Here we see the Father’s priority in worship.
John 4:21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Through the discourse of Jesus and the Samaritan woman we discover the basis for worship and the heart of God for His people.
Jesus challenged her heart condition and her response we find in v20 (a religious red herring)
Worship is not about location.
Worship is the Father’s initiative. (He is seeking true worshippers.) This is true throughout the bible i.e. Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham,
God calls all men
Leviticus 26:12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. (ownership, relationship, identification)
Hebrews 8:10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts I will be their God, and they will be my people.
John 12:32a But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”
Worship in Spirit (our response)
As God is drawing us to Himself – there is a response from our lives which is released when the spirit of truth touches our spirit.
It is not about styles, locations or singing or primarily postures or religious orders.
It is about the response of our imperfect hearts drawn to the perfect heart and love of God who longs for us to express our adoration and devotion to Him in a place of profound intimacy.
Worship in Truth
Matthew 4:10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’
Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.
The Israelites worshipped the golden calf which angered God, what do we see?
a) Man’s attempt to honour the Lord.
b) Followed by self indulgence revelry = sexual immorality, drunkenness.
God is looking for a undivided devotion and commitment of service to him that is formed out of our understanding of revelation through His son Jesus and the revealing of the written word by the Holy Spirit.
c) Any misdirected worship either deliberately or naively will result in a corrupted lifestyle of worship and will result in our lives failing to mature properly and missing our full potential.
Qualities of true worship:
Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
The more we gaze upon the nature and person of God the more we see our true heart condition.
Psalm 53:2 God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
We cannot worship God when we carry hidden sin or deceit.
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.
Matthew 15:8 “These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ “
God is looking for practical actions in His worshippers, not for symbolic gestures, for inner purity and not for outer ritual. This is only possible when we come through the cleansing work of Calvary.
Philippians 3:3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh”
Here we see the link with regeneration through faith and the cross
Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
Therefore true worshippers are those who are born of the spirit, new creations in Christ, washed under the blood.
You cannot be indifferent and unaffected when in the presence of God.
He is holy, almighty creator of the universe and when we touch the source of life itself our spirit is refreshed ignited into action receptive to God’s voice and released to minister with the gifts of the spirit within us.
We see the wrath of Jesus when dealing with those that had turned the temple into market place.
We see that some where struck down when operating in deception, we see that God shook the very ground when His people praised and worshipped him.
We must recognize that we worship an awesome supernatural God.
Relational worship is fundamental to the whole concept of being God’s children.
The trinity – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit exists and functions in total harmony of purpose, in perfect relationship and eternal enjoyment of each other.
It is the Father’s desire that His children enter into the reality of His heavenly family.
Both corporate and individual worship is appropriate. We are individual temples of the Holy Spirit, but we should never neglect our meeting together.
Our worship is to bless Him who created us, saved us and is filling us with His presence.
We should enjoy each other as we worship in spirit and in truth.