"...true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him." (John 4:23)
Have you ever asked that question? The Bible gives us a clear answer: to glorify God, fellowship with Him and give Him pleasure. When we worship Him, we're doing what we were born to do.
Anything that doesn't do what it's designed to do is a failure. Even a pen that doesn't write is a failure! A 99-cent ballpoint that works is far more valuable than a $100 pen that doesn't. You were made to worship God. If you are not worshiping the Lord, you're not doing what you were designed to do.
Worship is life's best good, its highest duty, its greatest privilege — and it will change your life. Worship opens the door from the monotonous to the momentous.
Did you hear about the couple who reserved a room in an expensive hotel? When they arrived, it was beautiful, but there was no place to sleep. The couch made out into a bed but was so uncomfortable, the next morning they complained to the manager, who asked, "Didn't you open the door?" "What door?" "The door to the bedroom!" They went back and opened what they thought was a closet. There it was — a lovely bedroom filled with flowers and chocolates. There was so much more beyond the door.
Worship is that door to the momentous. True worship goes beyond just a church service. Worship is all that I am responding to all that He is, in gratitude and praise.
Who Do We Worship?
"...worship the Father...." Not a father, but the Father. "Father" is not what God is like; Father is who God is. "Father" was Jesus' favorite term for God. If you don't worship the Father, you will worship something else.
Why Should We Worship?
Anyone we spend long periods of time with, we become like. We become like what we worship. That's why idolatry is so terrible. Look at pagan idols — ferocious, cruel, unforgiving. An idol could be a Buddha or even Venus, the goddess of sex, to name just two. Man takes his worst vices and worships them. It's a neat ploy: if you make a god out of sex, then you worship your god by illicit sex. We've gone deeper into depravity by making our vices into gods.
Anything you love, fear, serve, or honor more than God is an idol. The more you worship them, the more you participate in them. But the more you worship Christ, the more Christlike you become. Look at any person who has walked with God a long time — you'll see Christ in that person.
And that gives God pleasure. God our Father wants love. He wants His children to respect and honor Him, saying, "Thank you for all You've done and for Your sacrifice."
Some might offer God more expensive gifts or some may sing better than you, but there is no one who can love God better than you! That pleases Him above all else.
How Do We Worship?
We read in our passage that "...true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth." What does that mean?
God is spirit. When Jesus says we're to worship "in spirit," He's not talking about the Holy Spirit, but the human spirit, the innermost part of your nature. Now, this is not in opposition to the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, you can't worship apart from the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit of God works in your human spirit.
Worship is also an intelligent response to God revealed in Scripture and truth is the word of God dwelling in you. Your worship will never rise higher than your knowledge of God.
If you worship only in spirit, you'll blow up. If you worship only in truth, you'll dry up. If you worship in spirit and in truth, you'll grow up. There must be the Holy Spirit and the human spirit combined with the truth of God's word. How wonderful when we worship from the depth of our being and yet worship on the basis of revealed truth.
We are created to worship God in spirit and in truth. Your life belongs to Jesus Christ. No one else is worthy of it. He is the Master. Only in His hands can you become all you are created to be.
When we come to Him in repentance and faith, we are empowered-and expected-to live the Christian life not by trying, but by trusting. Faith is not only how we receive salvation, it is how we walk, day by day, in grace. Only by faith can we extend forgiveness to others, share God's truth, and leave a godly legacy. As the tapestry of your life unfolds, may you begin to see the wonders of living each day, moment by moment, a life of faith and forgiveness.