Our editor, Ken McCoy, is no stranger to directing youth worship bands – he’s been doing so for years. So, when we had a chance...
Worship: Singing...and more
Writer: Todd Agnew
Category: Modern Worship
God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. – John 4:24
Worship is a beautiful privilege, a chance to respond to the revelation of God. While music is probably the most common form of worship in our culture, it is definitely not the only one. Many forms of art are used in worship. Almost anything we do can be honoring to the Lord. The Bible gives us many examples.
• Romans 12:1 instructs us to “…offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual act of worship.” Since Paul is clear in his Epistles that our “flesh” is at the crux of our struggle with sin, then how we take care of our bodies, what we do with our bodies, and what we abstain from with our bodies are all acts of worship.
• 1 John says that if we love God, we will obey His commandments. Obedience is an act of loving God, or an act of worship.
• In Matthew 9, Jesus says that He values mercy over sacrifice. I think He means that we honor Him more by loving other people than we do by sacrificing, whether that is monetarily or even in songs of worship.
• In Matthew 25:40, Jesus gets more specific, and says, “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it unto me.” How we love the people we would be least likely to love naturally is an expression of love to Jesus Himself. Worship is supposed to be expressing worth, declaring love for Christ. And right here, Jesus tells us how to do it. We should love the “least of these.” Doing so is loving Him.
While music is not a requirement, it is obviously a valuable form of worship. I think music is the only language we have that can express things beyond the capability of our vocabulary. Isaiah 55:9 says that His ways are, “…higher than (y)our ways,” and a message of Ecclesiastes is that we can never understand the ways of the Lord. Music is a language with which we can express things that are beyond our terminology and even beyond our understanding.
There is something about Christians coming together musically that binds us in a way that nothing else does. I can’t pretend to understand what it is, but something special happens when we join our voices celebrating the glory of the Lord and expressing our love for Him. We act as one, probably as we are supposed to do always. When we come together and join our voices and spirits, we worship God in spirit. And when we live our lives in a way that honors Him, I believe we worship God in truth.
So whether we are singing, giving, going to church, or serving in a homeless shelter, we worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.