THE SPIRITUAL ACT OF WORSHIP
We go to church on Sundays for various reasons. Some go to listen to the Word of God to be edified. Some go to listen to music and for singing. Some go out of fear; if we do not go, some adversity may fall on us. Some go to socialise after the worship service. Some go to really worship God and consider every part of the worship service as the total act of worship.
Your Body As A Sacrifice
Often we wonder what our spiritual act of worship should be, and even get confused about it. The Word of God points out that the spiritual act of worship is threefold (Rom.12:1-2). First, offering your body a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. There are people who believe that what matters most is the spirit. The body is only a shade, and therefore, it is something to be despised, and even to be afflicted. But the Word of God makes it clear that the body belongs to God, and that it is His temple and He indwells it. It is His instrument through which He fulfils His purposes in this world. The very fact that God took the form of a human being in Jesus Christ to declare His grace and truth shows that the human body is very important to Him. Therefore you and I must make every effort to offer our bodies a living sacrifice, using it for His glory and honour. All the tasks that we have to do every day at home, in the places of work, in the market place, in the hospital, where we study, in the sports field, in politics etc., must be offered as an act of worship to God, holy and pleasing to Him. If this is the case, there will be dignity of labour, no exploitation and injustice. There will be holistic progress in our midst.
Many Pastors and other Christian workers do not take care of their physical body properly. Untimely and undisciplined eating habits and lack of exercise cause them to have diabetes and heart ailments. A Pastor was mentioning to me that every time he visited the home of his congregation, sometimes three or four homes a day, he was offered something to eat and drink, and that he was scared to say "no" as it would displease his people. As a result, he has become a diabetic at the age of forty. Heads of Christian organisations, who travel constantly to minister and to raise funds, do not have time for physical exercise. Due to lack of teaching on taking care of our bodies, there are many in our churches, including children and young people, have become obese. The Word of God explicitly exhorts us to present our body a living sacrifice to God and to please Him in all that we do with it.
Not Conformed To The World
Secondly, the spiritual act of worship includes not being conformed to the pattern of the world. It means you and I should not allow ourselves to be moulded by the evil systems of this world. Worship must lead us to righteous and just value systems; that is, there must be a difference in our conduct. We must walk in loveliness and love, and not in revelry, immorality, drunkenness, hatred, hostility, and gratifying the desires of self and selfishness. There must be a difference in our conversation. The Scripture says, "Let your conversation be always full of grace seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer every one." When you and I are conformed to the value systems of the world, our thinking and action become muddy, and we will not be able to discern what is right and wrong. It is very important how we relate ourselves to our subordinates, colleagues and less privileged, and what kind of testimony we have in the community.
Transformed In Mind
Thirdly, it means being transformed by the renewing of our mind. Transformation is a change of our inward personality, the very essence of our being. It comes from the Greek word, metamorphisus. It is like a caterpillar becoming a beautiful butterfly. When you and I truly worship our Heavenly Father, our mind is renewed, which in turn makes us a transformed people, a new creation in Him. What we need today is transformation in us so that we will be people of transformation, making this bleeding world into a different world where all can live in peace, joy and harmony.
How wonderful it would be if we, as His followers, seriously heed to these three very vital spiritual acts of worship in our daily lives!