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.”John 4:23–24 ESV.
God loves it when his children seek to worship him in spirit and truth. These two are the keys that unlock the gates to heaven. If you are missing either of them, then your worship will never reach God. As Jesus says here, you “must worship in spirit and truth.”
The first word, spirit, means that the worship has to spring out of the heart. Our worship has to be authentic and passionate, not mechanical. God is not a desperate idol that you can placate with a customary visit to church and a few dollars. You can’t just attend church on Christmas and expect God to be grateful for your time. The Lord wants your entire heart, as Jesus repeatedly said, as in the verse above and below:
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.Matthew 10:37 ESV.
There is a reason that the Bible describes God with such familiar language, like Heavenly Father. Indeed, if God is your Father, you should want to spend time together with him, like you would with your biological father or other family members. How would you feel about your son or daughter if they only came to visit you once a year at Christmas?
Think about all that the Father has done for you. His love is indescribable. He sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins and give you eternal life. Go to your Father and tell him how grateful you are for everything. Read the beautiful letter that he has composed to you, the Bible.
Finally, the word spirit can also be a reference to the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to the divine and leads us to God (Ezek. 36:26-27). Without him, we could never love and worship the one true God (John 3:3–8).
Tomorrow we will look at the second word, truth.