When something stirs in my heart for a time, a long time, it’s a stirring of speaking out. I have tested the spirits (1 John 4:1), and I am prompted to speak….
We worship a Triune God who is the creator of the heavens and the earth, through Him and to him all things were made. Our creator, redeemer, and sustainer, gifter of our gifts, whose ways we cannot comprehend, whose thoughts outnumber the grains of sand.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— Psalm 139:17-18
Jesus offers to us a picture of what true worship should be:
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24
Brothers and sisters, Worship cannot be reduced to what happens within an hour on a Sunday morning - that’s just a small piece. Our worship should be defined within the scope of our lives, as living sacrifices.
Jesus, however, does not say how this is to be done.
Can we worship God with a band - with new, fresh words from a humble heart who loves Jesus? YES - in the Spirit and in truth!
Can we worship God with a mighty organ, a full choir, and hearts singing in four part harmonies so beautifully that the roof may lift off the building? YES - in the Spirit and in truth!
Can we worship God in creating art that is honoring and glorifying to Him, that draws attention beyond a moment? YES - in the Spirit and in truth!
Can we dance before the Lord in boldness or gracefulness? Yes - in the Spirit and in Truth!
Can we write beautiful poetry, proclaiming God’s faithfulness, words painted on a page? YES - in the Spirit and in truth!
Can we tell stories of God’s faithfulness in our own lives? YES - in the Spirit and in truth!
Can we craft prayer blankets for those who are sick or lonely or grieving, in worship to God? YES - in the Spirit and in truth!
Can we help a neighbor fix a roof, or paint a house, or cut down a fallen tree in their yard? YES - in the Spirit and in truth!
Can we create a meal for someone who needs an extra hand? YES - in the Spirit and in truth!
All of these are worship unto the Lord! They are all sacrifices of praise to God who became flesh, dwelt among us, and reconciled us, making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
In Exodus 35, Moses assembles the entire Israelite community for materials for the Tabernacle, and tells them,
[God] has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers. - Exodus 35:35
“HE HAS FILLED THEM”….I won’t list the entire 35 verses, but all of the different skills that God gifted unto His people are more than I could have listed! HOW BEAUTIFUL!
Please, let’s not pigeonhole God’s amazing artistry and creation into a single category, claiming that worship has to look like this or that, or say that one skill is more important than another. Jesus said it has to look like “in the Spirit and truth.” Through all of these gifts, and the working of these gifts, in truth and in the Spirit, are we not all pointing to Jesus? Isn’t that our aim?
If each of us will step back and be willing, God will change our hearts and minds, renewing them to be conformed more into His. He will give us eyes to see and ears to hear, if we ask Him and are open to new ways of seeing His goodness. I know…He’s broadened my scope of His beauty.
Not all will come to know Christ through the same path... Some things will not be our preference, but may impact another in a deeply meaningful way. That is good! it’s not competition, it’s not threatening, it’s not to be feared - it’s diverse and beautiful.
When we worship God in the Spirit and in truth, we can appreciate God’s immeasurable creativity and proclaim, “God, you’ve amazed me in a new way!” He will open our eyes to the beauty of His thoughts and His creativity, and show us new ways that we can be amazed at His goodness and His grace.