Commandments address it.
However, worshiping idols - idolatry - doesn’t necessarily mean erecting a stone altar and sacrificing a goat. It’s any time you put something ahead of God. You worship football, or food, or money, or musicians, whenever you elevate them above God.
It’s even possible to elevate good, religious, Jesus-y things to the level of worship, but that’s still idolatry. If we’re not careful, we’ll end up worshiping music or preachers or doctrine or even the Bible. But none of those things are worthy. Only God deserves our worship.
Join us Sunday as we try to navigate our worship life and learn to live4worship and die2idols.
Series Title: DYING2LIVE
Message Title: live4worship | die2idols
Main Passages: John 4, Acts 17:24-25, Amos 5:21-24
Some questions for reflection or group study (or please comment on them, below)...
- When do you find it easiest to connect with God? (e.g., church, in nature, first thing in the morning, on long drives, etc.)
- What really moves you to worship - to feel inspired by or connected to God?
- Do you think worship is more about connection or awe? Why?
- With what "parts" of worship do you encounter the most personal struggle? (e.g., singing, giving, serving, prayer, etc.)