What is True Worship?
Did you, at any time, hear of a woman who got married to a man for his money? She never loved him, all she wanted was someone to provide for her needs. How do you think her husband felt when he found out that his wife was only interested in his wealth and wanted nothing to do with him?
You may think of such a woman as selfish and heartless, but this is how, many Christians are in relationship with God. They seek the hand of God and not His heart. They say, they love God but don’t mean it. “These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” (Matthew 15: 8-9 NIV)
Many times worship ends up becoming a ritual or a performance. From the outward it may look solemn, but the presence of God is missing. People think it was a great service. They fail to realise that the real audience to the worship service are not the people, but God himself. It is God who defines true worship.
What then is true worship? Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4: 23-24 NIV)
Worship begins with a relationship with God, The Father. You cannot have God as your Father unless you are born into His family. Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 ESV)
True worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth. When we worship God, it is not just us seeking for God, but it is God, The Father seeking for us. Worship is a communion between God and man. God is spirit and we, His worshipers, must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
Worshipping in the spirit is worshipping God from the depths of our hearts, souls and minds, by allowing the Holy Spirit to lead. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8: 14-15 NIV)
Worshipping God in truth is living a life in obedience to God’s Word, submitting humbly to the will of God. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 ESV) God’s word is truth and we have to worship God in accordance to His word.
True worship has to be both in the Spirit and in truth. Worship is incomplete when it is only in the Spirit or only in truth. Worshipping God only in the Spirit is like wave surfing, it’s a thrilling experience, but as soon as the wave hits the shore, it dies off because its existence is only shallow.
Such worshippers go from one revival to another and one conference to another, just to have that experience without getting into the deep waters of faith. They are filled with the Spirit, but fail to walk in the Spirit. They tread on shallow waters, but are not committed to abide in Jesus Christ.
Those who worship God only in truth, are rooted in the word of God, but their river beds are running dry. They are facing spiritual drought. These people know about God, but they do not know God. Such people cannot have a common union in worship because they are not led by the Spirit of God. God is a Spirit and true worshippers worship Him in the Spirit and in truth.
Worship is not for a moment, but it’s for a lifetime. Worship is not reserved to a particular place or time, you are the sanctuary of God, and He lives in you. Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3: 16 NIV). Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1 NIV).