Is All of Life Worship?
When discussing worship that is offered unto God, Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:24). According to the New Testament, Christians are authorized to worship God through prayer (Acts 2:42), singing (Col. 3:16), teaching the doctrine of Christ (Acts 11:26), and by giving of their means (1 Cor. 16:1-2) and partaking of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:23-26) when assembled with the church on the first day of the week.
With these thoughts in mind, it is important to note that there are those who insist that everything that a Christian does in his life is to be considered part of his worship to God. Some have gone so far as to say that such mundane tasks as mowing the lawn or taking a shower are part of one’s worship to God. What shall we say to these things? The Scriptures clearly teach that the life of a child of God is to be a life of godliness and service (cf. Lk. 9:23; Rom. 12:1-2; Col. 3:17). But does that mean that every activity in which we engage is to be considered as worship offered unto God?
Consider the following in relation to this question:
1. Abraham’s worship. “And Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you’” (Gen. 22:5). When commanded to offer Isaac on Mt. Moriah, Abraham stated that he and Isaac would “go yonder and worship,” and then return (v. 5). It should be obvious that the worship under discussion was to take place in a specific manner at a specific time and place. The journey was not worship. The conversation Abraham had with his servants was not worship. The worship was to take place on Mt. Moriah. While Abraham lived a life of service to God, the entirety of his life was not considered worship to God.
2. David’s worship. Following the death of his child, the Bible says, “So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate” (2 Sam. 12:20). The washing, anointing, changing of clothes, and eating that took place in his house were not worship. David “went into the house of the LORD and worshiped” (v. 20). While David lived a life of godly service, the entirety of his life was not considered worship to God.
3. The Ethiopian’s worship. The Ethiopian eunuch “had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning” when Philip was sent by God to preach to him (Acts 8:27-28). His journey to Jerusalem was not worship, nor was his journey home. His worship took place at Jerusalem. The Ethiopian Eunuch may have lived a life devoted to God, but the entirety of his life was not considered worship to God.
4. Paul’s worship. When accused by his Jewish detractors in Caesarea, the apostle Paul responded by pointing out that “it is no more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship” (Acts 24:11). It is evident that, to the apostle Paul, the concept of “worship” was one involving a specific action in which one engages at a specific time and place. While the apostle Paul lived a life of godly service unto the Lord, the entirety of his life was not considered worship to God.
Conclusion: One may certainly worship God under various circumstances and in various places (cf. Gen. 24:26; Acts 16:25; 1 Thess. 5:17). In fact, one may offer a prayer or sing hymns of praise even while mowing the lawn, taking a shower, or driving an automobile. However, it is important to note that the “worship” taking place on such occasions is the praying and the singing, rather than the mowing, showering, or driving. No, all of life is most certainly not to be considered “worship.” Let us faithfully live our lives in service to God, while being careful to “worship in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:24).