“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” (Psalm 95:6-7)
Worship leads to action.
Worship of our great God should end up leading to action—places where we change or “bend” what we do to bring Him glory and honor. The Hebrew word for “worship” in Psalm 95:6 basically means “to bend.”
When we worship God, we bend our lives to what He wants and who He is. As we seek Him first and savor Him, His greatness bends everything else that isn’t as great in our lives. Let me give you an example.
When I was about nine years old, I had some friends who liked going bike riding in the woods behind my house. Our dirt trail led to a big four- foot pile of dirt, which we used as a ramp for jumps. The only problem with the ramp was that big jagged rocks stood on either side of the landing. One day, while trying to prove our manliness to each other, we built up as much speed as possible to jump the ramp. One of my friends was out of control as he jumped the ramp and landed on the jagged rocks. Miraculously, he didn’t kill himself, but I couldn’t say the same for his bike. When his bike landed in the rocks, his front tire rim bent into the shape of Pac Man (like a pizza with two slices missing J). I’ll never forget how that wheel looked! Even though my friend had a strong and sturdy bike, his rim “bent” to the shape of what was “ultimately” greater! In the end, you could say that his bike “worshiped” the rock because the bike’s encounter with the rock bent the bike around “who the rock was!” True worship of God will do the same thing to you. It bends your will, attitude, and actions to who God is.
In Psalm 95:6-7, the psalmist talks about different actions he chooses to take. He uses words like “come,” “bow,” and “kneel.” Today’s actions of worship for you may be words like give, listen, forgive, pray, or confess. New acts of worship today may be at work, at home, or with friends. Your worship occurs when you bend your own self-centered interests and desires to the will of God that is greater.
This biblical principle sounds wonderful and inspiring until we actually have to put it into practice because it causes a lot of pain to your selfishness and pride. The two areas of worship with which I always struggle to bend are money and forgiveness. I don’t like to lose control of my money and I don’t like to say, “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?” Those are two places I don’t like to bend and yet, when I bend my will in those two areas, I always see God’s biggest blessings and transformation.
The Apostle Paul provides a strong connection between actions and worship:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1-2).
Paul is saying, “Don’t let the world be so great to you that it ‘bends’ your life to its pattern. Instead, continue to seek, savor, and serve God until His greatness ‘bends’ or transforms your life.”
When Sara and I were first married, our church in Pennsylvania called for a faith promise campaign, which is a personal commitment made in faith to give God more than one’s tithe for a particular time and mission of the church. You pray about what you should give and then ask God to provide it through you. At that time, Sara and I were just starting out and we lived on a limited income. We were trying to save for a house and didn’t feel we had much to give. God challenged us to worship Him by bending our plans for our money to Him. Like Paul said in Romans 12:1, it was definitely “a sacrifice” that tested us to trust God as our ultimate provider. It was a joy to see God supply the funds through us and continue to grow our savings for our future. At the end of that faith promise, God called us to Cornerstone Assembly of God and provided a home for us through a church family. That home should have been for someone who earned twice as much as we did. As we chose to bend our finances to His plan, God really did transform our faith and our minds about the joy that comes from giving to God. We experienced what the Scripture promises:
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”(Luke 6:38)
Whether you long to be more obedient to God with your finances, seek healthier relationships in your family, or want to be a better example at work, everything you do is worship and should bend to the greatness and goodness of God.
Bend today to God’s will and you’ll see His greatness.
Making Jesus the Center of Thursday
God’s Promise to Remember: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2).
God’s Power to Pray For: Lord Jesus, I cannot say I love You and choose sin and selfishness in my actions today. I want people to see Your greatness through my actions today. Show me things I can do differently today to please You. Help me bend to how great and holy You are. Here is what I will do differently today that will reflect that You are greater than anything I fear, want, or need:
God’s Person to Share With: Pray for your prayer partner’s relationships to bend to the greatness of God. On a personal note, how do your relationships need to bend toward the greatness of God today? Are there areas in your marriage or family relationships that indicate you are stuck in your pride or offense? Bend towards God and move towards a better relationship today. Why not take a moment to bow down before God this morning in some physical way and practice making a willful decision to bend to God? It’s humbling, but powerful. Then, after you practiced humbling yourself before God, try humbling yourself before a person you need to forgive, show mercy to, or encourage today. Write that person’s name down here or you probably won’t do it.