For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:13-14 ESV)
To me, this is why worship must be constant. To live according to the flesh is to live life focused on self. We do need to take care of ourselves. We need to eat, exercise, and rest. When we go beyond satisfying these needs any one of them can become an obsession which limits our ability to love God and others. Too much focus on food can become gluttony. Too much focus on exercise can result in an addiction to endorphins. I’ve never come close to experiencing this, but I hear it can become an issue. Too much focus on rest can become laziness. We have other appetites that don’t need to be satisfied for survival, but that also can cause us to become self-focused. Paul tells us that this will lead to death. The more I focus on myself, the less able I am to love God and others.
The solution that Paul provides is to put to death these selfish and sinful deeds using the power and direction of the Holy Spirit. This is not a one-time event. Instead, it is a moment by moment choice to submit to God’s direction provided through His Spirit. I think this is what worship is all about. It is a decision to live following God’s direction that ultimately leads us to praise and honor Him.
Sometimes our praise happens in a group setting when we sing our hearts out to God. Praise can just as easily occur when we thank God before a meal for the blessings that He has provided or when we share with someone how great God is. We honor God when we express our love for Him through obedience to His will.
God knows that we need help with this. Without His constant presence in us we would quickly return to the selfish behavior that broke our relationship with God in the first place. We also need continual encouragement from other lovers of God, so we gather often to practice praising and honoring God. Without the gathering we would quickly define our expression of worship to suit us and our focus would turn away from God and back to self. This can easily happen within the gathering as well. If our participation is about our desire for an experience that makes us feel good, then we’ve missed the point.
For more on this topic, I would recommend Life in the Spirit, by J. Robertson McQuilkin.
For my grandchildren:
Worship is an all the time thing.
Check out mygrandmatime for more Family Bible Activities on the book of Romans.