There is no telling of how much God can do in and through the life of a worshipper. The Lord Jesus Christ tells us something so amazing about this, something we must cling to and see as an opportunity all the days of our lives here on earth. He says: “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.” Jesus’ discourse with the woman at the well in John 4 reveals so much about what God thinks of worship and what He wants in worship. Jesus tells us that we have come into a new season where there is a redefinition of worship to exactly what the Father has always wanted. There’s a new order. Things would henceforth be done differently. Worship will no longer be just an outward show but an experience that flows from the spirit of man to the outward part of him. The Father is seeking for a new breed of worshippers and these new kind of worshippers would worship the Father in spirit and in truth. These new kind of worshippers are first new creations born of the new covenant! This new order of worship is totally different from that of the old order in the Old Covenant. Praise God!
We must pay close attention to this if we must come to the climax of true worship. Worship that the Lord receives is done in spirit and in truth. What does it mean to worship the Father in spirit and in truth? To worship the Father in spirit means to worship from the heart (not the part of you that pumps blood). The heart here means the central part of a man which is his spirit. This is because worship is first a spiritual thing and God is a Spirit and so must be worshipped accordingly, not in the flesh. To worship in truth simply means to worship according to God’s Word, not just as we choose. Remember Jesus’ Words in John 17:17, He prays to the Father: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (NKJV). God’s Word is Truth. And Jesus also adds that this kind of worship is not limited to a particular mountain or location, but can be done anywhere and everywhere. Praise God! I’m always blessed by the words of this song by Michael W. Smith: “When the music fades, and all is stripped away, and I simply come, longing just to bring something that’s of worth, that would bless Your heart. I’d bring You more than a song, for a song in itself is not what You have required. You search much deeper within, through the way things appear, You’re looking into my heart.” Oh! What a song!
Before we can know why God wants worship, why this quality of worshippers or even why we worship God; we must first understand what worship really is. Worship is more than a song! It’s so unfortunate that singing is all a lot of Christians know about worship. Personally, I find the best definition of worship in the prayer pattern which the Lord Jesus gave His disciples during His days on earth: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10). He thought His then disciples and us today to pray after this manner for one purpose: for there to be a partnership or a sharing of God’s passion for the earth with men. God had a purpose in this! So worship is coming into partnership with the Father to see His Kingdom come and His will done on earth just as it is in heaven in any way and in every way – but in spirit and in truth! Singing to the Lord is an act of worship but not all there is to worship. Presenting our bodies unto God as a living sacrifice (to do His will only) is an act of worship but not all there is to worship (Romans 12:1, Hebrews 10:5-7). Obedience to God is an act of worship but not all there is to worship (Genesis 22:1-5). Over the years, the Church seems to have placed so much emphasis on the acts of worship as against the art of worship which is priority. It is foolish to keep doing things without even paying attention to whether you’re doing it the right way or not. Worship has a singular purpose but the acts of worship are so vast, multidimensional and unlimited. But one thing is central to all acts of worship – the essence of worship.
So, why is worship so important to God? Worship does something to the spirit of a man that enables him take his rightful place in God and in His grand plan or agenda for the world. Worship conditions our spirit to take our rightful position in God. Worship makes us the connector between the natural and the Supernatural. Worship brings a man into a divine synchrony with God’s passion for the earth. His passion becomes our passion. It brings us into a holy oneness with God’s purposes on the earth. Worship brings such a Divine order in the lives of men. Worship gives God His rightful place in our lives. We were created to worship! In absolute worship to God we find our completeness. In worship we give our best – our heart, our entire selves! Once your heart is given you have given your all (2Cor.8:5). The foundation of true worship is that it is coming from the heart and it is according to God’s Word – it must be in spirit and in truth. It is important we understand that whatever act we carry out in the spirit of worship can only be authentic and acceptable when it is coming from the heart and is according to God’s Word – in spirit and in truth. Apostle Paul understood this truth and hence his words: “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son...” (Romans 1:9). Not every service or worship is acceptable, but every service or worship that is done in spirit and in truth is always accepted because that is what the Father wants! The Father has told us what He wants in worship and how He wants it, we must then stop giving Him what He doesn’t want! If it is for Him, let’s just do it His way!
Worship is a decision – true worship is never forced! All over the world, people worship all manner of things – physical and spiritual. Permit me to say that whatever you’re living for is truly your object of worship. Where your heart is, what your entire life is more focused on and what you are preoccupied with daily defines who or what you’re actually worshipping. This is the reason Jesus counsels us: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33). Worship brings us into oneness with the object of worship – We eventually look like what we worship (Psalm 115:4-8). The more we worship God the more we get a revelation of who He is. The more of the attributes of God we acknowledge, the more we see how He wants to reveal these attributes through our lives. Worship begins when we acknowledge God for who He is and start relating with Him in that light!