In John 4:23 Jesus says that God seeks true worshipers who “will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth…”
After considering the context of this passage and others, here’s what I think this means:
It means focusing more on what is happening within you than around you; being open to the movement of God’s Spirit more than ritual observance; humbling yourself before God in reverence and allegiance rather than checking a religious box; and seeking God’s truth with your mind rather than falling victim to emotionalism or to thoughtless superstition.
You can go to worship and never worship.
Michael Mangis says that that the antithesis of worship is sloth.* That’s a great perspective. Worship is something you actively do. It involves alertness, attentiveness, and action.
We need the reminder in a corrosive and mind-numbing age which confuses worship for entertainment.
Whether you are worshiping on Sunday with others or alone, during devotional time with your friends, spouse or family, or in quiet moments of reflection, worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth.
Do you go to worship, or do you worship? There’s a difference.
No matter where you are or what you’re wearing, have an inner posture of praise.
Worship is a verb.
–“The kind of worshiper God wants.” Sermon. March 20, 2022. Click here.
–*Michael Mangis, Signature Sins: Taming our Wayward Hearts (Downer’s Grove: IVP, 2008), 52.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.