Many Sundays I find myself serving with the worship team at my church. This gives me a unique perspective on the congregation. I get to see the body of Christ worshiping God. Through this I’ve grown to appreciate how God has created us wonderfully and individually, each person worshiping according to how he or she was created. Some are more expressive, others are quiet and reflective.
I consider myself a rather quiet and reflective person. Often I wonder if I am not grateful or excited enough about my relationship with God. Does that mean I am not “entering into” worship? Many of us who’ve grown up Christian Reformed struggle with this in a time when the church is focused more on the message and teaching. We need to ask ourselves, what does it really mean to worship God?
The Bible talks a lot about worship. It’s pretty clear that we are called to worship God. It’s also clear that there isn’t just one way to worship God. “Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling,” says the psalmist in Psalm 2:11. And in Romans 12:1 the apostle Paul writes, “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.”
So what does that mean for me? If I am not comfortable raising my hands or clapping, how should I be worshiping God? God wants us to be sincere, to be ourselves, in our worship. And we need to recognize that worship doesn’t happen only in church. Sometimes the opportunity to worship comes in unlikely situations.
Two years ago I was asked to help with the design of an addition to our church building. At first I wasn’t sure I was qualified to take on this project—I had never taken on the design of a large public building. Needless to say, I had a “Moses moment.” Feeling inadequate and fearful that I would let the congregation down, I was hesitant. But after prayer and careful consideration, I sensed the Holy Spirit leading me. I just needed to trust that God was going to be there. He’d give me the tools to be successful. By trusting in him I’d be able to experience God working through me for his church. So I agreed to take on the project.
A few months into the design, something unexpected happened. I discovered worship in a wonderfully unexpected way. Sitting at my computer, I felt the strong presence of the Holy Spirit fill me; I felt the presence of God. In that moment, I knew I wanted to offer all of my creative energy as an architect to the glory of my God, who was right there beside me.
I knew that singing in church isn’t the only way to worship, but I needed to experience this for myself. God is present in all that we do, in every part of our lives. Our whole lives can be an act of worship. While most of us aren’t called into formal roles serving in the church, we are called to worship God wherever he has called us to serve. As I worked on the building plans, I felt a sense of awe and wonderment that God had personally called me.
And because of that I praise God.
Wherever he’s called you, remember that God is there. He wants to be a part of your whole life: your work and your play. He loves you and loves to receive your worship and praise.