People talk about needing to be in or part of a church for many reasons and one a often hear is so they can participate in corporate worship, something they feel God has commanded them to do. But what is it that God wants and not what has man engrained in us? I believe God desires worshippers in spirit and truth and it is no longer about a building. John 4:20-24
John 4:23-24 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Worshippers in spirit and truth are those who have a spirit life born of God and those who seek Him to know Him and His ways so they can be united to Him and honor Him in truth.
Worship means to bow down with affection. When we bow down before someone we are recognizing their sovereignty in our lives with adoration. Bowing down is turning over our lives to God’s reign and doing it in love. Only those born of the spirit can worship Him because only those of the spirit have surrendered (bowed down) lives to His Kingship.
Once spirit, only when we are dwelling in a spirit-mindset and not a mindset of the flesh can we worship Him. When we live in the spirit we worship Him and when we live in the flesh we don’t. Romans 1:9 The spirit is surrendered to Him; the flesh rebels against Him. Romans 8:7
Second He calls us to worship Him in truth. If we don’t exert the energy to intimately know Him and to learn His ways, then how can we worship Him? We are praising some image of Him. Our objective is to venerate Him and not our image of who we want Him to be. To suppose He is whoever we want Him to be is nonsensical, then He wouldn’t be God but we would. We all make assumptions and believe things this very moment that aren’t true about God and don’t know the things that are. We stereotype Him; we fit Him into what we can accept, what we want to believe and what fits our lifestyle. But do we accept this lack of truth or do we passionately search for all He is being mindful that there is much more to be gained?
Acts 17:24-25 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
God is seeking relationships not just creatures to worship Him. Coming to Him in spirit and truth is about being in a relationship with Him. He desires an intimate union with us, our heart engaged with His. When we abide in that union, we worship Him with our lives. We don’t worship by simply singing a song, but with hearts born of Him who abide with Him in truth. All we do in our spirit lives: thoughts, actions, words, songs, and prayers worship Him or not. True worship is a state of the heart. Matthew 15:8
Worship as the Body of Christ
As spirits we make up the temple of God, a temple built without hands that holds the Spirit of God. Those of the spirit are united together because we are of one spirit and our lives worship Him. Wherever we are, we are part of the true church and whatever we do in the spirit we worship God together with the rest of the spirits born of Him. Churches are full of believers and non-believers. Only those who are born of the spirit and abiding in truth can worship God so it isn’t about the physical location, it is about those united together in His spirit worshipping with our lives.
It seems that man’s definition of worship is gathering in a building and singing songs with emotion and God’s definition is coming to Him in spirit and truth as the true temple and worshiping Him with our lives, songs and all.