It's important to come to the distinction that worship is different from work; otherwise, you can't come to the conviction that worship is more important than work.
Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? PSALM 139:7
It is clear from this verse that the Spirit of the LORD is the presence of the LORD! As such, there is nowhere we can go and He not be present. However, what we do in His presence is up to us. Whether we worship or we work. I remember going to college and being at an Adventist Christian university. And religion major or not, we all had Bible classes. I remember asking myself the question and debating it with others - can we study for a Bible test on Sabbath? The thought really goes beyond Sabbath-keeping but really to the heart of what one understands to be worship. In time I have come to realize that the seams of the fabric of worship are more defined when contrasted to the pattern of work. Without this contrast, not only can we not solve my freshman Bible class conundrum, but it is very easy to slip into the norm of putting work before worship. Trust me, I've been there.
So maybe we can get this by asking another question - can my work be worship? Absolutely...and it should be!
[1 CORINTHIANS 10:31 KJV] 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
[COLOSSIANS 3:17 KJV] 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.
[COLOSSIANS 3:23 KJV] 23 And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Ok, gottit. But how about this, can my worship be my work? Yes...but it shouldn't be. As a minister in a self-supporting ministry, it's hard sometimes. For all of us reading, but particularly in ministry, work can be falsely sanctified by being self-sanctified as worship. In other words, because what I am doing is for the sake of the Gospel or for God, I decree that God should accept it as my act of worship. Writing a thought, running a soup kitchen, lesson planning for class, it's my work, but my worship to Him too.
[PSALM 86:9 KJV] 9 All nations Whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and shall glorify Thy name.
[DEUTERONOMY 26:10 KJV] 10 And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which Thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:
Verses like these speak to not just location but intent, purpose, and focus While we can worship God in our work, we are not working in our worship to Him. It is an altogether separate and sacred experience for Him as He receives our acts of worship by our attention and intention. The act and experience of true worship transcends labor and resonates only on the frequency of love. Think of it this way. As a married man, can I love my wife, Tara, while I do my work? Absolutely and I do! But can I love my wife AND do my work? Nope. Try writing a blog post while having quiet time with your spouse! Try framing a door while spending cuddly, wuddly time with your sweetheart! I can think about her while I'm making that door or even make the door for her, but when it's her time, her moment, the only focus that will satisfy is first focus; total focus. It's why Jesus said...
[MATTHEW 6:33 KJV] 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
True worshipers get this. They prioritize, and not settle to synchronize, their time with God. His Word has told me and my own wife has taught me, put God first by putting God alone. We will have to worry less about fitting God in when we commit to finding Him alone. If I failed to make it clear (and that's sincerely possible), let Mary and Martha help us out...
[LUKE 10:38-39 KJV] 38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that [Jesus] entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard His word.
Two women. Both in His presence...
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to [Jesus], and said, Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. [LUKE 10:40 KJV]
Two women. Both in His presence...but one working, and another worshiping.
[Luke 10:41-42 KJV] 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Choose the good part, first. Let's worship before we work, so that while we work, we will worship!
God has something to say to us (more than we want to hear it)! That's why there is always a WORD!