What does it mean to worship in spirit and Truth?
The word “worship” has several connotations. For instance, sometimes remarks are made like this: “He just worships that car,” or “He worships on Saturday,” or “He worships on Sunday.” It is sometimes thought of as a religious practice according to some creed. Or worship may be spoken of as a reverent devotion to God. Or there are people who worship a person, like the pope of Rome. As for worshiping an object like a car, it would just mean that you spend a lot of time thinking about it and giving it extra good care; it would have first place above other things in your life. Jesus said, when talking to the woman at the well, that we must “Worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (See John 4:24.)
Taken in its loosest form, the word “worship” means to have a great deal of esteem or respect for God or a particular person, place or thing. Your esteem or respect leads you to certain actions and reactions, which could rightfully be called worship.
Worshiping in truth would be doing the right thing and showing the right respect to God. Worshiping God as is described in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, you may have all the outward appearances, such as going to church, kneeling for prayer, singing along with the congregation, and sitting quietly during church service. All these things are good and right in their place, and it is often considered true worship or worshiping in truth. However, worship in this manner could just be habit, form, or a ritual that gives you satisfaction because you feel like you are doing the right thing or because of social acceptance, not necessarily because your heart is there.
If you worship in spirit, your motives would be from a different source. Your heart and soul would be in what you were doing. Your intentions, your emotions and your actions would all be in harmony. You would be spending time with the Lord in private as well as in public. You would be attending all the worship services you could. You would be worshiping God because you love Him. You would also be worshiping Him to thank Him for all the blessings that He has bestowed upon you and for the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the cross of Calvary.
Worshiping God in spirit and in truth is to worship Him with all your heart and soul. Yes, there will be a certain amount of habit and form, but that will be the result of continual love and respect. You have a relationship with the Creator that no one else has; it is yours and you love it, and God loves it.
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