“… the Father is seeking …”
John 4:23 ESV
Did you know the Father is seeking? What is he seeking? He knows everything… why would he need to seek unless he was seeking someone. Who is he seeking?
“… the Father is seeking …people to worship him.”
John 4:23 ESV
Why would he seek people to worship him? Is this something he needs? No, God doesn’t need anything from anyone. He is seeking worshipers because it is the most loving thing he can do for people. We were created to worship Him and the Father is seeking people who are fulfilling the very purpose for which they were created.
“… true worshipers will worship …”
John 4:23 ESV
True worshipers will worship. You don’t have to twist their arm or cajole them into worshiping. True worshipers worship and not just on Sunday they find reasons to worship day in and day out. They see the sunrise and worship. They see the stars and worship. They feel breath in their lungs and worship.
If there are true worshipers, then there are also false worshipers. What does false worship look like?
“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
Matthew 15:8 NIV
False worship is pretense. When we pretend to worship on the outside. We open our mouths to honor God with our lips but our hearts are dark and distant. How do our hearts get this way? When we cultivate a lifestyle of hypocrisy. John Piper says “Hypocrisy is behavior that tells a lie.” It isn’t sin that makes you a hypocrite. It is your pretending that you don’t sin that makes you that way. If we were honest each of us would have to admit that before we lift our hands in praise we need to beat our chest and cry out “Have mercy on me God for I am a sinner.”
Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah.
Psalms 24:3-6 HCSB
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart is simply the one who has brought his sin to the Lord and repented. The one who cries out for cleansing by the blood of the lamb. The false worshiper is the one who sets his mind on what is false.
“… true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth …” John 4:23 ESV
When we truly worship, we worship in spirit and in truth. We worship the Father with all that we are, all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
We all worship differently. How we worship is a product of our personality, our age and our preferences. Jesus is the Light of the world. There are two things that a lamp gives off, light and heat. Some lights are more heat (like the old incandescent bulb) and some or mostly light (like a newer LED bulb).
Some of us are very open, expressive people. Our bulb gives off a lot of heat when we worship. We raise our hands, we clap, we shout and everyone can see the heat of our worship. Remember our soul consists of a Thinker (mind), Chooser (will) and Feeler (emotions). And when Heat worshipers worship, we worship with mostly with our feeler. Jesus said we are to worship in spirit and in truth… both of them. But if you ask a heat worshiper “spirit or truth?”, they will typically choose spirit.
Others are less expressive outwardly. For them worship is a personal, intimate experience and though they feel their worship, they prefer to worship with their thinker. If you ask a Light worshiper “spirit or truth?”, they will typically chose truth.
So much more to say about this but I’ll save it for next time.