TEARING OURSELVES DOWN,
SO AS TO BUILD UP OUR LORD,
IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.
Bible study is wonderful and needed. Witnessing is our mission, and vital. Prayer is asking, and to have, we need to ask of God. Praise is thanksgiving for all the wonders the Lord does for us. Yet, worship is something different than all of those, and all of those can be done, and worship neglected.
God is a spirit being, having a spirit body that sits upon a throne in heaven, but also omnipresent. That spirit Person requests a worship that is ‘in spirit and in truth.’ Worship transcends all other service to our God. The Bible study, witnessing, prayer, and praise can all be incorporated into worship, but none of those alone are worship.
To worship God, we must know God. That is quite a challenging feat, for He is spirit, He is truth, and we only can worship Him as we know Him in that way, and honor Him for both. Full knowledge of an infinite person, by finite persons, is impossible. Yet, the Lord asks us to ‘know’ Him.
Some try to build themselves up to some peak of greatness, some high mountain of faith, or some great level of deserving of blessings. Those are all killers of true worship.
Since God is love, our love must be real for Him, and for our fellow man, or we cannot worship in spirit and in truth.
Since God is humble, our pride will destroy worship if we try to come to Him to prove our worthiness, our greatness of person.
In spirit and in truth, means we recognize the truth of His greatness, and see ourselves in comparison to Him, totally depraved of any right to praise and reward.
For mercy we seek, for undeserved grace we pray, but in reality, we are overwhelmed while in worship of His omniscience, omnipresence, unchangeableness, and unmatched mercy and love.
In awe of those things, in admitting of our own frailties, we can then worship.
No worship is true worship unless accompanied by those things.
Our looking for God in worship is successful then, for He is looking for mankind to worship. If we were not His children, the glory of His might in coming near to us while we worship, would devastate and doom us. God comes closer to us while we worship than at any other time of our service. His presence is overwhelming while we truly worship. If we bore pride, sin, or apathy, in our worship, and He came close to us in that kind of power, we would fall dead. So, only in true worship is that kind of awesome presence given.
God is seeks to manifest Himself. God has sought in the Bible to reveal Himself. God has spoken to our hearts, showed us illustrated lessons of His love, and internally transformed our beings so we could get to know Him.
The Lord was so anxious to restore fellowship, to be able to receive our worship, that He sent Jesus to pay the price for that right. He then sent the Holy Spirit to enable our feeble attempts. He is building a city of translucent gold, and anxiously sitting upon the top if it, waiting for us to come home to heaven in which we will eternally worship Him.
Mankind often forgets the eagerness of God for worship, and they look for shortcuts and other ways to gain the blessings of worship. They try meditation, they try fasting, they try long prayer times, and they try reading the Bible from cover to cover. Those are all great things, but none of them are in themselves worship.
Some try some impressive and famous minister to come. He/she may come, and have the presence of God with them, but just being in their presence is not worship.
Some think it is a worship leader that generates our own worship. The worship leader may worship in front of us, but singing alone alone is not worship from us.
Some try to cheer up drooping and depressed saints with jokes and lively beats to the music. The crowd may perk up and at least tap their toe to the music, and laugh at the jokes, but that is not worship.
Some try sermons to make people feel worthy of God’s blessings. Sins are ignored, repentance is a dirty word, and praise of flock as totally deserving of blessings is the method that they think will inspire worship and its blessings. The humbling nature of true worship often needs to begin with tears and repentance. The magnification of oneself needs to be shown to be a trick of mirrors when the real God is viewed.
The only witness of purity needs to come from the inner witness of the Holy Spirit confirming to us that we are righteous through the blood of Jesus. Pats on the back by mankind, awards and trophies for great works, standing ovations, etc are only man telling man, that they THINK he is good. The real witness of mercy and grace on us, needs to come from the Trinity Who bestows such undeserved grace.
True worship of God is the coming down of the Holy Spirit in cleansing and humbling the pride from mankind, so the spiritual eyes can view more clearly the awesome nature of God.
This is worshiping ‘in spirit and in truth.’