Ok so lets take a knight in a kings court.
Now this man has most definitely trained most of his life to be good with a sword, a horse, a fist, most probably he is quite good at drinking and wooing and farting and all those other manly exploits that gets you respect. But also these men were trained in honour, respect and an amazing sense of authority, both wielding it but also submitting to it.
In some knights lives they have dedicated their lives, paid homage to, bent the knee, sworn their swords and lives over to another man. This means he fights the kings battles, he goes to the kings parties, he trains so that he can do both and he is at the beck and call of his liege.
Now, to be in a position of being able to fight, he needs to be always ready, fit, in the right mind both to fight and to take orders. So when he wakes up in the morning and shines his shoes to look right and sharpen his sword to slice through tendons, he is acting and taking on the attitude of homage.
When he greets a lady, when he trains a squire, when he wins a tournament for his king, it brings his king honour and glory, he worships the king with his life. Every moment can speak well of the king, or not well of the king. and he worships his king with good choices and dishonours his king with bad choices.
Some of the words used in scripture to describe our worship of God holds with them the idea of paying homage as in the feudal systems of yesteryear. Lately i have heard rumblings and quite aggressive negations towards the idea that you can live lives of worship to God. That you can’t work a secular job in worship, you can’t train your kids in worship, you can’t pray and intercede as worship to God. That you can only worship in corporate or individual song. As if worship was an event, a specific action that could not be included in other actions.
I don’t understand that ideal if homage and bending the knee is an attitude of the heart. Which, in that place of a knight is an action. A soldier can live its life in worship and service of his king. Or he can serve his king religiously with rebellion in his heart.
Now do I think you can mow the lawn as worship to God? Yes and No. If its a selfless act of love then yes. You are in Gods will, you are serving others like they like to be loved, you can even be obedient during. But you can also mow the lawn with grumbling. You can also mow the lawn in vengeance, in pride, in rejection.
Where do i find this biblically? A few places.
Abraham – took his son to kill him. He was not singing and dancing. We was not playing a guitar or burning incense. But his actions praised Gods name, his faithfulness and sprouted from an attitude of his heart. A trusting heart.
Noah – built a giant boat. And i bet sometimes he wasn’t building out of worship. But ultimately he was, he built because he trusted God.
Ehud – Stabbed a fat king because God wanted to liberate his people. He murdered a guy in worship, he bowed the knee, he obeyed, he paid homage to his king through assassination. Just like knights of old would conquer in the name of someone else.
Christ – did everything because he saw his father doing. He submitted to the fathers will, he pay the ultimate homage by taking the position of servant even to death. A life of worship. He gave his father ‘worth’.
Now i understand some of this reaction to lives of worship would come from the issue that you can’t take a dump or throw up in worship of God. Or even if everything is worship, then it loses meaning because theres nothing special. But my understanding is, that you can do anything for God and it not be worship. If we go to church and sing songs to God mechanically with no feeling, no engagement – is that worship? No.
Or if we decide to get a job that provides all the money we could ever imagine, but means our relationship with God and His people grows refrigerator cold, is that worship? no.
But what is we decide to move to a different country because our King asked us too, and live our lives in service of the broken and lost. Are we paying homage to our king?
Yes. we would be living lives of worship, because it is not just an action, it is an attitude.
You tell me about your faith, I will show you my works.
Both attitude and action made out of the attitude.
So whats the point of singing praise to God?
God should be praised.
But why do it together?
Because God designed us to worship him together, and some of us can’t move to different countries and work with the broken there. When we pray together powerful presence is found. When we worship and sing truth – God has designed melody and the human spirit to harmonise in unity to give him space to change the world.
Worship in the context of corporate singing and praying can we used as a sharpened weapon in warfare. Or a hothouse of healing and revelation. Or a hydroponics lab of repentance and faith that speaks directly to our hearts.
We can and should be living lives of worship of our king.
Sharpen your horse. Saddle your horse. And honour the women folk.