But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
1 Samuel 15:22
I confess I'm a worship junkie. Hi, name is Brian and I was raised in Texas during a time when John Wayne was everyone's hero and men were taught not to cry, but I confess - I've cried during worship.
There will be times in singing songs to God, which admittedly I don't do well, I'll get that lump in my throat and start to cry because I'm reminded that God saved my sorry butt. Or other times when we are singing about His majesty and power that I'll start pumping my fist into my hand as the passion inside of me starts to rise. And yes, I admit I've even danced around.
As much as musical worship is my pathway to God, I was convicted heavily by this verse, mainly because my worship was still about me, what it did for me.
Notice that Saul's excuse for disobeying the Lord was so that he could allegedly worship the Lord by offering sacrifices of the cattle and sheep he took from the Amalekites. This is when the Lord, through Samuel, makes the memorable statement. I believe this is a huge lesson for the next generation.
I heard Francis Chan talking about how he had gone to a foreign country to speak at a Passion event and how thousands were shouting the name of Jesus. But his heart broke as he was told that probably more than half the crowd would go out the next week to commit sins of adultery and thought nothing of it.
Around the world the concept of "worship" has been redefined and narrowed to mean the time when Christians come together to sing songs, raise their hands, and get all excited about the Lord. That's great but worship without obedience is no worship at all.
The Bible defines worship and sacrifice as obedience. In both Hebrew and Greek, there are two major kinds of words for worship. The first kind means to bow down, to kneel, to put one's face down as an act of respect and submission. Our body language is saying I will do whatever you want me to. I am ready to listen to your instructions and I am willing to obey. The other kind of biblical word means to serve. Roughly half of the time these words are translated as worship, and the other half as serve. It carries the idea of doing something for God — making a sacrifice or carrying out his instructions.
So, worship can't be about what you want or how it makes you feel, it's has been and always will be about Him.
is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
1 John 5:3
who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. 1 John 3:24
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. John 15:10
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. Romans 12:1
So next time you go to church, raise your hands, and shout out to the Lord in "worship" keep in mind that He also expects you to live that worship out in real life. Then your worship will be true worship because it will be born of obedience.