All of Me Responding to All of God
Many times, I get asked by various people to define worship in my own words. The simple answer that I tell them is the following: ‘All of me responding to all of God’. This is a profound way to look at worship for two main reasons. First, worship involves our response to God. The ‘church’ word for the response that God is looking for is called obedience. So, Biblically, our worship can be gauged by our obedience. Secondly, our worship and obedience directly relates to our growing walk with the Lord. This is called the process of sanctification.
Therefore, we can only respond to God in obedience as he leads us into greater and greater light through the revelation of his word through the power of the Spirit. So, at it’s essence, worship is walking with God and being conformed to the image of his son, Christ, while we live, breathe, and have our being on the earth.
One of the great hymns of the faith that sums up this attitude of responding to God is the song, ‘Take my Life and Let it Be”. The verses of the song suggest total surrender and consecration of our bodies to serve the living God. Recently, I read a book by Lewis Sperry Chaffer entitled, “He that is Spiritual”. I think a portion of what he has written sums up the idea of worship related to obedience through a spirit initiated walk with God. The following section highlights this by saying:
“In Romans 8:14 it is stated, ‘For as many as are led of the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.’ This it may be concluded, is the normal Christian experience according to the plan and purpose of God. It is equally true that some Christians are abnormal to the extent that they are not constantly led of the Spirit, for it is also said of in Galatians 5:18, ‘But if you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.’ The walk in the Spirit, or the life that is led of the Spirit, is one of the great new realities in this age of grace, yet some believers are so far removed from this daily blessing that thier lives are shaped and adapted to the order and relationships of the past dispensation. It is one of the supreme glories of this age that the child of God and citizen of heaven may live a superhuman life, in harmony with his heavenly calling, by an unbroken walk in the spirit. The leading of the Spirit is not experienced by all in whom the Spirit dwells, for such leading must depend on a willingness to go where he, in his infinite wisdom, would have us go.” (Chaffer, Lewis Sperry. He that is Spiritual. Grand Rapids, Zondervan:1967. 58.)
How can we summarize this? True worship invites the initiation of the Spirit along with absolute submission to the Spirit’s reign in our lives. By his infinite wisdom, we are led into everyday places and situations which cause us to respond to God out of the overflow of the spirit, according to the present revelation of God that he has shown us. As we respond in obedience, the Lord changes us and brings glory to himself.