Wasn’t Sunday night amazing!! What a sweet time of worship together and being refreshed in the Lord. Worship nights are my favorite!
The theme of the evening was Spirit and Truth and we heard about one of my favorite stories – the woman at the well.
This woman had so many strikes against her. Not only did her reputation precede her, but she was a Samaritan, a nationality that Jews traditionally despised and disrespected. She had been rejected, shamed and shunned by the other women of the area because of her immoral lifestyle and choices. She came to the well when the morning rush hour was over because she was embarrassed and ashamed. She did not want to face the stares and hear the whispers. So instead of coming in the cool of early morning, she comes in the heat of the day to avoid condemnation. And who does she run into? The King of Kings Himself. The Messiah. Her Messiah.
Jesus knew this woman. He knew everything about her, all her sins and failures, how many times she had been married and that she was now living with a man she wasn’t married to. Yet Jesus Himself – the only one who is even worthy of condemning her – did not offer condemnation. He offered her living water.
But when Jesus did call her out about the truth of her life, she tries to change the subject to religion.
The woman said to him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that tin Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship. John 4:19-20
She used religion to divert the conversation away from the uncomfortable subject of her personal life. And Jesus answered…
Jesus said to her, woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 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 4:21-24
Jesus tells her that true worship is in spirit and truth and that God seeks such people to worship Him. True worship comes from true doctrine about God and Jesus, their partnership in rescuing sinners, and due emotion about that doctrine. – Desiring God
Due emotion is the emotion that overcomes us when we realize just how Holy He is and what that Holy God has done for us. When we realize the Holiness of God we feel the worship He deserves. In fact I would say that it wells up within us beyond our control. It overflows out of a heart that loves our Holy God.
True worship is the worship that you literally loose yourself in – it becomes completely
about God, Who He is, and what He has done.
How often do we do that? We may even use religion to distract ourselves and others away from the truth of what is really going on in our hearts. It is easy to show up in church, looking like you got it all together and your heart is in the right place to worship. But so many times we show up in church with our hearts bandaged and when the layers of bandages begin to get so overwhelming that we cannot figure out which one is even the newest one, it is easier to ignore it and keep going. Minimize the bleeding and smile. Hands raised in praise because we know all the things, and all us Jesus girls – we got this, right? We are OK. But how can we even begin to feel His holiness and worship Him until we rip the bandages off, look at our lives in reality and lay it at His feet? We hobble into church so hindered by our lives and burdens that we cannot worship Him in Spirit and Truth. Dealing with the reality of what it is and giving it to Him frees us and leaves us wide open to His holiness and power in our lives. To worship Him in Spirit and Truth.
God doesn’t want us to barely show up, closed up and faking it. He wants the real stuff we are dealing with. He can handle it. He wants us to let it go and engage Him in real, heart felt worship – and that worship – it is more healing for our battle worn hearts that anything else.