We all dedicate our lives to worship. Regardless of our professed spirituality, or lack thereof, our behaviours point to our object of worship.
Our worship extends beyond raised hands in a thirty-minute music performance on a Sunday. Rather, it infiltrates every aspect of our being. Our lives become imprinted by our choice of worship – God, self or others.
Whether we find ourselves engrossed with the pursuit of secular success, or striving to be the most dedicated servant at church, our focus can deviate from worshipping our holy God.
The concept of worship is introduced in Genesis chapter 22, verses 1-10. Abraham demonstrated a life of true worship. He worshipped God with fear, obedience and a heart willing to sacrifice all for the glory of God.
As Christians today, how are we to worship God?
Recently I completed a Bible study called Living a Life of True Worship written by Kay Arthur and Bob and Diane Vereen whereby I was prompted to examine how the Old Testament tabernacle reveals God's calling today for authentic worship.
"I am the door; if any one enters through Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture" (John chapter 10, verse 9).
When we consider the Christian faith, it appears almost incomprehensible that God longs to have an intimate relationship with us. Yet, He does.
In Exodus chapter 25, God provided Moses with clear instructions on the construction of the tabernacle. The tabernacle was the place where God would meet and communicate with man. Man could approach God in the tabernacle through a process of ritual sacrifice.
God gave the priest specific instructions regarding the process of how and when he could worship God in the tabernacle. The priest did not have the authority to formulate their own way of worship.
Similarly, the function of the tabernacle and the way in which worship took place was required to be done God's way. This practice foreshadowed Jesus and provides us with insights into how we should worship today.
Through reading Exodus chapter 40, we observe that there was only one entrance to the tabernacle –the gateway of the court. Likewise, in John chapter 14, verse 6, it is written that Jesus is the way, truth and life. We are able to have a relationship with God through Jesus – He is the only way. Therefore, apart from Jesus, we are unable to worship God.
"He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for those of the whole world" (1 John chapter 2, verse 2).
How are we, as sinners, to approach our perfect God?
Jesus is our Advocate. Moreover, Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice who paid the price for all our sin which is sufficient for all time.
In Hebrews chapter 10, verse 19-23, it is written that we can have confidence that we will enter heaven through the blood of Christ. Jesus is the way, He ended the separation between God and man once and for all. Hence Jesus is our High Priest.
How does this relate to the tabernacle? Well, there are many parallels that we can highlight between entering through the gateway of the court and entering through Jesus. Namely, there is only one way.
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light" (1 Peter chapter 2, verse 9).
It is written that we are a royal priesthood, bought through salvation, to serve God. Knowing this, our worship begins when we acknowledge God's holiness and understand that our lives belong to Him.
So as Christians today how are we to worship God?
In Romans chapter 12, verse 1, it is written that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. May we live in a manner whereby our lives are characterised by the proclamation of the excellencies of God.