During one of our devotional reading together, Janice and I encountered the narrative account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. In that account, Jesus said: “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24). The Daily Reading Bible Vol. 8 asked the question: “How do you worship “in spirit and in truth”?
That set me thinking, how can we truly be found worshipping God “in spirit and in truth” during our corporate weekend worship services?
Worshipping God in spirit
Firstly, we must realize that our spirit is made alive through Christ (1 Pet 3:18). Without Christ’s sacrifice, our spirit that is dead would not have been able to commune with the living God. In addition, the supernatural ability to commune with God as Father is made possible by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He who dwells within us enables us to call God our “Abba Father” (Rom 8:15). Worshipping God in spirit therefore means entering into a deep intimate communion with God our Father.
Worshipping God in truth
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (John 16:13) who will guide us into all truth. Specifically, the Spirit points us to God’s attributes, promises and works through the remembrance of His Word. Worshipping God in truth therefore means letting the Spirit convict us through His Word, leading us to express our faith through singing, lifting up of hands and kneeling before Him.
In summary, worshipping God in spirit and truth during corporate worship means being enabled by the Spirit to draw near to God as Father and being convicted by the Spirit to celebrate truths about Him, namely His attributes, promises and works.
Corporate worship therefore is a very sacred event whereby God communes with His people. It is a spiritual act that only born-again believers who have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit may enjoy. Every believer should stand in awe of this wondrous privilege of meeting the King of kings and Lord of lords so intimately during corporate worship.
The sad thing is that familiarity breeds contempt. The ease of entering into God’s presence on a weekly basis can lead us to take this honour for granted. Below are four tell tale signs that we may have lost the wonder of corporate worship:
- We often miss corporate worship because of things common to men (eg: study and exam, work and workload, tiredness and mood swings). We forget that God is above all things in life.
- We are habitually late for corporate worship. We forget that God is the VIP and not us.
- We are easily distracted during corporate worship (eg. fiddling with our smart phones and tablets). We forget that God is communing with us.
- We allow our emotions and feelings to dictate our posture in corporate worship. We forget that God is still real and His promises are still true even when our emotions are empty and found wanting.
During that devotion time, Janice was quick to point out to me that worshipping God in spirit and truth involves more than corporate worship. She reminded me of Rom 12:1(NLT)
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.”
She is right.
I pray we will all live a life of daily offering to God. This daily spiritual act will in turn tune us ready to worship Him together in our corporate worship services.
By Rick Toh, Lead Pastor/Elder (YCKC Bulletin 1 May 2016)