“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (John 4:23)
God is seeking something. The Bible says in another place that the eyes of the Lord run over the earth, looking for someone whose heart is completely devoted to Him. God wants to work strongly in that man or woman’s life. And God is seeking worshipers. Are they so hard to find? Men and women everywhere are worshiping. There are billions of religious people on the earth. But God is seeking worshipers who worship in spirit and truth. What does that mean?
To worship in spirit is to reach out with one’s innermost being to God in love and devotion. To do so in truth is to do it honestly, and according to the truth about God. God wants our worship to be a response to what we see and know of Him. He wants to reveal Himself, that we might worship Him. We were made to worship God. God is the greatest. The nature of mankind is that of a worshiper. However, many times, the worship of self or some false god has usurped the true worship of the living God, who made heavens and earth. True worship is the most fulfilling experience we can have, bar none. It is available to those who truly put their lives on the altar for God. Once we take our lives off the “altar” we simply can’t enjoy the same depth of worship.
God has shown us some biblical ways to worship in the pages of the Bible. We can do so by bowing down to God, by prostrating ourselves, by lifting our hands to God and in many other ways. When we TRULY do something as for the Lord it is an expression of worship. Even our regular paid work can be an expression of worship, if we are doing it for Him.
To praise God is to declare the good things about God, who He is and what He has done. The opposite of praising God is to blaspheme God. When we blame God and make cynical remarks about God we are not praising Him When we complain we aren’t giving thanks, we are grumbling and this displeases the Lord. I’ve been guilty of this many a time and it hasn’t helped me at all. What we need to do is to learn to speak words of praise continually. We need to look beyond our temporary setbacks to the promises of God, and the end results promised by God. When we do so it actually helps us get out of trouble faster.
Paul and Silas were once thrown in jail for preaching the gospel of Christ. Instead of complaining about the way they were beaten and tortured, they praised God with singing in the middle of the night. Such praise is so powerful it changes circumstances. God shook the prison, let them go, and caused the jailer to get saved. This sort of thing could happen today too, if we can look not to the things which are seen, but to the things which are unseen. This is part of our high calling in Jesus Christ.
Music is an important tool for praise and worship. Its not the only way to praise God, but there is music in heaven, so there should be plenty of musical praise on earth too. Singing praise is not enough though. We can be conditioned to sing praise even when our heart has little passion for the glory and honor of God in the world and in the church. Let us make sure we are genuine before God.
The topic of praise and worship is super important. I invite others to write me on this subject and please pray that I learn much more on this subject myself, and that I put it into practice as God desires.