are you God’s worshiper?

31 03 2010

I am finishing up my exposition of John 4:22-24. Let’s get at it.

John 4:24 – God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.

There really isn’t much to say since I already wrote about worshiping in spirit and truth last week.

One thing stands out in this verse that was not in verse 23: “His worshipers must…”

Must means there are no exceptions.

If we want to qualify as a 100% legit worshiper of the one true God then we must worship in spirit and in truth.

Sometimes truth can be tricky. A phrase like “all I need is Jesus” sounds great, but is it really true?

God created us not only to connect with Him, but also with other human beings. We need human community. We also need food, shelter, and water. We need air to breathe.

Loosely, it can be said to be true, in the sense that our eternal souls and spirits are only in need of Jesus.

I may be going too far with the truth idea, but the further I keep going in my journey in knowing God, it seems that God would really like for us to be more exacting in our lives as it aligns with Scripture.

Jesus really didn’t come down and say, “God is all you need” or “I am all you need.”

Jesus didn’t say all that matters is eternal life. So, focusing only on what our soul and spirit need is actually constructing a paradigm that Jesus never set up.

I’m sorry if this crushes your favorite song or wipes out half of the songs you sing, but we have please God with our worship. If God wants us to worship in truth, then we better take it seriously.

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worshiping God in spirit & truth

24 03 2010

I decided to continue to dig into John 4:22-24 so today is John 4:23:

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

What does it take to be a true worshiper?

You have to worship in spirit and truth, but what does that require of us?

Truth is pretty clear: Psalm 119:160 says, “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” Worship must be according to Scripture and must be in Jesus.

Worshiping in spirit seems more mysterious. First, if we are to worship in spirit we need to be alive in spirit, meaning we must be born of Spirit. Though we are born human, our spirit is dead until it is born. This occurs when we believe in Jesus. If we never choose Jesus as Lord, then we will never be able to worship in spirit.

To be honest I don’t really have any concrete idea about how to worship in spirit. When I think about spiritual gifts they seem to happen by the will of God. When I think about learning in our spirit, it happens because the Holy Spirit teaches us. So, worshiping in spirit probably depends on the Holy Spirit working in us and through us.

I know I tend to worship in spirit more and more, but I can’t say that I did anything to make it happen. If there is anything under my control for this it first came from a dependence on God to work in me and to teach me about worship and to ask Him to make me a better worshiper.

The next part I notice from this passage is that the Father is seeking people who worship Him in spirit and truth.

This part sounds kind of like 2 Chronicles 16:9, “The LORD’s eyes keep on roaming throughout the earth, looking for those whose hearts completely belong to him, so that he may strongly support them.”

If the Lord is looking for people whose hearts are completely belonging to Him, then being a true worship would be part of it.

For a while I’ve been thinking about why it is important to worship correctly. I think is seems reasonable to say that being a true worshiper is part of being completely belonging to God. Therefore, being a true worship will allow God to strongly support us.





one thing that scares me about worship

16 09 2009

One of my great concerns about church is reflected in a quote by A.W. Tozer

Christians don’t tell lies they just go to church and sing them.

Isaiah 29:13 states,

These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

And in John 4:23 Jesus tells the Samaritian woman,

the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

It seems so simple when it happens to us. Someone says you did a good job or that they like your haircut or whatever, but you know they don’t. They told you with their words, but you could see right through it. Why do we think we can fake out God?

When someone straight up lies to you not only do you not recieve the fake compliment, but it probably starts to turn you off from the person. (At least that is how is works for me.) It ruins the relationship.

God doesn’t only percieve that we are not genuine (uh hum… LYING) He knows! Peter in John 21:17 states to Jesus, “you know everything” and 1 John 3:20 states, “he knows everything.”

I can’t think of anything in the Bible that says we have to sing when we go to church. I think God would rather us just shut up if we can’t sing in truth.

It seems apparent when we look at John 4:23 that God desires worship to be given in truth. Additionally, looking at Isaiah 29:13 is seems important that we are aware of our hearts, which should be postured in the same direction as the lyrics of the song.

Worship is not just a sing-a-long; it is a service to God that demands us to be truthful in what we are offering to the Creator of the universe.





defining worship

22 07 2009

Many definitions have been developed about worship, but when I read them I would come up with objections. After spending years musing worship, a semester researching in independent study, and hours studying worship and associated ideas within the Bible I landed on key ideas.

intentional – I liked the idea of worship as a lifestyle, but worship seemed connected to purposed actions.
response – It is a reaction to something preexisting for what it is or has done.
admiration – The responses considered worship were not rooted in ill thoughts or feelings.
anything – Anything can be worshiped. It is not limited to living beings or physical objects, one can worship a concept.
perceived or real – False worship exists, therefore, truth does not have to move someone to worship.

A good definition must be restrictive yet not too rigid. This definition was developed to be applicable to biblical Christian worship as well as any other form. When I put these ideas together my definition is:

Worship is an intentional response in admiration toward anything for what it is or has done whether perceived or real.

This definition excludes the idea of worship as a lifestyle, but does not prevent worship from pervading a person’s life. It also limits what actions are worship as they must be done in admiration and not from other thoughts or emotions such as terror or melancholy. The definition also allows for worship to be a label given to actions toward false gods as well as the True God.

Each aspect plays a key roll in focusing what is labelled worship. An action cannot be put in a category of worship without discovering its underlying roots. The 4 of the 5 aspects focus are rooted in the worshiper and help define whether an action is worship or not. Another aspect that seems to limit worship is that it seems only  connected with humans, angels and other “spirit” beings. I didn’t know how to put that animals and inanimate objects can’t worship God according to what is shown in Scripture.

Though I studied worship a lot it still seems to have an elusive quality. Defining worship is a life long proposition.

Does this definition seem helpful? Did I miss an aspect about worship?