This morning, my parent's pastor, Wayne Barber, preached on worship. I have to admit I wasn't paying much attention until he said one thing that really got me thinking. He said, "What we do here is not worship." So what is worship? According to Wayne, what comes out of our mouths and how we live our lives is our worship. In Romans 12:1-2, the Bible specifies that "our spiritual act of worship" is being a living sacrifice, not conformed to this world but transformed by God. This goes so much deeper than what we do in a church "worship service," that it makes what we do there seem shallow and trivial in comparison. This is why it doesn't really matter what kind of worship service we have. If our hearts are right before God, our lives are lived in purity, and our speech is full of thankfulness, encouragement, and praise, then when we come together as a congregation to sing, God will be honored and praised. But if we focus our hearts on ourselves, live like the world, and speak words of bitterness, complaint, and strife, our "worship service" becomes a stench in God's nostrils rather than a sweet fragrance rising to His throne.
We cannot truly worship together until we offer our hearts, our lives, and our relationships to God as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to Him.