Worship Director Brittany Casey shares a challenging perspective on the link between worship and commitment.
Each Sunday as we gather to worship together, how do you think of that time? Perhaps as refocusing our hearts on God, maybe as an outpouring of thankfulness and joy in response to the good news of the gospel.
But do you ever consider worship as commitment making?
Worship Worthy of the Name
I’ve been pondering this question lately as I came across an article by Tim Keller called “Worship Worthy of the Name.” In this article, Keller defines worship as
an act that has two parts: seeing what God is worth and giving him what he’s worth.
This really struck me. Worship is about recognizing who God is and what he’s done for us, and then responding to him.
What does that response look like? Romans 12:1 has been helpful for me in thinking about that. The verse says,
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Worship involves offering our full selves to God. He has fully committed himself to us and has given everything for us through the sacrifice of his Son, and our response is to fully give ourselves in commitment to him.
We actually sing about this commitment a lot in our gathered worship. Read through some of the below lyrics that point to this act of commitment in many of the songs we sing.
Lyrics of Commitment
- Build My Life
- Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe, we live for You
- I will build my life upon Your love, it is a firm foundation, I will put my trust in You alone
- Alive in You
- From beginning to the end, all my life is in Your hands
- It’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me
- At the Cross
- At the cross I surrender my life, I owe all to You
- Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)
- Take this heart Lord I’ll be your vessel, the world to see Your life in me
- Come Thou Fount
- Let Thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to Thee
- Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love, here’s my heart Lord take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above
- Give Us Your Heart
- Make us like You Lord, give us Your heart
- In Christ Alone
- Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me, for I am His and He is mine
- Jesus commands my destiny, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand
- Let Your Kingdom Come
- Lord use us as You want whatever the test, by grace we’ll preach Your gospel till our dying breath
The Challenge of Singing
I find these lyrics very challenging to sing sometimes and I have to ask myself if I really mean these words. This is where we need grace. It’s only by the grace and help of Jesus that we can fully commit ourselves to him and “bind our wandering hearts to Thee”. As we sing these words of commitment each week in response to seeing what God is worth, by Jesus’ grace we are being formed to truly mean them and live out these commitments in our everyday life.
Let me extend the challenge of our words of worship to you with some questions for reflection:
- What am I giving my full devotion and worship to?
- Am I giving my full self as a living sacrifice to God?
- How am I defining worship? Am I seeing worship as more than just gathering together on a Sunday?