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May 3, 2024


Staying On the Surface

As the Worship Director here at White Oak, I’m always looking for opportunities to share the Bible’s description of worship, which is quite different from how our culture views the practice. These days, when we think about worship, we typically think about a service on Sunday Morning and/or the music that we play in that service. BUT IT IS SO MUCH MORE!


I was challenged on this understanding many years ago by a friend of mine who shared with me what the Bible actually says about worship, and it was an “aha” moment in my life when the Spirit of God opened my eyes to the truth about what worship truly is; when I stopped understanding worship on a surface level, and started seeing it as something much greater and deeper. 


And so my question for you is: Has that ever happened to you: where you thought you had the full story on something, and then you went deeper and realized you were so far off?


Going Deeper

This happened to me several years ago when my understanding of worship was challenged by one of my best friends, Donovan Weber.

 It was my junior year in college, and God was leading me on the path of becoming a Worship Leader. Donovan saw an opportunity to mentor me on this journey and invited me to lead worship with him at a student discipleship conference in Richmond, Virginia. 


As a part of this conference, they had asked Donovan to teach a seminar on worship, which I attended with all the other students---and this became a LIFE-CHANGING moment in my life when my eyes were opened to a true, biblical understanding of worship.


He began the seminar by saying to myself and the students in the room: “You know, the best way to understand what Worship is, is to think about a Dolphin…”

He said, “you know a dolphin worships God, just by being a dolphin. When a dolphin play-fights with other dolphins, and plays with seaweed, and when they smile and they kind of talk, and eat and socialize and swim in the ocean…that dolphin is worshiping it’s creator, because that dolphin is doing what the Creator created that Dolphin to do…and that’s what worship is: its living who you were created to be---doing everything for the glory of the One who created you…”


And I’m sitting there---just being blown away by a truth that I had never heard before, never understood, never wrapped my mind around: this idea that everything that exists is made to worship God. I thought it was a song and service.


Worship Is Living (In Response to God’s Greatness)

You see, when we get off the surface and go deeper, we learn that worship is not just a place we go or a thing we do in that place: Worship is everything…Worship is life.


The Bible says this about true worship…or, who we were created to be:


Romans 12:1-2

12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.


And you know…I’ve never gotten away from that moment at the seminar, truly. I get off track as a follower of Jesus just like we all do, but the understanding that WORSHIP IS LIVING IN RESPONSE TO GOD’S GREATNESS has been the cornerstone of my relationship with God ever since that trip… and I hope it becomes yours today with a deeper understanding. Because, you see, when you internalize this truth---it changes EVERYTHING. It changes how you live your life every day, how you treat your employees, your spouse, your kids, how you spend your time and your money; it effects every decision you make because it answers the question of why you are here and why you exist (questions that have perplexed the best of minds since the beginning of time) --- you finally know that you exist on this planet to worship God. 


Yes! the entire human race worships (because that’s what we were created to do)! Because of sin, however, this worship takes on many different forms: work, money, sex, power, kids, spouses. But the Bible declares that anything that is worshipped that is not of God is called Idolatry…Psalm 96:4-5 says this:


Psalm 96:4–5

 4  For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;

he is to be feared above all gods.

 5  For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,

but the Lord made the heavens.


So everyone is a worshipper – the question is are you going to decide direct your worship to the creator God or to created things:


Romans 11:36

36 For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.


Next Steps

So where are you? Are you on the surface with your worship or have you started to explore the deep realms?


At White Oak, we say that God designed

you to experience full life, and

we can discover it together.


In other words…


John 4:23

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.


I pray that all of you would discover the full life God has for you! This begins with a TRUE understanding of worship, which is essential in order to experience the Full Life---a life of unending worship of the one who created you!


Darin Hudson

Worship Pastor & Programming Manager

White Oak Christian Church


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