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In spirit and truth

John 4:24

 “God is Spirit , and those who worship Him, must worship Him spirit and truth.”

Recently I watched a documentary on a religious sect that has a practice of worshiping God in silence. They all meet together and then sit in their congregation hall with their eyes shut and their heads down completely silent. They stated that they were waiting for the Holy Spirit to move on them to worship God but mostly He doesn’t, and they all just sit silently. This is not worship! This is waiting on the Lord. However, we do not have to wait on the Lord to provoke us to worship Him. If we are His children, we should have a desire to worship Him. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:15 that he would sing with the understanding and with the spirit. He was actually quoting a command found in Psalm 47:7 that says, “For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with understanding.”  We are commanded to worship with song, and we are commanded to praise the Lord with the words of our mouth {Hebrews 13:5}. One of the main reasons that we are commanded to praise the Lord is because, according to Psalm 22:3, God inhabits the praises of His people. This, simply put, avers that when the people of God speak praises out of their mouths, then God is literally and physically manifest right there in real time in their lives and situations. 

    So what has all of this to do with our study verse of John 4:24? It lays the groundwork and understanding that sitting in silence is good and necessary, but we must also worship God with our lips through speaking and song. The question remains then, what are we to say when we worship and praise God? John 4:24 finds us at the well with our Lord Jesus as He was speaking to a rejected Samaritan woman. She had just inquired of the Messiah the truth of which physical location God, the creator wished to be worshiped at. Jesus stunned the woman, and all of creation by saying that “those who worship Him {God} must worship Him in spirit and truth.”  To worship God in spirit means that we have to have our spirit regenerated to a recreated spirit so that it is one with His spirit. To worship in truth means that we speak {or sing} out of our mouths the truths of the word of God. Jesus stated in John 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your word; Your word is truth.” when He spoke to the Father regarding His followers. The word of God is the only truth. Thus when we worship, we must speak out the word of God by giving Him praise that what He said in His word is exactly what manifested. 

    Certainly it is possible just to speak or sing this way and have no true belief or feelings of actual thanksgiving in one’s heart. This is what Jesus meant when He quoted Isaiah; “these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” in Matt 15:8 and Mark 7:6. In order to have the heart and the mouth line up, we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Otherwise, we are simply hypocrites. When we worship, we must allow our spirit with its desire to honor God fully, to provoke our mouths to speak or sing and we must keep our flesh under. This is what it means to worship God in spirit and in truth. Gone are the days that we are required to be in a specific physical location that is the temple of God because we, as the new creations, are the temple of God!

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