Have you ever noticed that the Bible refers to worship not as some passive “experience” but rather something we give or offer to God?
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 ~ Romans 12:1 (NIV)
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. ~ Hebrews 13:15
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Peter 2:4-5
Sometimes we have this mistaken idea that worship must be “happy clappy” or all upbeat. Rather, we find, throughout scripture, that God’s people offer Him worship throughout all kinds of circumstance. In fact, it is the very path to which they return, whether they are in the throes of suffering or the heights of joy.
Think of these:
Job received staggering news – not only had he lost all his livestock and houses, he had also lost all ten of his children. What did he do next?
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. ~ Job 1:20
David, after his sin with Bathsheba, prayed and confessed and fasted for the baby’s life. Yet still, the child died. What happened next?
Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped ~ 2 Samuel 12:20
When Noah and his family exited the ark, after many, many days of rain, flooding and caring for animals and came out onto dry land, what did he do first?
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. ~ Genesis 8:20
Moses and Miriam and the whole Israelite people watched as God literally washed away their enemies in the Red Sea. As they stood on the far shore, what did they do next?
Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. ~ Exodus 15:1
In her book, Be Still My Soul, Elizabeth Elliot writes, “I will offer Him both my tears and my exultation. Nothing we offer to Him will be lost.” I think when we have this idea that worship must always be upbeat, we lose something precious. But when we are committed to bringing ourselves before His throne, no matter what we experience in life, then we will find that as we lift our eyes and give him the glory and praise and worship he so richly deserves, we will in turn find His grace, His mercy and His strength. There is no better person we could turn to, for all that we need He provides.
I have just one question for you: Will you offer to God your worship?