“Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.”
// 2 Corinthians 1:24
The simplest definition of worship is an act of acknowledging worth. Take any object, identify its importance, acknowledge its value and there you have it — an act of worship. We worship things by prioritizing our time, money, energy, thoughts, and words around them in direct proportion to their worth.
Consider the example of a professional athlete. Impressed by their sporting excellence, fans will travel far and wide to watch them compete. We’ll purchase their jerseys, emulate their style, study their technique, and defend them during long sports debates. However, our worship always seems to diminish the minute trouble arises - injury, declining performance, scandal. Our perception of their value recedes - and with it, our worshipful actions - as our faith in their sporting prowess wavers.
This is why the Apostle Paul makes it clear that faith is an essential element to a lifestyle of worship. Describing a worshipful life as the act of presenting one’s body as “a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God” [see Romans 12:1], Paul understood this is only possible through humility and confidence in Christ. As worshipers of God, we cannot be fair-weather fans who praise Him only when things are going well in our lives but must acknowledge His steadfast goodness and unwavering majesty.
In this letter to the church of Corinth, Paul admits his dwindling confidence in them following a season of intense hardship whilst building the church. The frustrations and difficulties he experienced bothered him so much that he contemplated not making another painful visit to Corinth. However, where his confidence in the Corinthians falls short, he reminds both himself and the church that it is in Christ that faith stands firm. His worshipful actions were fueled by faith in Christ.
Faith-filled worship is acknowledgement of our utter dependence on the absolute lordship of Christ. It manifests itself most fully in a place of submission when we, fueled by faith, worship and pay homage to the excellence of God.
// Roshard Bryant