John 4:22-24 “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
‘My way is better.’
‘If you don’t worship like us, you’re not right with God.’
And the list goes on…
Many have sought which way, what music, who leads, how is it lead, and so much more. Jesus stated plain and simple for all of us to understand.
John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
A very personal question: “Are you filled with the Holy Spirit of God?”
If so, God says you can worship or your worship is good and right.
Some say worship is a service – I can have worship in church; but, I can also worship in my prayer closet, in a car, on a walk in the woods or even in a jail cell.
Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines worship this way:
“Chiefly and eminently, the act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being; or the reverence and homage paid to him in religious exercises, consisting in adoration, confession, prayer, thanksgiving and the like.”
The chief difference between Webster and the biblical definition is the Third Person of the Trinity – The Holy Ghost of God.
The Holy Spirit will guide whether worship is singing, prayer, confession, repentance, silence, meditation, praise or thanksgiving. We are great imitators, but there is only One original. We seek evidence to show others we ‘have it’, when in fact, God wants us to focus on His possession of us.
It is true submission to the Spirit’s leading – both public and private. Some think we must be devoid of reason or thought; dead to self. When God truly wants us to engae that which we do know about Him in our worship.
I know Him to be worthy of all glory, honor and praise. He is deserving of my best, He has purchased my soul with a price that is beyond my capacity to pay.
My Heavenly Father knows more about me than I know about myself. He knows every hair on my head; the thoughts I hold to myself, the words I will speak – even before I speak them. He knows the day I will die, the works that I will do and whose life I will affect, what I will accomplish when I will fail, when I will pray and just how He will answer.
The intimacies of every detail of my life is known by Him: past, present and future.
That realization came to the woman at the well when she told the townspeople:
John 4:28-29 “The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”
There have been moments of clarity like that for us as well.
The day I got saved, I can fully recall the moment of realization that if I did not trust Christ, I deserved a Christless, eternal, Hell.
The day God came to me and called me to preach. The church, the service, the preacher, the message – all are clear to me. I can remember an excuse I put to God as to why I couldn’t and His reply was; “Am I not powerful enough to take care of that?” I was immediately humbled by my own ignorance.
I can recall the day I saw the Holy Spirit use songs I sang and messages preached, lessons taught to bring that same clarity to a soul. I have seen a person that once presented with the gospel, guide them to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
I have seen revival come to a service in which I had a very small part. Souls were being saved as our quartet sang. People left their seats to be dealt with about their salvation, about the sin in their life and needing to get right. The message was used to bring more conviction.
The days and weeks that followed brough more evidence with many more salvations, many coming to repentance and the presence of the Holy Spirit that had not been there previously.
It came in answer to a deep desire in prayer by a people who sought it – for years.
But the sweetest moments have been, private and personal. When in prayer, I felt as if God Himself had stepped in the room. Words fail to accurately describe. It was sacred. It was solemn. It was tearful and joyous. I do not know how long it lasted, but I do know that I was filled after that moment.
That heavenly touch of God became evident in the fruit it bore. It was God-honoring and not self-centered. Its power was evident in so many ways. But truly, the worship of my God became close, more personal, more intimate from that day forward.
May we be as the sweet psalmist of God:
Psalms 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”