By Johnie Edwards
While reading an article in the December 1995 issue of Look Magazine, the article quoted HaKeem Olajuwon as saying that he considers the game of basketball, “an act of worship.” Olajuwon is a Muslim with Allah as his god. Evidently there are a lot of people who think every-thing they do is worship from changing the baby to playing golf. Let’s notice some things the Bible teaches about worship and then we can see whether or not every-thing we do is worship.
God Is The Object of Worship
The Bible teaches, that when we worship, God is to be the object of that worship. Jesus told Satan when he tried to get Jesus to worship him, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:10). We cannot worship Satan but worship is to be directed to God. Men cannot be the object of our worship. As Peter entered the house of Cornelius, “Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshiped him” (Acts 10:25). Now, notice what Peter did and said, “But Peter took him up, saying, `Stand up: I myself also am a man’ (Acts 10:26). Peter would not allow Cornelius to worship him. Men are not to be worshiped.
Well, what about worshiping angels? John’s encounter with this angel worship will give us the right answer. “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things” (Rev. 22:8). John, what did the angel say to you? “Then saith he unto me, `See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God’ (Rev. 22:9). How could one be directing the praise and adoration of his heart unto God while bouncing a basketball? Doesn’t make sense does it?
Worship Must Be In Spirit and In Truth
The conversation of Jesus with the woman at the well indicates that worship is to be in spirit and in truth. Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John. 4:24). Worship demands some purpose on the part of the one worshiping God. How could exercising be worship, when I am thinking about loosing weight or getting in shape and not directing such to God. God is not nearly as interested in my bodily exercise as he is with my godliness. Didn’t Paul say, “For bodily exercise profiteth little. . .” (1 Tim. 4:8)?
To worship God in spirit, one must keep his mind on what he is doing toward God. It would be hard to do this while changing the baby! Worship is to be in truth. This means according to God Word. “Thy word is truth” (John. 17:17). Do you think it is worship when one is exercising?
Worship Is Spiritual
Since worship is to be “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), worship is of a spiritual nature, not physical. Playing basketball, exercising, washing dishes, doing the laundry, changing the baby, fishing and the like are of a physical nature and have nothing to do with worshiping God. Did you ever read in the Word of God where any of these things were ever connected with the worship of God? I never did. We can read what the early Christians did when they worshiped God. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). It is here recorded that the Lord’s people engaged in teaching, giving, the Lord’s supper, and prayer. They ate the Lord’s supper and gave of their means on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-2) along with the other acts of worship. It is also said that they engaged in “singing and making melody” in their hearts to the Lord (Eph. 5:19). It is with purpose of heart that one engages in these acts of worship. I do not just accidentally worship God. Some think if one happens to listen to someone singing on the radio, that he is worshiping God. Not so. The Bible nowhere teaches that everything one does is worship.
Guardian of Truth XL: 2 p. 5
January 18, 1996