December 15, 2017
Must Worship Print E-mail

Must worship in spirit and truthGod is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. – John 4:24

Everyone worships something. Our spiritual nature is relational and our design is unique. As individuals we differentiate ourselves. Created in God’s image, we look outside of ourselves for something that gives meaning, purpose, and understanding to life.

Not everyone worships God. Our sinful nature tempts us to worship some of the most ludicrous substitutes, but they don’t bring us closer to meaning, purpose or understanding.

We are commanded (and well advised) to worship God, and Him alone.

Being Transformed

And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. - 2 Corinthians 3:18

Created in His image, God intends that we grow in His likeness. We model whatever is the object or our attention. When our eyes are fixed on Him, we become transformed into His image, from one degree of glory to another. This expresses the progressive nature of our change. We grow up into His fullness.

God is spirit: a continuous, everlasting identity. He is invisible, personal and active. He created but is not constrained by the physical realm. He assigned us to act as vice regents in the physical realm as His ambassadors. We are not to recreate God in our image because The Infinite can not be contained in the finite physical nature.

How then are we to worship Him?

Worship Him In Spirit

Jesus explained that since God is spirit, we are to worship Him in our spiritual nature. Since we can’t separate our spiritual and physical natures, our worship will necessarily include both. There is something special about how we are to worship Him in spirit. Understanding our spiritual nature will help put us on the right track.

Invisible – The spirit is distinct from the physical and not experienced through the five senses. Our worship may give expression through our body, but the attention should not remain there. The God we worship is in the unseen realm, and He invites us to join Him there.

The patriarchs offered worship to God through their personal relationship. Then there were the days of the Tabernacle and Temple where the Israelites were taught about worship through organized rituals. Since the time of captivity, the Israelites began worshipping in groups at the synagogues. The early church followed the pattern of meeting with groups of believers. We see the pattern of worship coming full circle, back to personal relationship after being enriched with physical reminders of the character of God and His relationship to man. Worship Him in spirit means to meet Him in the unseen realm.

Personal – The spirit is personal: able to think, feel, will and relate. We worship Him in spirit by thinking His thoughts after Him. Paul declares: “we have the mind of Christ.” He does not mean that we have the same capacity, but that to the limited extent of our ability, we have renewed our mind to think like Him.

We worship when we feel the same emotions that He does. When God is moved to compassion by the condition of our fellow man, we are moved to compassion as well. He wishes that none should perish, and floods the age with His grace and mercy. These are our emotions to feel as well.

We worship when we relinquish our will for His. “Thy will be done.” We worship in spirit when we build relationship with God, communicating and responding with each other, and deeply desiring to know Him better and to be known by Him.

We worship when we relate to Him. Our Biblical example is found in 1 Samuel 18: “Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.” We have been invited to be joined spirit to spirit with the living Lord.

Active – The spirit is active: able to initiate action and be accountable for it. God initiates action, from creation to redemption, and then to judgment. We worship Him in spirit by initiating action. This happens when we present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, which is our spiritual service of worship. The action we take in worship is a step of faith, a response in obedience, or a sacrifice of self for His glory.

We are accountable for the action we initiate, or inaction we refuse to initiate. It is the accountability that leads us to being praised with a “Well done”. This brings pleasure to God, the Creator. It is an act of worship.

Worship Him In Truth

We worship Him in truth by acknowledging His divine perfections. There are two ways to see this in the spiritual realm. First, by faith we know and believe that God is perfect in every way. Second, by comparison we know that at every point in which we fail a perfect standard, God is instead successful. In fact, He is the standard.

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lam be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever/” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. – Revelation 5:13-14

Our worship begins with adoration as an appropriate response to His spirit. Then we recall His character and it moves us to thanksgiving. Every action we take, as an act of worship, becomes a service of worship. These actions require our physical nature to interact with our spiritual nature – operating as the vice-regents we were designed to be.

Transformational Worship

As humans we are not prisoners of our bodies. We are not prisoners of our past habits or conditioning. We are not prisoners of our past sins or curses. We have the ability to consider and criticize ourselves as we look at the Perfect Standard. “But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.” – 1 Cor. 11:31. We can initiate action, and we can change our mind as we come face to face with the truth.

Every time we worship we should worship in spirit and in truth. We will be changed into His likeness, from glory to glory. We will be changed in our spiritual nature and receive His fullness. We are created spirits; continuous, everlasting identity. We are created to worship God for ever and ever.

 

 
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