Hopefully, your ideas about worship aren't relegated to just singing hymns at church on sunday versus the proverbial businessman who worships his job and his money. There are infinite forms of worship and I want to specifically focus on worshiping The Living God, The Creator of Heaven and Earth through the arts.
This is a gloriously beautiful time of year. Everything is alive with color. Driving on some of the back roads, I get a sense of being underneath a cozy patchwork quilt, preparing me for the colder weather ahead. Every time I see the splendor of a season, or witness a breath-taking sky, my heart is lifted in a song of worship to my Creator and my worries seem very minute indeed next to the majestic signs that God puts on display for me to witness.
There are two scripture passages that come to mind here. One is found in Matthew 6: 24-34. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
What a gloriously beautiful picture of how God cares for us! When we worry, our worship is hindered. But when we look at the beauty in creation that surrounds us, we can remember His care is evident even for the birds of the air. Our problems can be put into the proper perspective, that is, God is big enough and He will take care of us when we seek Him first.
The other passage is in Romans 1: 19-23. "What may be known of God is manifest, for God has shown. it. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things."
The very existence of the splendor of creation and expressions of that through photography, paintings, music, dance, drama, and all the various forms of art call to us! Each art form calls us to worship! We will ultimately either worship God, or be spurred on to worship everything but God; self, the world, or the devil.
Whatever God has created, the devil has tried to mimic for his own glory and to take away from what rightfully belongs to God. Everything that God has established, the devil has a counterfeit for, which is perverted or altered from God's original purpose for it.
This is true of sex, which I will talk more about it in this post series about worship, but it is also true of every creative expression of art whether it be music, acting or dance.
Sometimes the church body at large has seen the perversion of the gifts of God, such as dance, and tended to shy away from the good thing God created altogether. What that has done is surrendered those gifts to the use of the enemy. However, God is restoring those gifts to their original purposes throughout the world. After all, He created them to begin with and He created them as forms of worship that will show His true character and goodness.
Let me give an example of what I mean using dance. God is Lord of the dance. He created it. In His Word, we see that God sent forth the musicians and dancers first in battle. Miriam led the children of Israel in a dance of praise to celebrate God leading them out of bondage in Egypt. We also see that King David danced before The Lord with all of His might to celebrate God's presence. The devil has come along however, and used dance as a form of seduction that gives glory to himself and detracts from God. There are many congregations that don't allow that form of worship to be used. I can only guess to the reasons, but the gift of dance hasn't generally been taught as a form of worship, it's been looked at as distraction, irreverence and as being seductive. The truth is, those are the perverted uses of dance and have happened.
I don't think we need to stay away from the arts out of fear of misuse though, and you can see the same tendency has been applied to other gifts of God, such as healing, prophesy and speaking in heavenly languages, to name a few. This isn't meant to point a finger at those who don't use these various gifts of the Spirit of God. Not everyone worships the same, or has the same gifting abilities. We are all unique. It's just some background to ponder that where the devil has come in and overtaken something originally intended as a good thing, don't let it hinder you from using these art forms in their proper use as part of your worship to God.
What does worship look like to you?
I want to encourage you using 1 Corinthians 10:31, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." Let whatever you do be part of your worship to The Living God.