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True Worship

Lord, teach me how You want to be worshiped.
May my worship of You be true, pure, holy and undefiled.


Focus of the Month: Growing Our Faith

Entering the sanctuary one Sunday morning, I expectantly looked forward to “worship”. Some churches label their entire service “worship” – i.e. Worship Service – 10:00 a.m.  Other churches designate a certain portion of their service as “worship,” usually referring to the music portion of the service. The church I was attending was the latter. Anyway – I was looking very forward to worshiping God at church that morning.

Finally it was time! The lights turned up, the drummer set the rhythm, the music began, and I realized it was a song I didn’t know. That’s ok – I usually catch on pretty well. As the singers led the congregation into the new song, my mind began to wander… Suddenly, I was distracted by almost everything. “She’s gotten a haircut.” “He looks  tired.” “This cadence is a little awkward.” “Maybe I could find the harmony.” “I wonder if I could find the chords to this song to play it at home.” “I still need to prepare that document.” “What sounds good for lunch?” “Don’t forget to pay that bill.” …on and on my mind wandered.

Before I realized it, worship was over, and, except uttering “I worship You, Lord” a few times, I had not really worshiped God at all. I was so disappointed – in myself. Sometimes, it’s easier to blame outside forces for our inability to enter into true worship: “The sound is too loud.” “I didn’t know/like the song.” “His mannerisms were so distracting.” However, in this situation, I chose to allow my mind to wander instead of focusing on the Lord God Almighty. I chose to be distracted, instead of disciplining my mind to be subject to my spirit.

Ultimately, we each are accountable if we do not enter into true, holy worship of our faithful God – whatever the setting may be. We can’t play the blame game and accuse others for our failure to worship God.

In John 4:24, Jesus said,

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

To qualify as worshipers of God, we MUST worship Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. It’s not optional if we want to qualify as worshipers of God. But what exactly does that mean, and how do we do it?

First, we must understand what worship is. Worship is an action by which we honor and reverence something. God is the object of our worship. And so to worship God means to honor and reverence God. We can do that in a vast number of ways. We can proclaim His name, give Him honor and glory, bow before Him, kneel in His presence, and more. Psalms is full of expressions of worship to God.

Second, we must understand what it means to worship God in spirit. God is spirit, and man is created in His image. God is triune – Father, Son and Spirit. Man is triune – Body, Mind and Spirit. We must approach God through our spirit-man – that is, from our heart – through what we believe – by FAITH. Hebrews 11:6 says it is impossible to please God without faith. It is from this faith in our spirit that our minds and our bodies will align to worship God. Left alone, our mind will wander and become distracted. It is impossible to honor God from an undisciplined mind.

In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul teaches that we must bring every thought into the obedience of Christ. Likewise, our flesh left unchecked will pursue its desires and passions. In Romans 12:1, Paul encourages us to present our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, and that is our spiritual service of worship. To worship God DOES require our full participation – body, mind and spirit. It originates from our spirit – a heart of faith – and from there, our minds and bodies become subject to our spirit.

Finally, we must understand what it means to worship God in truth. In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…” In John 17:17, Jesus said, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” So, Jesus, the Living Word, is truth and God’s word is truth. Therefore, worship includes us honoring and reverencing Jesus and the word of God. We must study and memorize the word of God and learn the character of Jesus, and then worship God with the truth of His very own words. We cannot worship God in truth if we are ignorant of His word.

Be encouraged to grow in faith by worshiping God in spirit and in truth. Study the word of God. Bind His words on your heart. Bring your body and your mind into obedience of the word of God. Believe He is. Seek Him with all your heart. Present yourself before Him, holy and blameless because of the Blood of Jesus, and honor Him, reverence Him, glorify Him. Refuse to be distracted from His truth, His Spirit, His presence. Worship the Lord in spirit and truth, and in the beauty of His holiness.

Holding Fast to Hope,


Scripture References: Genesis 1:26; Psalms 2:11, 29:2, 95:6; John 14:25; John 1:14; Proverbs 6:21


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