John 4:23-24, “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.”
In Jesus’ discussion with the woman at the well in John 4, He gave the clearest and most powerful command for all disciples to be worshippers of God. He declared in this passage that true worship wasn’t about a “holy place” or a temple. Rather, worship is about honoring God in spirit and truth. The importance of worship cannot be overstated, because worship is the very criteria God uses to determine who He will seek to be in close relationship with.
If you desire to be intimate with God, you must learn to worship Him.
Jesus’ definition of worship is more than just singing slow songs to God. It is a lifestyle of honoring God for who He is and what He does. A more adequate definition of worship, based upon Jesus’ teachings in this passage, could be “honoring and acknowledging God in spirit and in truth.” In other words, Jesus’ focus on worship wasn’t on singing (though that can be worship), but His focus was on disciples lovingly admiring the very character and nature of God.
Jesus corrected the woman’s false view about worship. She, along with her culture, believed that people needed to go on a spiritual treasure hunt to find God. Jesus, on the other hand, taught that all we have to do is start worshipping the one true God in spirit and in truth, and God will find us! Jesus’ disciples don’t have to wonder where God is, because the Father Himself is seeking out people who worship Him in spirit and in truth. God is where His worshippers are.
Jesus revealed to us that the Father always wants to be with His children, but His children need to first love and adore Him for who He is, not just for what He does. God wants us, but doesn’t need us. A.W. Tozer wrote, “God wants us to worship Him. He doesn’t need us, for He couldn’t be a self-sufficient God and need anything or anybody, but He wants us. When Adam sinned it was not he who cried, ‘God, where art Thou?’ It was God who cried, ‘Adam, where art thou?’” For God to dwell with us in a real way, we must seek His face and not just His hands. Our greatest heart’s cry shouldn’t be for God’s presents, but for His presence. Once we have encountered His presence, we can ask for His will to be done in our lives and experience His blessings.
Prayer and worship go hand in hand and compliment each other, because they are related in their function and purpose. For example, every time you pray you should incorporate worship, lest you be seen as prideful and spoiled. Likewise, whenever you worship, you are, by definition, praying because you are in communication with God. Therefore, prayer and worship are two sides of the same coin.
Jesus didn’t command us to pray and worship the Father at certain times a day, facing a specific direction like robots, sing certain songs or to go on extended long fasts and torture our bodies. Rather, He taught us in John 4, to worship the Father in spirit and truth. When we truly open up our spirits to God and obey His truth, we will never have to wonder where God is, because He will always be with us.
Are you a true worshipper?
- Repent of any false views you may have about worshipping God.
- Worship God right now in spirit and in truth.
- Practice worshipping God throughout your day; both inwardly with your heart and outwardly with singing and thanksgiving.