Here at Harvest Bible Chapel, we like to say that a healthy disciple worships Christ, walks with Christ, and works for Christ. But it is important for us to remember the order of these. Worship comes first. Always.
In Luke 10 we find a couple of reminders that worship has priority over service. Jesus sends 72 of his followers out to WORK for him. They go throughout the region proclaiming the kingdom of God. When the 72 return they rejoice in the results they experienced in their ministry endeavors: The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” (Luke 10.17) Jesus does not rebuke their rejoicing, but affirms what had been done (vv.18-19). Then He calls them back to a focus on what really mattered most: Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven (v.20).
It is natural and good to rejoice in spiritual victories and to be excited when God uses us, but the main source of our joy must be the Gospel itself, that Christ has forgiven us for our sins.
A little further along in the same chapter Jesus was visiting his friends, Mary and Martha(vv.38-42). Martha is busy working on the meal preparations, but Mary is sitting at Christ’s feet, listening to Him. Martha asks Jesus to tell her to stop sitting at his feet and join her in the kitchen. But Jesus refuses to do so, instead rebuking Martha, explaining that worship is more important than service, and He will not send Mary away from worship.
Worship and service are both commanded of us. But worship comes before work. Our service for Christ is filled with anxiety and trouble (v.41) if we have not first sat worshipfully at the feet of Jesus.