“God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
The Samaritan woman asked Jesus a simple, but
loaded question. Where is the true place
to worship God? Everyone there was
probably expecting the predictable answer that any Jewish teacher would give,
To worship in spirit means that we worship from deep inside us, from our spirit to the Holy Spirit. It is much more than a mental acknowledgment that God is great and worthy of praise. No matter where we are physically, we can literally be in the presence of God. We don’t need to be in a special place to worship God. To worship God in Spirit is to make a connection between our heart and the heart of the Father. When we worship in Spirit, we communicate a personal message to God’s Spirit. That’s why singing is such a powerful vehicle for worship to our God. When we sing worship to God, it comes from deep within us and becomes a prayer of praise and thanksgiving (Psalm 86:12-13) directly from our spirit to the Spirit of God.
True worshippers also worship God in truth. To worship in truth is to be honest with who
we are and who God is. To worship in
truth begins with the realization that He is God and we are not. When we worship in truth, we readily admit
our failings and our sins. We readily
acknowledge God’s blessings in our life, even when we don’t feel blessed. To worship in truth is also to worship
according to the truth. This is why
Bible based, Christ centered preaching is part of our worship. When we say Amen to the truth of God’s word,
it is worship. In fact, anything in our
life can be an act of worship. Whenever
we focus our hearts and minds on the greatness, holiness, goodness, and
supremacy of God, it is worship.
Recently, I visited a church that is well known for creating
worship music that is sung by Christians all over the world. It was an amazing experience and I was led into
the presence of God in a very real and powerful way. What made it great worship? Was it the beauty of the music and the
strength of lyrics? Was it the
excellence of the musicians and the quality of the production? Those are all good things, and they help point us to God and create an environment for worship. However, we can experience the greatest worship service
ever and not actually worship God. Real worship comes from within us, it flows from our hearts.
The Samaritan women was hung up on where to worship, but we
have other hang ups that keep us from real worship. The music is too loud, the songs are too
fast, the preaching isn’t deep enough, whatever… you fill in the blank. Real worship looks beyond those things. Real worship changes us. When we enter into the presence of a Holy God,
our hang-ups disappear in the glory of God.
God is looking for true worshippers, people who will worship Him in spirit
and in truth!
© 2009 David Soper, Inspired by the Word of God. All rights reserved. Scripture from New Living Translation