Our Living Worship – A word by Michelle Holderman
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On a regular day in September of 2016, I was sitting at my laptop, working on a writing project, when I suddenly felt the unmistakable presence of Jesus come into the room. He started talking to me about the value of giving all of myself to Him, and He called it “an act of living worship.”
He went on to say while I had given Him most of me, there were still a few places I hadn’t. He said He wanted everything, including the weary and bruised places, as well as the unknown ones.
I could feel the weight of His words in my spirit and sensed this was the beginning of a life-changing time. I also felt His deep tenderness and love towards me. Little did I know what this actually meant and involved, but I knew it was profound and true.
And now, almost two years later, I am continuing to learn the value of surrendering every part of my life as an expression of my worship to Him, even the parts I haven’t fully understood. I’ve learned a lot of other things, too, but I’ve especially learned I didn’t understand worship in the way Jesus views worship.
On this side of it, I am better able to see what He meant. I could say so much about it and how important it is, but I don’t think I could ever adequately express the full depth or context of it. I will say this isn’t a superficial or casual thing; it’s a much deeper place of relationship with the Lord. Yes, it is costly, but it’s also beautiful and freeing. And He wants each of us to come into this sacred place with Him.
Ultimately, I think He views the fullness of worship as a life completely and genuinely given to Him, not as a one-time event, but rather daily throughout our lives; it’s even moment by moment.
Perhaps it’s better said that the highest expression of my worship to Jesus is giving Him all of me regularly. It is a dynamic, ongoing process.
Does this make sense?
I think we mostly tend to view worship as what we do collectively on Sunday mornings or in our personal time with Him, but worship is not just a structured form of praise through music, song, prayer, or reflection, although it certainly is that.
How we live our daily lives is also a vital, living expression of worship, and in fact, I believe Jesus delights in this kind of worship more than we realize.
We worship Him with our whole lives. Whether we’re sitting in a church service, driving down the road, having tea or coffee with a friend, or going about our daily routine, our lives are continually releasing a sound or expression of our love, honor, and devotion to Him.
Even when we’re going through long, hard, gut-wrenching seasons, even when we’re struggling to get through the day, there is sacrificial worship within us as believers that’s being produced, and it matters; it binds us more deeply to Christ and develops a deeper intimacy with Him.
If we’ve only given Him about seventy percent of ourselves, then only three-fourths of us is worshipping Him. If we compared this to singing only seventy percent of a song, we could say it would be the equivalent of singing the verses but skipping over the chorus. It would sound unfinished and incomplete; it wouldn’t flow very well because something would be missing. And that’s what I believe Jesus was getting at.
He wants all of us, not most of us; we matter that much to Him.
He could have done salvation without a relationship, but that’s not the heart of Jesus (or the Father); He’s fully invested in us, even the little things. Still, it is a sacrifice to yield ourselves to Him when it is hard, painful, uncomfortable, inconvenient, or doesn’t make sense. But that is when it’s most valuable; it really is a holy act.
Worship isn’t just a Sunday-thing or a churchy-thing; it’s a heart thing. In essence, we worship Him in the cathedral of our hearts because everything flows from there. It is a process of continually offering our lives to the One who laid down His life for us, and it’s as much a part of our ordinary moments as it is our difficult moments and our epic ones. It truly is life shared with Christ.
He yearns for us to give the whole of ourselves to Him because, in doing so, we’re inviting Him to come in and occupy every part of us. By offering ourselves as a living sacrifice to Jesus, we are allowing Him to come into all the places we like and don’t like; all the places we hold back and struggle with; all the places that ache and sting; even those places we aren’t aware of that need Him.
Indeed, this is when greater transformation begins to take place; it’s where His deep calls to our deep. And it is how we learn to cultivate a genuine lifestyle of living worship; there is no substitute for it.
Trust me, it’s a really precious thing to Him.
And so are we.
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