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. (John 4:23, 24)
God is seeking worshippers! True worshippers, Jesus said, worship in spirit and in truth. Worship is probably our highest form of communication with God; it is expressing to Him our gratitude and adoration when we consider His love for us and we see His beauty with the eye of faith. There are two aspects to worshipping God in truth. The first is that we worship as the Bible teaches us to do – not what we feel comfortable with. Worship is more than singing, but when we come together as a church we worship mostly with song. This is a wonderful experience as we combine anointed music with inspiring lyrics that artfully echo the Word back to God, confirming our acceptance of it. In a sense worship is a heart responding to a touch by truth.
Secondly, worship in truth means it has to come out of the heart.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts… (Psalm 51:6)
Singing along just because we like the tune is not necessarily worship. Even worse than that is not to participate – that is a heart that is cold and in need of a fresh touch from heaven. God is not looking for spectators, but worshippers. I am sure you want to be found by Him!
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15)
The fruit of our lips is a sweet smelling sacrifice to the Lord. As a matter of fact, the entire body is offered by the raising of hands to Him, bowing down, clapping, dancing, and so on. Don’t let this be too costly a sacrifice to the King of kings! Remember, true freedom is freedom from self first and foremost! True worshippers worship in spirit, as there is a point where the flesh is left behind in our drawing near to God, and worship continues under the leading of Holy Spirit. The greatest art is not the skill of our music or the sound of our voices, but to be led into the presence of God. There is a world of difference between the efforts of the flesh, no matter how hard it is pushed to perform, and the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit. Man’s spirit touched by the Holy Spirit becomes an instrument of worship that no skill can ever mimic. When the Spirit of God is left out of our corporate worship, the flesh is pushed hard to make up for that void, but the harder the flesh is pushed, the more it reveals itself.
Entering into the presence of the King requires some understanding of protocol. The Holy Spirit knows how to touch the heart of the Father in a fresh way every single time, and He will take us to that place if we are willing to follow the Script. David, the experienced and anointed psalmist, shares it with us in Psalm 100: We enter through His gates with thanksgiving. We have much to thank Him for! Psalm 103 will help to get you going with true thanksgiving.
Then we spend some time in the courts of praise where we sing of His attributes, His love for us, His majesty, glory, power and authority, and we see Him as He really is, prompting our hearts to worship in spirit and in truth. Praise is jubilant, victorious and with an attitude of rejoicing – loud and strong. The revelation of His presence inspires awe of Him, and with our hearts bowed low and our minds quieted in His glorious presence we are ready to receive the life-giving Word, carried to us by the same anointing that brought us there.
We cannot hear from Him when our ears ring with noise and our spirit unsettled. Reverence is not a matter of how hard we push ourselves, but how closely we can follow the whispering voice of the Holy Spirit. After having offered our flesh, our spirit is ready, quickened and able to hear from Him. Excellent worship is not done with more of the same, harder and louder, but a true encounter with Almighty God!
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to Him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36)