How to worship in spirit and in truth?
Psalm 145: 3-13
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall comment your works to another, and shall declare your might acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness, and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.
All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you!
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.”
The highest duty that a Christian has is to worship. One of the reasons how we can know this is that when we understand what is going on in heaven through the Word of God, it is worship. When you look at the angels they’re worshiping, when you look at the redeemed saints they too are worshiping. The book of Revelation also tells us that when we are gathered together in the presence of the Lord, we will be in his presence worshiping forever.
John 4:23-24 says “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the father in spirit and truth for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
1. WHAT IS WORSHIP?
Many people equate worship with singing music at church or in prayer groups. This is one aspect of worship, but worship is not limited to song. It is a full life response to the object of our worship. When we truly worship something, it affects the way we live.
Worship is ascribing worth to something or someone. But true worship is also a matter of the heart. It must be felt. It can’t be a ritual and it can’t be an external going through the motions.
True worship is a heartfelt expression of love, adoration, admiration, fascination, wonder and celebration. It is something that happens in your heart and soul when you begin to praise God for who he is and thank Him for what he has done
a.) Why is worshiping God so important?
There is nothing difficult about worship, for a Christian or a non-Christian. We readily worship food, sports, arts, music. We worship comfort, control, power, achievement, work, money and relationships BUT God calls us to worship Him. He commands it, He desires it, He pursues it, He deserves it and He rewards it. God bestows His provision, grace, sovereignty and power on those who worship Him in spirit and in truth.
If you choose not to worship God, then you will be worshiping something else. Whether you worship a job, achievement, money or person, you are doing so to your detriment. At some point, the object of your worship will fail to come through for you.
b.) What happens when we worship?
The best way to illustrate what happens when we worship is to look at the worship experience of one of God’s prophets recorded in Isaiah 6:1-7
Isaiah 6: 1-4
“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
- Worship brings an upward look: a glance at God on His throne in all His glory. It refocuses our view of God. It pulls our affections of our idols and puts them onto God. It causes us to remember how good He is, how big, kind, powerful and loving He is and how holy He is.
Isaiah 6: 5-7
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin is atoned for.”
- Worship brings an inward look: When you see God for who He really is, as Isaiah did, you start to see yourself for who you really are. You start seeing things in your heart and your life that really didn’t bother you before. But notice that after Isaiah saw and confessed his sinfulness, he experienced the mercy, grace, and forgiveness of God. That’s what happens when you worship. But it doesn’t end there, we should notice that Isaiah’s inward look is followed by an outward look.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
- Worship brings an outward look: Genuine worship leads to personal response or action, a desire to be obedient to whatever God calls you to do.
2. HOW TO WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH?
a.) Worship in Spirit:
God is a Spirit and he is not subject to the limitations of material things. God is not concerned with what kind of building we go to, to worship Him. No, God is concerned with HOW we worship Him. God is interested in our hearts.
Worshiping God in spirit means to worship Him from the heart with all we have, just as the greatest commandment Jesus gave us to do. Mark 12:30 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” We all know this commandment well, but do we actually keep it? To love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength is to worship God in spirit. But how do we love the Lord this way? It is by surrendering all to Him. Our work, time, money, possessions, body and everything else. We must say that “I am yours Lord, and all I have is yours”. Then we can live each moment for our Savior, for he is everything to us.
We need to worship God in Spirit because He know what is going on in your mind, the very thoughts you are thinking and feeling.
Revelation 2:23 says “…And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart and I will give to each of you according to your works.”
We must realize that we no longer belong to ourselves and that we have been bought and belong to Christ. 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 says “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Christ Jesus bought us with His very own life, and we now belong to Him, therefore EVERYTHING we are and do should bring glory to God. This is acceptable worship.
Romans 12:1-2 says ““I appeal to you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
b.) Worship in truth:
Worshiping God in truth means to worship Him according to His Word in the Bible. It is through diligent study of the scriptures that we learn about the great love of God and His Son Jesus Christ. And it is through the scriptures that we learn how God wants us to serve and worship Him.
Ephesians 5:18-21 says “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
This verse is just one of thousands showing us how to worship God.
Hebrews 12:28-29 says “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”
This verse shows us how we are to come before God, whether at church or home or anywhere else, God is an all-consuming fire. He is so holy that we cannot stand before Him without being consumed. Therefore we are to give Him great reverence. Sadly, this is lacking in many churches, homes and in personal lives because of ignoring the plain truth of God’s word.
Matthew 4:10 says “Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”
Do you spend more time on other things than you do for God?
Do you put your family or friends before your relationship with Jesus?
If so, then you are not worshiping in spirit and in truth, because God requires complete devotion and for Him to be FIRST and FOREMOST in your daily life.
Not any kind of worship is acceptable to God, but we must worship in spirit and in truth. We must worship according to God’s word. We must choose the ways of God that are clearly laid out in his Word.