July 27, 2012 by AJ Briones
I was actually about to sleep because I needed to wake up early for a 10:30AM job interview when I decided to read my Bible and seek God’s wisdom for the things that will happen tomorrow. I asked God to give me a Word tonight before I sleep and deep inside my heart and mind I was asking that God would not let me sleep until I receive a Word from Him and guess what? Here I am tonight posting this.
I was reading from the Book of Deuteronomy about tithing and being ceremonially clean. I had a big question inside me, why was the two connected in one chapter which is the 17th chapter. I kept on asking myself when I was reminded of how it was for them. During the early parts of the Old Testament, when a person sins he becomes ceremonially unclean. Being unclean leads to a situation where a person has to do a lot of stuff in order to atone for his sin or sins. This was in some sort of way how things worked in their days. People have to live accordingly even at times of not living in accordance, they have to do things in order to be considered as someone who lives in accordance to God’s will again. It was really a deep thing. It was worship for them. It was a lifestyle for them. That is what we will be talking about; living in accordance to the Word or having a true Christian lifestyle.
I have heard for a number of times the word lifestyle. It is commonly used as a word that talks about how people live their lives. It has something to do with glamour, day-to-day activities and even preferences of brands used. We usually hear the word lifestyle used when talking about celebrities but one word that goes into my mind when we talk about lifestyle is worship. I have been hearing lots of Christians say that worship is a lifestyle. It means that the way you live your life, seen or unseen by people, every aspect of who you are is worship. I totally agree with that and I would like to focus on that.
Keeping the self in an image of living a worship lifestyle has something to do with making oneself like as the Book of Deuteronomy says ceremonially clean; avoidance of being unclean. Yes, we are not really talking about sin offerings as what they did before, like taking a young goat, ibex, antelope, mountain sheep or ox and offering it as atonement for our sins in order to be tagged as a people living in a worship lifestyle but it does have a relationship to it. Even in the present day, to be clean and have a worship lifestyle, one big ingredient to it is making a sacrificial offering. Reading this may make your eyebrows raise thinking that I am talking about false doctrine but I beg to differ and Romans 12:1 talks about this.
Romans 12:1 (TNIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship.
Living a lifestyle of worship is all about making a sacrificial offering but it does not mean that we have to offer an animal as atonement for our sins because Jesus already did that for us. What I am saying is that we are called to offer ourselves as the sacrifice in order to truly live a life with worship as a lifestyle.
That which I have said leads me to another point in my discussion that has something to do with worship. It is how we live out our lifestyle of worship. The Bible presents a picture of living the lifestyle.
Matthew 6:5-6 (TNIV)
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
I just posted a tweet on twitter and it goes like this, “Worship is far deeper than what you do every day or how you act in Church and around people. It’s what you do when you are alone.” Yes, what we do in Church and having a life that is seen inspiring people is really a good way of worshipping God but we must never forget that when we talk about worship as a lifestyle, it talks about every aspect. Showing others that you are clean is easy but when the lights are off and the spotlight isn’t us anymore, are we still living the worship lifestyle that we are claiming? It said in the verse, “…But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” What do you do in secret? Is it clean? Is it the worship lifestyle that we claim? Or does it have a tag when you look at it like a suit to hide it in the closet. Think about that. I will not be a hypocrite. I have a closet of my own that my small group leader and I knows, every foul secret that has big letter marking on it saying I AM UNCLEAN but now as I look at it, I see it an image of who I am; human and flawed. It reminds me to every day give an importance to what I am doing when I am alone, to give an importance to the things I have done in secret. Is it a part of a lifestyle of worship or a part of the secrets I need to have someone accountable in; either one. How about you? How is your sacrificial offering? Are you living the worship lifestyle?