How to Worship God in Spirit and Truth
The bible let us know that God is a jealous God and him only should we serve (Matthew 4:10). We therefore see in the bible that when men and women turned from worshiping the true and living God then his wrath is kindled against them (Jeremiah 19:3-6;23:39-40), why is this so? This is because we were created to offer true worship, not from our lips only, but from our heart, unto our creator.
Worship, according to International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, means to honor, reverence, to pay homage, in thought, feeling, or act paid to God. The Old Testament word for worship is shachah, which means to “depress,” “bow down,” or to “prostrate” as in Ex 4:31, “bowed their heads and worshipped”. The idea is that we are to have reverential attitude of mind or body or both towards God. The principal New Testament word is proskuneo, which means to “kiss (the hand or the ground) toward,” hence, often in the oriental fashion bowing prostrate upon the ground.
(images taken from google images)
Similarly, the greek word sebas, which means “fear,” or to “hold in awe” and latreuo, which is to “serve” (religiously), or “worship publicly,” “perform sacred services,” “offer gifts,” “worship God in the observance of the rites instituted for His worship.” It is translated “worship” in Ac 7:42; 24:14. The New Testament idea of worship is a combination of the reverential attitude of mind and body, the general ceremonial and religious service of God, the feeling of awe, veneration, and adoration. It involves both feeling and action using your whole body.
Praise is similar to worship but at the same time different. Praise involves dancing, singing, and clapping of ones hands. Everyone can praise God, but not everyone can worship him. God desires both praise and worship. I will be using these two terms interchangeable throughout this article.
God doesn’t care about when or where we were born or which family we were born into. He doesn’t care about the size of our church or how much offering we gave last Sunday or how much money we give to charity, or how we preached to a thousand soul who all gave their lives to him through your ministry; that’s all good and he loves when you do that, but we serve a God who desires our worship.
When God created the earth he open his mouth and he said let there be… everything he wants he open his mouth; God is a speaking God. He therefore pulls out of himself and created us after his likeness, and therefore because he is a speaking God we also are created to open our mouth and speak. Furthermore, God did not created man to just be… but God created man to worship him. This means therefore that when God wants a praise (or worship) he doesn’t want us to be sitting idling doing our own thing or our thoughts scattered, but he wants us to open our mouth and worship HIM, not the building, not the choir, not the pastor or the preacher, but HIM God.
The bible therefore says “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the TRUE WORSHIPPERS SHALL WORSHIP THE FATHER IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH: FOR THE FATHER SEEKETH SUCH TO WORSHIP HIM. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him MUST worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24)
We therefore understand that for our worship to be accepted that it must be done in spirit and in truth. The question now is, how does one worship an ALL powerful God who deserve our worship and praise?
Let’s discuss these few tips I have for you through the help of the Holy Ghost, any error is solely that of mind.
Steps in worship
- The first thing we are to realize is that God MUST be worship, in fact he deserves our worship. We can never ever repay God for all that he has done for us, the breath that we breathe, waking us up each day in our right mind, providing food, clothing and shelter for us, protecting us from the many times the enemy could have snatch our life away, healing us when we are sick etc. We all will therefore agree that God must be worship. However, we realize that not everyone is doing this as many people right now are worshipping other gods, anything you worship other than the true and living God is an idol god and is idolatry and everything you PUT ABOVE GOD BECOMES YOUR GOD. This leads me to my second tip.
- God should be number one in our life. We should be careful not put anyone or thing above or before GOD, not our mother, father, husband, wife etc, NO ONE. The bible let us know that to follow him we must be willing to reject everyone for him (Luke 14:26). We must be willing to put him first. We cannot afford for anyone to cause us not to worship God. GOD is a jealous God and he said that his glory he will not give to another neither his praise to graven image (idols) (Isaiah 42:8). Anything you put before God becomes your idol and is therefore your god. We understand that at this moment many people are serving the god of money, pride, family, sex, drugs, and even themselves.
3) Our worship should be voluntarily. No one should have to be forcing us to worship as each one of us have an idea of who God is. Our worship should be something that we are eager to do. All of us can remember at least one thing that God has done for us or a member of our family. To him that is given much, much is expected. God has given us much and so expects us to worship him VOLUNTARILY.
- Our worship MUST BE FROM OUR HEART, not only from our lips. We should understand that God is not mock neither can we mock God as he knows everything; he knows our thoughts and heart. God knows when we are just offering unto him lip service and it is not sincere. For our worship to be accepted by God and be in spirit and truth it must be from our heart. We are to understand that not everyone who said that they are worshipping actually does this in spirit and in truth as the bible said of the Scribes and Pharisees
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me”-Matthew 15: 8. We should never let God says that about any of us. If your worship is only coming from your lips and not from your heart, STOP!! as your worship is in vain (Matthew 15:9) and God will not accept it.
- Our worship must be based on the word of God in the bible. Worship and praise is interrelated, you just can’t do one without the other, the extent of each one however is different. For example, to tell God that he is your first and the last is a form of praise and also a form of worship. Furthermore, it is based on the word of God (Isaiah 48:12). To worship God therefore we must worship him according to his word, for how can you offer worship and praise to someone you know NOTHING about, likes and dislike? To make matters more interesting, when you worship God base on his word it’s a form of worshipping him in truth as the bible said that his word is truth.
6) Worship is not only done in public setting but also in private. It is very important for us to understand that worshippers don’t only worship when they are around others, but also when they are alone. If we only want to worship in public, e.g. at our church, then we must ask ourselves, what is my purpose of worship? Who am I worshipping, is it God or the building or the church members or the pastor? Am I worshipping because I want to be seen or heard or to impress someone? True worshippers don’t care where they are or who they are around, they don’t care if they have to worship in public or by themselves; they will worship anywhere. We should ensure that we are not behaving like the Scribes and Pharisees whose only purpose for worshipping was to be seen by others and receive praises rather than giving God praise and worship, their worship was not sincere (Matthew 1-8; 23)
7) We MUST be focus. We can’t say we are worshipping God whether in private or in public setting and have our mind on other things. According to Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, it is meaningless for us to offer superficial religious worship; but we should eagerly go into the house of God and pay due respect unto him. We can’t reference or show respect to God if we are doing unnecessary talking all the time with each other. Our mind should not be wandering and our affection should be on worship and hearing God’s word. Our going to church should not be ceremonial but from the depts of our hearts. We can’t do that if we are not focus and our mind is not at the right place neither our intention the right intention we should be having. Our mind must be ready, attentive and alert.
8) We must glorify God in our body and spirit. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” Our entire being must actively be involved in worship. If both our mind is to worship God (glorify also means to worship), then we MUST BE HOLY. The bible says in 1 Peter 1:15-16 “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in your conduct, because it is written, Be holy for I am holy.” For our worship to be accepted we have to have a repentant heart before God. Sometimes we will sin against God but before we start offering worship unto God we should first cleanse our self of all sin. We should try our very best, through the word of God, to live a holy life.
9) We must show reverence and respect to God. In doing this we will not be indifferent, inattentive, and taking lightly that which should be considered serious. Doing our own thing, playing, talking through worship and service, reading or doing homework, doing unnecessary texting all show disrespect in worshipping God.
According to netbiblestudy.net (which has lots of articles you can check out on worship) “Reverence is not having a long face, folded hands, or a put on look of piety. Worship is a time of joy for us. It is a time of offering thanks, adoration, love, praying, singing praises to God, feeding on His word…”
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the TRUE WORSHIPPERS SHALL WORSHIP THE FATHER IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH: FOR THE FATHER SEEKETH SUCH TO WORSHIP HIM. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him MUST worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24)
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