Where Do You Worship?
By: Lindsay Tedder
“Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy.” - Psalm 99:9
Have you ever thought about the difference between going to church and worshipping your Father?
As I sat in a quiet cafe with my nose in my computer and my hands flipping through my Bible, I noticed a woman walking in front of my table. I paid little attention as I continued with my studies. When she saw what I was reading, she gave me a nod and a little gesture that said, “I see you!” She was on the phone when she covered the mic and said, “great book, isn’t it?” I popped up and gave her an agreeable smile. When she got off the phone we began to chat. Then she hit me with it. She asked the most profound question. So profound, in fact, that I stumbled with my answer.
When someone asks me where I attend church, my answer is quick and requires very little thought to get the correct answer off of my tongue. However, this woman asked me where I “worship” and to be honest, it threw me off. I stuttered a bit as I answered her question. I knew what she meant, but it took greater effort to get the words out of my mouth.
Several minutes passed after our brief encounter, yet I was still struck by her question. At first, I thought “what a beautiful way to word that question” and that I wanted to start asking others in the same fashion. But deep down this question evoked more in me than a simple answer of a church name. Worship is so much more than a church building.
If I’m being honest, sometimes even while in the church building, I have a hard time “worshipping.” So, it’s no wonder this question sparked in me much more than the name of a building in which I attend service once a week. When I think of the word “worship” and what it truly encapsulates, I envision falling flat on my face in reverence. I don’t do that in church. I don’t lay flat on my face in awe of the God I get the honor of serving. I am far more apt to do that type of worshipping in my shower or on my bedroom floor. Why is that? Aside from not knowing if I’ll be able to gracefully heave myself off the sanctuary floor, I don’t want to be embarrassed. I admit it.
Romans 12:1 says “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 your true and proper worship.”
What does this mean? How is it different than falling on your face? How can we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice?
My brain dug deeper down the rabbit trail of this thought gateway. It swirled with images of my body being fit for service. Losing weight, getting fit, giving up dessert. While all of those things are good for me and helpful to fully use my body as a living sacrifice, I believe what Paul is saying to us is that we need to allow God to have complete control over our bodies, using them however He tells us to. I believe we are to do more for the body of Christ and less for the body of ourselves. Serving in church with a cheerful heart, volunteering to take a friend to the airport even if it is 5 am, donating our time and money to serve those less fortunate; these are all forms of worship and using our bodies as a living sacrifice.
The only way we can allow God to have complete control over our bodies, so they may be used as a living sacrifice and our truest form of worship, is to surrender. I must surrender my body to His purpose. Upon surrendering, I must also connect with my Creator. I must have a personal relationship with Him so that I know the difference between when He is speaking to me and when I may just have a crazy idea that sounds somewhat holy. Despite my desire to remain in control; what I have found is that when I lose control, He can gain my heart and that is the truest form of worship I can find.
Lindsay Tedder is a believer, wife, mom, bestie and writer who lives in Columbus, Ohio with her bearded, bourbon-loving husband and her too-cool-for-school toddler. She is full of raw honesty, enthusiastic authenticity, amiable compassion, humble grit, powerful passion…and outrageous laughter, double chins, real life, and frothy nectar-of-the-gods coffee…because…coffee. Raised by a hardworking single mom, she overcame such trauma as sexual abuse induced food addiction, the debilitating health issues associated with endometriosis, a decade of infertility, and recurring life themes of worthlessness. Connect with her at www.LindsayTedder.com.
Looking for authentic conversations about how to deal with body image, insecurity, and comparison issues as a Christian woman? The Compared to Who? Podcast is the show for you! Twice a week, we tackle tough topics like dieting, disordered eating, weight loss, aging, body dysmorphia, and more from a practical, grace-filled, gospel-centered perspective.