A few nights ago I sat with a friend and had a good life chat under a canopy of stars.
As I looked up at the sky, Romans 1:20 came to mind: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20
At first it felt a bit clichéd – millennial Christian girl spends time in nature and then quotes Romans. Slap a #blessed on it and you’ve got yourself an Instagram post.
But at the same time, as I looked up at the vastness of the sky, I couldn’t help but be in wonder of the Creator who, with care and attention, designed everything I know and love. I couldn’t help but worship.
I walk the same one-hour path to and from university every day, and most days I get to catch the sun setting over the river as I walk home. There are so many funky and beautiful plants here, and though they frighten me, I have to admit that the birds that I hear as I walk are pretty cool.
As I walk, I revel in the beauty of God’s creation, and in doing so, I worship.
There are moments when this worship comes naturally, and I easily marvel at what God is doing, but so often it feels like an incredible challenge.
And that’s because worship is not a moment. It is a lifestyle of constantly refocusing on the majesty of our Redeemer. It is not dependent – cannot be dependent – on our feelings, or our momentary awe. Worship is reminding ourselves of who God is as we speak the truth of His character back to Him.
My church sang these two songs recently: ‘Christ is Enough’ and ‘Jesus is Better.’ As we sang, I began to think more about what it means to worship.
I sang these lyrics “I have decided to follow Jesus/ No turning back/ The cross before me/ The world behind me/ No turning back,” and asked myself if they were true. No turning back? Have I really never turned my back on Jesus?
And take ‘Jesus is better’: “Glory, glory, we have no other king/ But Jesus Lord of all.” Can I truthfully say I’ve had no other king?
While it’s true that I’ve turned by back on God before, and I’ve had many a moment, and many a season, where Jesus was not King of my life, these songs aren’t meant to declare our feelings, but to declare an everlasting truth about our Lord, and to both praise God for these truths and drive their message into our souls.
Whether or not I feel it, Christ is enough, and Jesus is better. And whether or not I notice it, creation cries out the glory of God.
Worship is neither limited to three songs sung on a Sunday morning as the crowd trickles in, nor is it limited to whatever we feel to be true in the moment. Worship is a life lived for the glory of God. It is a lifetime spent noticing the Spirit moving in and through creation. It is a space for declaring absolute truths, regardless of temporary feelings.
Worship is the greatest gift.