Throughout history people have looked for someone or something to worship. Today, more than ever, we are besieged by the media with a call to idol worship. We are offered entertainment and sports stars, politicians and political movements, media and media icons, lifestyles and material things --so many symbols that are shallow and ephemeral. God is so frequently displaced by worldly icons that it is no wonder that so many lives are shattered and spinning into an empty void.
Humankind has been created to worship the one living true God, but instead the way of the world is to invest itself in this world. Eventually the temporary fades away, is gone, and they are left looking for something new to worship. Why since the beginning of time have God's children rejected Him in seeking petty idols and worldly pursuits?
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
When Jesus spoke these words to the Samaritan woman, He had already revealed that He knew a great deal about her and many other things that revealed great wisdom. Then He revealed to her exactly who He was and still is. She was limited in her sight, but Jesus told her the true nature of worship. When we worship we must worship in spirit and in truth. Our worship must come from our heart and our mind. Worship involves feeling and knowing. True worship involves putting our entire self into the act honestly, devotedly, adoringly, and willingly. God wants us to worship him and we must want to do it.
When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die." Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning."
Exodus 20:18-20 (NIV)
Have you ever been driving over the speed limit and spotted a highway patrol car ahead? What did you do? You probably slowed down and watched your rearview mirror to see if the patrol car was coming after you. You were not necessarily afraid of the officer, but you were probably concerned about the power that he had and the consequences of being ticketed for your actions. Yet so often we sin and don't think about God and the consequences of our sin.
We don't see smoke and fire on the mountain or hear the thunder and trumpets like the Israelites did. Or do we? Do we in our sophisticated modern age just choose to ignore the signs from God and explain them away? God still speaks to us, but we should not be afraid. We should fear, or be in respectful awe of God. When we humble ourselves before God, love Him, adore Him, then we are prepared to understand the Heart of God. When we have gained understanding then we are ready to bow down and truly worship our Almighty Creator. We must no longer be enslaved by sin, but be set free in Jesus Christ.
"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men."
Matthew 15:8-9 (NIV)
Jesus was referring to the Pharisees in the context of this passage, but it applies even today. Do you ever just go to church and just perform the rituals and then it's all over until you come back next Sunday? Many people just go to church because they feel it's just what is expected of them. The honor to God should come from the heart in order to make the worship true. And the worship must pervade the life of the believer every day.
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
Revelation 4:8-11 (NIV)
Jesus gave the Samaritan woman a glimpse of a future of eternal worship of Almighty God. We are given a description of this worship in this passage of Revelation. The imagery sounds mystical, but the message is no mystery at all. Our Lord God is worthy of glory, honor, and praise always and forever.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.
My Song of Worship and Praise
When I awaken each precious morn,
I thank the Lord for another chance
To live the life for which I was born
And for the gift to have another glance
Of God's grace and goodness divine.
His wondrous creation leaves me awed.
His gifts to me which now are mine
Are daily given by my loving God.