I just returned from a transformative, amazing weekend away at a Women’s Retreat. In the past, I have avoided things like that. I’m more of an introvert and a thinker and I find all of the socializing and emoting utterly terrifying. Well, wouldn’t you know that God would just use that time to speak to my heart, through and through. Each session and each interaction was so uplifting and so targeted, that I just had to give Him the ultimate credit. He always goes before me.

The theme of the weekend was Living a Life of Worship. (Also note: Having to sing in public, etc. generally not in my comfort zone either). But, we are created for and called specifically to worship. We will always be worshipping, and if not God, we will find something. Exercise, TV, relationships, ourselves, other people, things, hobbies, habits, our list of potential idols is endless.

We generally start to run into trouble when we compartmentalize our worship of God. We place Him over there with singing and hand-waving and our, “Yes, Lord Jesuses!” But then, over here, we want to keep doing what we want to do. This is easy for us, because we feel that we can’t worship God and be ourselves, so we’ll just be ourselves six days a week and then worship God how we think we should on Sunday mornings.

But your Father has created you to serve Him and worship Him just as you are and He is glorified when you come before Him with those gifts each and every day. We can’t worship that which we don’t really know and we can’t really know God unless we enter into relationship with Him. Relationship stems from understanding, and until we can relate to God as we are (knowing who He is), we will not be able to give Him the laud he both desires and deserves.

Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship. Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and completeRomans 12:1-2 {The Voice}

Note that Paul indicates that we are to offer our own bodies (each and every one different in its gifts, abilities, talents, and passions) as our reasonable, essential worship. When you serve God (in response to His mercy to you), you are worshipping. Whether that means you are working, singing in your car, writing, encouraging, rocking babies, serving meals, or even folding laundry, your worship is lived out each and every day you inhabit your body. Our worship is never separated from who we are. Never.

Now, answer the following questions:

  • How do you usually try to approach God and a relationship with Him?
    • Does it feel comfortable in context of the person He’s created you to be?
    • What could you let go of in terms of pre-conceived notions about a relationship with God?
  • What things tend to get in the way of your worship of God?
  • After reading Romans 12:1-2, what encouragement do you find in those verses?
    • How do you think one renews his/her mind to be transformed from the inside out?
    • What is your living and holy sacrifice to God? (If you can’t think of anything, do you feel there is anything as far as “next steps” that He is calling you to?)

Father God, help me to find peace in the person You have created me to be and even in my body itself. As I seek to live out my worship to You, help me to, “Shine like [a star] across the land,” bringing You honor. Amen

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