January 18, 2021
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. John 4:23-24 NLT
The woman Jesus met at the well had similar misconceptions and confusion as we often do about worship. She was concerned about the place of real worship, convinced that real worship was in a certain place. Jesus told her that God’s presence and our worship transcend places. He is not limited to the memorable places we love. He is not defined by the traditions and experiences we enjoy in worship: the music, the Bible version used, etc. The real deal is when we actually encounter God and His truth, and we respond in obedience to His Word.
Think about this—we humans are the only creation of God who choose sometimes not to worship Him. All through the Bible we are shown that the tress and the birds, the oceans and the fish, the skies and the mountains—everything in nature consistently and continually worships God. They declare His splendor and awesomeness.
We begin to worship when we come to believe that God IS, and we are thankful. We begin a connection with the Creator and the meaning of life. As we learn more about who He is and what He has done, our lives become increasingly thankful. When we seriously contemplate all God has done for us and continues to do, the things He has planned for us, it transforms us. Gratitude becomes a way of life and a central foundation for our ongoing relationship with God. The most grateful people find themselves most connected to Him. They express on special days and ordinary days their wonder at the extraordinary involvement of God in their lives. Worship is the spontaneous, only reasonable response of the heart to the truth of God. Jesus showed us that when He taught us to pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” Hallowed means “praised and honored.”
The key to authentic, transforming worship is simply this: Reflect on the truth of who God is and what He has done and is doing. As we express to Him our gratitude, love, and adoration, we celebrate His goodness, and it is truly worship. The goal is never great public performances or music or message (though these can be wonderful). The goal is pointing our focus to the majesty and wonder and consuming love of God. Sometimes even silence is most effective in getting us there. Whatever it takes to focus on the One and Only leads us to authentic worship, wherever it is and however it is. Authentic worship is not a style or a place. It is focus on and response to the truth and wonder of God.
Pray: Jesus, help me worship in Spirit and in truth. Help me worship with as much joy and celebration when I am in the environment I most enjoy and when I am alone. Amen.