John 4:23-24 A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). (Quick Amplified Bible)
Here are these same two scriptures from the Remix Message Bible: “It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. The Father is looking for that kind of people. God the Father wants people before Him in their worship who are simply and honestly themselves. God is sheer being itself_____ Spirit. Those who worship Him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” I want to explore the meaning of the word adoration. We need to see the profound desire God the Father has had in His heart before He founded this world and created human beings. He would adopt some of these human beings and make them His sons and daughters. No earthly Mother or Father wants their children to love and obey them out of sheer obligation, but on the contrary, they want willing love from their children’s innermost being. Here are just a few passages of Scripture that show us the hearts desire of our Heavenly Father:
John 6:21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went. (KJV)
1Corithians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. (KJV)
Philemon 1:14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. (KJV)
1Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. (KJV)
I want you to take a long look at these four passages and see if you can detect the common theme that stands out in each passage. One word sums up this common theme. Have you discovered the answer yet? If you said willingly, then you are correct. The Apostles John, Paul, and Peter all inspired by the same Holy Spirit teach us how the Father will not control any man's will when it comes to them bowing before Him. Therefore, each one of them tells us the Father requires willing submission from every lost man. After the lost man comes to Christ in repentance and faith, He requires the same willing submission daily. This is true worship in spirit and truth.
Luke 9:23 And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
This true worship not by only singing songs but by a heart yielded up to, the Holy Spirit’s leading. The true worshipper walks daily in the Spirit and by His power subdues the flesh because of his love for Jesus Christ.
Albert Barnes had this to say of true worship, “They shall worship God with a sincere “mind;” with the simple offering of gratitude and prayer; with a desire to glorify Him, and without external pomp and splendor. Spiritual worship is that where the heart is offered to God, and where we do not depend on external forms for acceptance.”
Everything God the Father does He always requires a willing party. Even when the Son (Jesus Christ) came to this earth to suffer and die for the sins of the world, willingly.
Philippians 2:8 And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! (Quick Amplified Bible)
It is hard to become more willing than to humble yourself willingly for the Father even to the point of death. So is the desire in the heart of God the Father even more so for His adopted children. What is adoration then? What does it actually mean? Adoration is a feeling of profound love and admiration; the act of admiring strongly. What does it mean in reference to our worship to God? It means the worship that we give God the Father alone, must put Him first above anyone and anything in our lives. This is when we know that we truly adore Him supremely. It is so easy to equate religious activity with worship of God, but there consist of many different religions that perform countless religious activities but none constitutes true worship. The true worshippers of YHWH bow their hearts (the inner man) before Him laying everything open, bare, and naked before Him who sees all and knows all anyway.
Hebrews 4:13 And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do. (Quick Amplified Bible)
This verse actually gives us a closed-captioned view of what makes a true worshipper and that is someone who acknowledges to Almighty God all the hidden and secret things that dwell in his heart that no other human being can see not even the angels in Heaven, but only God. The Lord Jesus Christ wants those who worship Him to acknowledge and agree with Him about all the things in us He sees and knows already.
For example in prayer, Christ already knows of the things we have need, all of our sin and failures, the things we desire Him to do for us and our families, but yet He still wants us to humble our hearts before Him and confess our sin and ask for His help in faith believing He hears and will answer. I have many times fallen into this pattern of being frustrated and saying Father You already know what I've done and the things I need and desire why don't You just forgive me and give them to me.When this occurs, I cease to worship Him but now I’m treating Him as if He is my servant and not the other way around.
Charles Spurgeon has this to say of communion with the Blessed Savior, “It was well to be Martha and serve, but better to be Lazarus and commune. There are times for each purpose, and each is comely in its season, but none of the trees of the garden yields such clusters as the vine of fellowship. To sit with Jesus, to hear his words, to mark his acts, and receive his smiles, was such a favor as must have made Lazarus as happy as the angels. When it has been our happy lot to feast with our Beloved in his banqueting-hall, we would not have given half a sigh for all the kingdoms of the world, if so much breath could have bought them.”
The Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ literally inhabits the praises of His people. Now we know this to be a true statement, however, it blows the human mind that Christ literally lives in or is present in the praise and worship of His children. This makes Paul's statement of “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof” sore to new and even greater heights for me. When you look at these two excerpts from the Word of God and bring them together, they explode with mighty and dynamic synergy. Synergy means (for those like me who may not know what it means, it is the perfect word to use in this instance) the working together of two things (muscles or drugs for example) to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. WOW! These two passages of Scripture work together perfectly to show that a true worshipper must be about the Lord Jesus Christ and His Glory alone.
Lets pause for a second and each one of us look inwardly and examine our hearts and ask are we truly worshiping Christ right now in this point of our walk with Him. Our worship must manifest itself inwardly before it can spring forth into the sweet songs in the night of joy and exuberance. The heart must be clean and free from lingering sins in order that we might bow before the Glorified Christ as the Apostle John describes Jesus Christ in Revelation 1:12-17. We must drink from the overflowing fountain that Christ deposited into our soul at our spiritual rebirth. Christ said He would give us water that would be a well or fountain in us springing up (continually) into eternal life. At our rebirth, we received Christ mind and therefore, we should be thinking as He thought when He said, “I do always those things that please the Father.” The object and manner of our worship is paramount. God is in all ages gathering in to himself a generation of spiritual worshippers. Are you one right now?
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon)