Years ago a verse in the Bible deeply impacted me. Since that moment, I put it to memory and meditate upon it regularly. John 4:23-24, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” What does it mean to worship in spirit and in truth?
For many, this can be confusing. The misnomer generally lies within the area of worshiping in spirit. Some are misguided and believe God is mandating that we worship with a wave of emotions and have a spiritual experience when we worship in spirit. This might involve speaking in tongues, falling on the floor, shaking, cackling, laughing. Some think worshiping in spirit also includes prophesying and having visions.
The Definition of Worship
Performing these things does not mean we are worshiping in spirit. This is a deception. What does the word say about God? It says that He is Holy. He requires holy worship. We are not speaking of praising God with song here, either. For music and singing is one form of worship.
This Greek word used for worship in the Bible refers to one revering God and keeping the right perspective of God in our hearts. It is coming to God with the proper mindset or attitude. It also implies physical reverence such as bowing or kneeling.
The Compelling Truth website says, “Worship is a life response to the worthiness of its object.” This definition will help us understand what it is to worship in spirit and truth. To meditate upon the worth of our Savior and His act of redemption for humanity alone should cause our emotions to stir.
This will lead us into reverence, which will lead us to understand who God is, to meditate on His word. This happens simultaneously. We worship in spirit and in truth together at the same time.
Something remarkable happens here. However we are worshiping, be it in music or study or walking or praying, when the very core of our being connects with the truth of God that is in our head which brings about adoration for our Creator, we join with the heavenly hosts in their worship of God. Revelation 4:8 says, “And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’”
Worshiping in truth requires us to know the truth of God. The misconception about worshiping in truth equates with being rigid, dry or legalistic. But when we worship in truth, we are acknowledging the truth about who God is, what God does and that He, in fact, calls Himself the Word! This is utterly amazing.
Worshiping in Spirit and in Truth
The fact that we can approach God’s throne without a mediator, that we can go straight into His presence and adore Him is such a privilege. For God is worthy of our worship, day and night, in all circumstances. Even those grieving are able to worship God in spirit and in truth.
We come before Him with humble submissiveness. With reverence. With the attitude that He is holy. I Peter I:16-17, “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.”
Says the gotQuestions.org website, “The best combination of both aspects of worship results in a joyous appreciation of God informed by Scripture. The more we know about God, the more we appreciate Him. The more we appreciate, the deeper our worship. The deeper our worship, the more God is glorified.”
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…