Worship. The word often brings to my mind hymn books, praise concerts, and singing.

But worship in Scripture is far more than singing songs—it has more to do with how we live our lives than the tune upon our lips. It’s all about lifestyle.

To behold and kiss

The concept of worship is twofold.

First, it contains the idea of beholding. To truly worship, we must first behold.

When we see an incredible sunset, we often can’t help ourselves—we become captivated and excited, and a quiet “wow” escapes our mouth. The same thing is true when we behold God.

In the Old Testament, when people heard God speak or saw an angel, they would often prostrate themselves facedown on the ground in reverence and awe. They were captivated. They couldn’t help themselves.

We shouldn’t have to force anyone to worship. If we truly see God for who He is, we won’t be able to help ourselves. We will be captivated and excited, and a declaration will escape our lips—often in the form of praise.

What if we continually beheld Jesus Christ in our lives? What if we built our lives around Him? Wouldn’t worship be continually coming from our lives?

The psalmist declared, “I will bless Yahweh at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1) and My praise is continually of You (Psalm 71:6b).

The second idea of worship is that of kissing.

Though perhaps a bit odd, the Greek picture of the word “worship” is that of a dog licking its master’s hand. True “worship” is like the love and obsession a dog has for its master.

You know what it looks like—dogs can’t help but be obsessed, and they’re overwhelmed with joy, excitement, enthusiasm, and the can’t-get-enough-of-you attitude. You can leave a dog alone for two minutes, and when you return, he acts as if he hasn’t seen you in years.

Can you imagine worshiping Jesus with the same passion and excitement that a dog has for his master?!?! What if every moment of the day was filled with a dog-like obsession for our Master? What if we continually lived in a dog-licking, worshipful attitude toward Jesus?

The shift from physical to spiritual

Worship in the Old Testament was often associated with a physical location. The presence of God was found at the temple, and thus the Israelites had to go there to worship Him. They would gather several times a year in Jerusalem for the festivals so that they could offer sacrifices unto Him. It was about a location.

Yet as we come into the New Testament, things begin to shift.

One day while Jesus was sitting near a well in Samaria, a woman came to draw water. In the midst of their conversation, Jesus says, “an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. … But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” (John 4:21, 23).

It is interesting that Jesus emphasizes a shift where worship will no longer be based at a certain location but will be in spirit and truth.

The New Testament is full of this idea. Because we have become the temple of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:9), indwelt by Him (see Acts 2), worship is no longer an activity we go down to the “church building” to do; rather, it is a lifestyle we continuously live. Worship isn’t just a physical activity; it is the flow, current, and undergirding of our entire lives.

The demand and sacrifice of ALL

The first time the word “worship” appears in Scripture is in Genesis 22—where Abraham takes his son Isaac to sacrifice on Mount Moriah.

As they were about to climb the mount, Abraham looked at his servants and said, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there; and we will worship, and we will return to you” (Genesis 22:5).

There is a concept in Bible study that where a term first shows up in Scripture, gives a key to understanding the topic. In this case, we discover that sacrifice is inherent within worship. Worship always demands a sacrifice.

Paul wrote, “Therefore I exhort you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice—living, holy, and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1).

Isaac Watts wrote in his beautiful hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”:

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.

That is the call on our lives. We are called to a lifestyle of worship, but it is not for the faint of heart, for those interested in merely putting time in on Sundays, or for anyone who wants to straddle the fence and have one foot in the world and another in Jesus.

The call is to be all in. Everything, including our lives, is to be surrendered before the Lord in an attitude of worship.

As Paul exhorted in Romans 12:1, we are to be living sacrifices. We must yield our lives, our rights, and all that we have and offer them to Jesus like Mary pouring out the spikenard upon His feet (see John 12:1–8). It’s extravagant, yes, but just as Mary’s act of worship filled the entire house with the smell of the perfume, so will our lives radiate the aroma of Christ when ALL is made available to the King of kings (see 2 Corinthians 2:14–16).

Daily Living

Again, worship is far more than singing or an activity we do once a week; it is a lifestyle. Worship is to define our actions, thoughts, words, and motives in our daily living.

Paul wrote, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Everything in your life can be worship if it is done in obedience to God and unto the glory of Jesus Christ.

What if you kept your focus on Jesus in the everyday moments of life? What if you continually beheld His goodness, remembering all He has done in your life—including the amazing realities of forgiving your sins, rescuing you from the pit of hell, adopting you as a son or daughter, and seating you in heavenly places in Himself (see Ephesians 1–2)? What if you daily realized that He is your victory and strength in every circumstance, situation, and temptation we face (see Psalm 46:1; 2 Corinthians 2:14)?

If we truly beheld Him, wouldn’t every moment of our every day be filled with worship and praise unto Him? Wouldn’t we continually live in awe, amazement, and gratitude? Could anyone or anything ever depress us when we lived with Jesus as the focus of our lives?

To grow spiritually, we must worship and have a lifestyle of worship. Everything that comes out of our lives should (and can!) be in an attitude of worship:

  • Driving home from work should be done in worship
  • Eating lunch should be done in worship
  • Playing with the kids should be done in worship
  • Dealing with taxes should be done in worship

Yes, sing unto the Lord a new song, but beyond singing, whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God. Let His praise continually be upon your lips, in your gaze, and on your mind.

More on the lifestyle of Worship:

Dive Even Deeper

Soul Drift series on idols and idolatry

Soul Drift

Discover your heart’s greatest longing. In this powerful series, Nathan explores the biblical concepts of idols, altars, and our need to forsake all substitutes to pursue God alone.

Behold Our God

See the majesty of Christ in the Names of God … and worship Him afresh.

Behold our God (names of God series)
Always in all ways a Christian (article)

Always in all ways a Christian

We are not to have duplicity or hypocrisy in our lives as believers. Find out how you can be always and in all ways a true Christian.

Receive the Deeper Digest

Receive Deeper Christian’s weekly content in ONE convenient email each Saturday (all the quotes, articles, podcasts, etc.)

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, deeperChristian will receive an affiliate commission (with no additional cost to you). It is a great way to support the work and ministry of deeperChristian. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”