When I first found myself in a church I was in a state of shock. Don’t get me wrong I walked in voluntarily with a group of others but nothing prepared me for what I was seeing. I was welcomed and seated by suspiciously friendly people. I was used to people wanting something if they were nice to me so I immediately became curious what their intent was. It wasn’t long before I was watching people sing, clap, dance and shout like they were enjoying themselves. I came from a place where if you wanted to do that you did it in a field for days at a time and under the influence of chemicals. Here I was; watching these people and wondering why they are doing this on a Sunday morning? My Sunday mornings normally consisted of a slow walk home from where ever I had been the night before and trying to work out where all my money had gone. Never once had I been that joyful at 10:30 on a Sunday morning. I reasoned there was something weird going on here.
I don’t know what your first experience of worship was but I guess like me you were a little bewildered by the whole experience. That was over 11 years ago, my journey to this point has been an incredible adventure and I have learnt that my worship isn’t just about me singing songs and clapping my hands.
In one shape or form, we all worship something. That means on a certain level something consumes our lives. It can be anything at all, we all have passions, we all have interests but at a deeper level, there are things that grab us and can very easily consume us. If this is directed in the wrong place we can find ourselves pursuing all kinds of madness. Money; material things, a success of some measured description, relationships. We can very easily find ourselves at the end of a road we never planned to be because, at some point, we held onto something we thought was worth it. We were so consumed our lives were taken over and nothing else mattered.
I have to admit it. I became one of those people, singing, clapping, celebrating life on a Sunday morning under no influence of any chemical of any description. Something internally happened in my life that I couldn’t just sit on quietly. I began to experience in my life the love of God. I began to understand in my head the love of God. When these two connected I began to respond to life very differently. No longer was it a chore. No longer was it full of anger, bitterness and resentment. No longer was I trying to fill my life with self-medication. I had come to the understanding of who God was and who I was. I began to experience an awareness of his love in my life that changed me from the inside out. People around me couldn’t quite put their finger on it but they knew I was different. My life was no longer about myself, it was no longer a quest to fill the voids. It was and still is a life I live to honour and please an incredible loving generous God.
The life I live is about a life of worship. Not some poor attempt at singing but an intentional heart towards an intentional God. Everything I do is a direct response to who God is in my life and what I have learnt along the way. My life is a life of worship in Spirit and in Truth.
Jesus speaks these words to a woman who was trying to avoid everyone. She had something to hide, The life she was living was lacking. Her attempt to fill this life was through relationships which Jesus highlighted. The lady tried to divert the conversation onto religion. Empty worship that is based on works. Jesus responds,
“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.”
We can worship the things of the world and let them control us. We can try to live good lives by behaving and doing good or we can worship God in spirit and in truth. If we worship God in truth with no spirit then what we are doing is just like the lady. We respond to a bunch of facts that urges us to behave in a certain way trying to live a good life.
God is Spirit – he wants to be experienced before he wants to be understood. He wants us to connect with him on a deeper level than just our heads. He wants us to connect with him through his spirit and we only do this by being born again. Recognising all he as done for us through Jesus and allowing ourselves to live a life of faith and trust in him. When we do this our heart responds to his heart, our spirit responds to his spirit and we no longer try to work out our lives but trust in him and his truth. Everything we do we do as a response to who he is and all he has done. Our lives are lived in Spirit and in Truth. When we do this we are the disciples he calls us to be. When we do this, things change, we change, lives change, environments change.
I pray that your heart would be constantly connected to his heart and by his Spirit, you would join him on this faith adventure. I pray that through his word you will grow in deep understanding of him and be transformed day after day experiencing more of his love and more of his goodness. I pray that your life would be a life of worship in Spirit and in Truth