The idea of worship today seems to bring out the best and the worst in discussions. It seems that the spectrum goes from monotonous routine to near confusion, ultra-conservative worship to ultra-liberal worship. Today’s text, I believe, brings us to the heart of worship. John 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The active words in this text are: “true worshipers” and worshiping in “spirit and truth.” It would seem to me that true worshippers are individuals who understand that God emptied heaven for our salvation as Jesus became a man, lived as a man, and died an excruciating death on the cross for me/us – actually taking my place because I/we deserve eternal death but He died in my/our place.
Coming to a point in our Christian experience where we find ourselves daily growing in our appreciation of this gift of salvation is essential for us to be a “true worshipers.” The understanding of Bible truth is essential because we must know how God should be worshipped. The active words that this brings to mind would be: prayer; quiet listening; Bible study; bowing down; singing; listening to the Bible being taught and preached; sharing the truths of the Bible through teaching and preaching; and living the truths in all aspects of life. It must also be understood, however, that going through the motions of worship and apparent surrender are not sufficient. Feelings must also be a part of worship if we are to be at the “heart of worship.” These feelings/emotions would include love, thankfulness, appreciation, right actions with the right motives; and selfless devotion to our lord and savior Jesus Christ.
In reality I don’t think we can reach the “heart of worship” without incorporating both. Truth gives us the “what/how” of worship and Spirit gives us the joyful surrendered “experience” of worship. Worshiping in “Truth” guides the way we worship. Worshiping in “Spirit” brings about the fulfillment of trust and surrender. Together they bring us to Rejoicing Always in the “Heart of Worship.”
“Lord God, please continue to seek us – helping us to reach into the ‘heart of worship’ which is ‘all about You’ in Jesus name, Amen.”