“God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
God is Spirit. That says it all. He’s a powerful, invisible entity. He’s characteristics like love, goodness, wisdom and holiness. He can’t be contained by space or time.
Jesus says that the way we must worship God is with the part of us that is spirit. It makes perfect sense. That inner thing we have that is intangible and dynamic must reach out to connect with like. It’s what our spirit was made for, and longs for.
And when our spirit connects with God the Spirit, that’s when the magic happens. You know, for so long I’ve felt discouraged in my ability to be like Christ. I’ve been sure he wants to call me out for a hypocrite. I’m sure he thinks, “I did it, so you can do it.” But often I can’t do it, or I don’t want to. It is very obvious to me that I don’t have Christ’s heart or stamina.
But lately I’ve singing and praising God more. As as I have, I’ve felt that sweet connection with the Spirit more. It’s so positive and good.
And it makes me want the sweetness more. I find myself wanting to read the Bible more, just to be in the spiritual, not to get something out of it. Because that’s usually how I approach my Bible study, like I’m going to dig and find treasures. This is great, but it’s different than just being with the Spirit.
I also find that I can take the blissful connection I feel in singing, and extend it into my daily walk. I can come back to it when I start to feel troubled.
This reminds me that our daily life is to be a constant worship to the Lord.
- “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1
- “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that confess His name.” Hebrews 13:15
I’m only scratching the surface, but I’m seeing real changes in my heart. Before, I really wanted to watch television or read books in my free time. I knew it was an escape for me, a way to get away from the stress of the world. I knew it would be better to go to God with my stress. But I often couldn’t figure out how to want to make this happen. The next time I was tired and used up, I would go to television again.
But now, I’ve found that sweet place of both rest and inspiration, and it’s something I want to do instead. My desire to watch television has actually decreased. Now, as I cook dinner, I put on praise music and pray for all kinds of things. It’s one of my happy times, instead of one of my times of just pushing through.
I say all of this to say that I am feeling now like it is possible to be more like Jesus. He not only meditated on the Word, he not only prayed, but he worshipped in spirit and truth. When he went to a quiet place to pray, I think he deepened his sweet connection with God. And then he stayed in that zone throughout the day. He didn’t just think of the truth and do right. He spent time with the Spirit, and that helped him to want to do right.
You know, in my marriage, I can be all about what my husband should be doing for me. He should help around the house more. He should pay more attention to me and my needs. And so on. But when I think of how much I love him, and just give to him out of that love, it’s so much better. The other concerns melt away.
That’s the same way I think it is with our relationship with God. We can pray all the time out of our needs and what we think we need from God. And, of course, he does want us to come to him with our needs. But our relationship also needs to be spent in loving him and giving to him. That’s when it all comes together for us. That’s when our heart feels full.
Our love needs to connect to his love, our spirit with his.
So let’s work on worshipping in spirit and truth. Let’s find ways of deepening the sweet connection. It’s not going to be easy. Each of us probably has something different that creates the magic for us. Music may work, but one person likes one song, and another person relates to a different one. (I’ll put some of my favorite songs below.) Some of us connect when we’re out in nature.
The point is that we want to be honest and vulnerable with our inner selves, and let that part of us reach out for God. And then, we want to focus on giving to him, praising him, instead of our needs.
Because God doesn’t just want our obedience.
He wants the sweet fellowship with us. He wants our hearts and our devotion.