The greatest pleasure of the Christian life is WORSHIP, though we scarcely realize it until we've dived in wholeheartedly. We approach it at first as an obligation. We're fairly self-focussed, and it's hard to turn our hearts toward God. But if we do, in spirit and in truth (i.e with zealous inspiration and according to who God really is), we find inexpressible delights. Jesus seeks to turn us, like the woman at the well, into WORSHIPERS with substance rather than WORSHIPERS of ritual. How do we make that change?
Many of us ask God this question: "What is my responsibility toward You?" While not a bad question, there is a better, more heartwarming question: "What can I offer You to show my devotion?"
Do you see the difference? The first question presuppose a requirement we must meet. It almost assumes that there will be a minimum standard, and after having met it, we will cease our God-ward activity and resume our self-ward obsession. The second question presupposes a desire to express love and devotion. It assumes that there can never be enough we can offer Him, but whatever we can find to offer, we will. There is no self-focus in it at all; it is entirely enamored with God.
JESUS would have us not ask which requirements we are to fulfill, but what more of ourselves we can offer Him. When we look for our required obligation, we do not worship in spirit, because the SPIRIT OF GOD would not inspire us to fulfill quotas of devotion. And we do not worship in truth, because we underestimate God's worth. He is worth all we are, and more.
Blessed is the WORSHIPER who can truthfully - and with pleasure - say to the LORD: "What can I do for You? You name it, it's Yours. Whatever I can offer You, please let me." This is the kind of worshiper the FATHER seeks.
(an extract from At His feet Devotion by Chris Tiegreen)
"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."
What kind of worship is God looking for? Our answer is found in John 4:23. Here Jesus speaks specifically of TRUE WORSHIPERS. Does Jesus' statement implies that there are also false/vain worship? Yes it is possible to be "doing worship" and yet not meeting what God is looking for. So what then is TRUE WORSHIP?1) TRUE WORSHIPER WORSHIPS THE FATHER.
Jesus did not walk up to the Samaritan woman to ask her to sing two fast songs and three slow songs or clap and raise her hands in worship. TRUE WORSHIP is about having a deep personal relationship with the Father. The Samaritan woman thought she knew about worship when she told Jesus about worshiping on a certain mountain while the Jew must worship in Jerusalem (John 4:20). Similarly today, we may define worship worship as a certain style or platform. But Jesus said, " True worshipers will worship the Father." This is the HEART OF WORSHIP!
Jesus gives us a warning when He directed Matthew 15:8-9 to religious leaders:
"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their HEART is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandment of men."
The Greek word for "vain" means fruitless and egotistic. Worship based on the traditions of men while ignoring the commands of God. Everything may looks good outwardly but they are just performances without HEART!
2) TRUE WORSHIP - WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN THE TRUTH
What does it means to worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth?
a) IN SPIRIT:
- To worship God from the HEART - Deuteronomy 6:5-6
"Love the LORD your God with all your HEART and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be in your HEARTS."
- To engage our spirit in worship because God is a spirit - John 4:24
"God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."
This means that we can engage worship with our spirit in worshiping God (more that our physical body or dependence of musical instruments or comfortable environment) anywhere and anytime.
"Regardless of how magnificent the musical moment are, unless your HEART is fully engaged in the worship expressed, it is still only music." - Darlene Zschech
b) IN TRUTH:
- To worship God as He directs in His WORD - Deuteronomy 5:32-33
"So be careful to so what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside the right or to the left. Walk in OBEDIENCE to all that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land you possess."
God is looking for a people who will live a LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP walking in OBEDIENCE in accordance with His WORD.
"If you cannot worship God in the midst of your responsibilities on Monday, then it is very unlikely you were worshiping God on Sunday!" - A.W. Tozer
#Worship #TrueWorship #LifestyleWorship #InSPiritInTruth