“... the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” ~John 4:23-24 (NRSV).
One of the blessed realities of salvation is the heart and mind’s predilection for God worship; most applicably, in this context, church worship. Even though worship is a lifestyle, we do connote worship with that once-per-week practice and, perhaps, prayer meetings and the like, too.
And worship, of course, extends past these traditional boundaries. We conduct a devotional life over social media, these days. Further, everything we do can be an act of worship.
God Wants All Our Heart AND Mind
One thing we see plenty of in both contexts—traditional and non-traditional—is believers picking their preference regarding how they worship. This is good. We were meant to worship God authentically as well as uniquely, using both our head and our heart. How could we love God to a pattern or in a ritualistic fashion?
The mistake some make, however, is to worship more with the head or more with the heart—leading to an imbalance; not enough spirit or not enough truth.
Simply put, Jesus commands us to love the Father in spirit—with all our heart—and in truth—with our entire mind. If we will worship the Lord appropriately our minds will be engaged, glorying in the truth, and our hearts will be piqued; an emotional transference will take place in the presence of that truth as it is felt on a deep, impacting personal level.
Simple and Honest Love
To worship in spirit and truth is to worship simply and honestly with all our surrendered being. True worshippers will love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). They will not leave their worship to chance and they will not criticise others for getting their worship ‘wrong’. Intimacy is their key.
There is no judgment in worship. Who could competently do that?
Worship is, instead, an offering of love, a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, toward a faithful God. God accepts all worship that comes in spirit and truth and, indeed, the varieties and strains of acceptable worship are bigger than we mortals can imagine.
Any time we love God, simply and honestly, we worship aright. Authenticity and accuracy are important God, and never more important is an obedient heart and a focused mind. Worship is both a mental and an emotional event. Not one or the other; both.
The Father seeks worshipers who wish to be intimate; completely themselves before him. Add to this their right mindfulness, and the correct offering of worship is made.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.