“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24)
Why does God seek people who would worship Him in spirit and in truth? Why does God present it to us as our duty to worship Him in this particular way? Let us read the message from Apostle Paul: Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to him whom you obey; whether it is of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness. (Romans 6:16). It is not in vain that the Lord expects us to worship and serve Him with praise. Whatever you give yourself up to, whatever you honor, whatever you dedicate most of your time to is the object of your worship. Whom you worship shows who your God actually is, and so defines your destiny: whether you are going to be a slave of sin to death or of obedience to righteousness.
We can call ourselves believers, Christians, because we go to church on Sundays. However, in reality, it is not our attending church that defines who we are, but what we do in everyday life. If we spend most of our time taking care of our appearance, watching TV, chatting on the phone, or tending the house, then these are the “gods” we have given ourselves to as slaves. In this case our lords are vanity, friends, ego or image, idleness, or an inactive irresponsible life. Whoever we dedicate our thoughts, heart, time, and longings to (whether it is a person, a thing or a desire), shows our real lord. And that, in turn, reveals the essence of man. Whatever we spend a lot of time on shows who owns our heart.
We give years, days, hours of our life to whatever or whomever we honor. It has power and influence over us. If we work for God, meditating on Him, spend much time seeking His face, His voice, His will and desire; then we can say that it is He Who is the Master of our life. It is natural, because we are drawn to whatever we love: we want to spend more time with the person we love, do some interesting and important work, or alternatively, wear the sofa into holes watching endless soap operas and shows. You can also define who your master is by analyzing your thoughts at the moment, when you feel like relaxing and having some rest. If at this point you exclude God, then evidently He is not the Master of your life.
The life of David is a bright example to the true meaning of worshipping God. David constantly sang to God, glorified and praised Him. Take any Psalm and you will see that this man knew God; he diligently brought the sacrifice of praise and glorified the Name of the Lord.
When we honor something, we serve it out of a pure heart and are ready for any sacrifices. Let us remember the story of Abel and Cain (Genesis, Chapter 4). Abel brought a sacrifice with an open, sincere heart, with reverence and thrill. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain (Hebrew 11:4). Abel showed his sincere honor to God through the quality of his sacrifice. Cain made a sacrifice superficially, not from the bottom of his heart; he did not take it seriously. That is why God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, not Cain’s. This is when it became obvious that Cain never knew God. God wants us to worship Him with all our lives, all our works, so that He would be our priority and number one.
Another example – Daniel. As we know the king made a decree that if anyone “asked a petition of any god or man” (Daniel 6:7), except from the king Darius, they would be thrown to the pit with the lions. Daniel courageously demonstrated his priorities, declaring whom he served, celebrated and honored. He opened all the windows, knelt down demonstratively and started to pray to his God and to give Him praise. He showed that he saw no life without God; that he was ready to risk and even lose everything. This is the manifestation of gratitude, worship and honor. You can see that Daniel could easily sacrifice for God’s sake.
In the same way, Esther was ready to sacrifice her comfort and even her life for the sake of a whole nation and fulfillment of God’s will.
One can define their Lord and whom they serve by the kind of choices they make. Unfortunately, there are people who choose sinful habits, lack of desire to change and develop, benefits, position, or status over God. Let us see a couple of such examples.
Samson. He was a man of a great calling, but he preferred lust and adultery (Judges 18). He did not choose obedience to God and was trapped in the nets of cunning Delilah. God was not his image of worship. His image of worship was lustfulness, desire to satisfy himself. He sacrificed God and perished.
Another negative example – Absalom, who made his ego, the desire to be successful and career his first priorities. Because of these ambitious strivings he broke God’s commandment. He stood against his father simply because he wanted to be the king. The lord of his life was a desire for an honorable position, vanity, and deep love for himself, and not a desire to please God.
Judas, chosen by Jesus to be one of his twelve closest followers. First he followed his Teacher and worked hard for his Lord, but in the end he let an unclean spirit into his heart, which brought him to the point of betrayal, and death. For the sake of lust, passion, gain, etc. Judas sacrificed God. Each of us individually makes a decision and makes a choice about which God to serve.
With whom do you spend your free time? To whom do you pay attention? What kind of sacrifice and what heart do you bring to the altar? What do you do every day? Let the answers to these questions always be beneficial to God. Only in this way can we demonstrate our gratitude and give honor to the One who is worthy of all praise. This is sincere and true worship. May it be our lifestyle.
Let us show our love and gratitude to God by worshipping Him in spirit and in truth.
For a more thorough study of this topic we recommend you read the following books:
“Grateful heart”, “God’s ambush against our enemies”, “Bearers of God’s presence”, “Be great in the eyes of God” by Sunday Adelaja.
May the Lord bless you and your family!
With love and prayers for you,
Senior Pastor of the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations Church
Translated by Ekaterina Popova
Edited by Kizito Leacock