How Do I Worship God in Spirit and in Truth, Part 2 (Hilary)
In Part 1, we looked at John 4:23-24 and saw that without faith it is impossible to please our God, Yahovah. We also learned that He (the Father), is seeking true worshippers to worship Him, and in this episode, we will investigate what worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth looks like.
Now, the fact that Yahovah is looking for true worshipers, leads us to conclude that there are people worshiping who are not true worshipers. In the Christian community there is a special part of the church service that is called “worship service”. I used to be a member of the praise and worship team and later became a worship leader in the church so I understand the sincerity that goes into the “worship” service.
Worship leaders know that the song selection is crucial to the success of the worship service. There are certain songs and certain tempo of songs that are used at certain parts of the worship service to invoke and peak the “atmosphere of worship”. Thus, worship becomes a euphoric experience where we forgetting self consciousness, and direct our focus on God in the music and words of the song, while trying to “touch” Him. I imagine that this is what people want when they are seeking to be “high” on drugs because the serotonin level in the brain increases during this time and the joy is sometimes expressed in tears. At the end of the worship service, we feel much better as our burdens are lifted, we feel closer to God, our heart rate is calmer and we are more willing to give a bigger offering, because we have put all our cares on hold and we have a new surge of faith to move mountains.
Who Will Worship Yahovah?
The dictionary defines worship as the reverence, honor and devotion that we give to a deity. But because deity can refer to pagan gods and manmade idols, which Yahovah has forbidden us to worship, we cannot use this definition for our worship of Yahovah. Also sometimes people give reverence, honor and devotion to the pastor of a church, a parent, or an aged man or woman of God. The manmade gods that are lifeless, powerless and imaginary cannot determine how they want to be worshipped. Instead, man determines how to show reverence, honor and devotion to the things he has made.
Nonetheless, there is one exception and that is Satan, the god of this world, who has designed a counterfeit method of worship for himself based on his knowledge of the worship that Yahovah requires from us. Satan’s plot and determination is to corrupt Yahovah’s creation to make them unclean and unfit to worship Yahovah. But the love of Yahovah and His grace is greater than all our sins; therefore, anyone who has found himself trapped in the claws of Satan worship can be set free by the spirit of Yahovah. That person just needs to call out with a sincere heart to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to come and rescue him, and Yahovah will dispatch angels to you immediately. There is no problem too big or small in your life that Yahovah will not fix because His heart is filled with compassion towards us.
The Bible contains Yahovah’s requirements for worship. We read in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Thus, we understand from Hebrews 11: 6 that the pre-requisites for coming to seek God are 1) believe that He is, 2) believe that He will reward those who diligently seek Him. Once those two criteria have been met, then we can come to Him, and learn how to worship Him.
Considering these pre-requisites, some people would not be able to worship Yahovah because they must first overcome the obstacle of unbelief and skepticism. Thus, the atheist, agnostic, Universalist, pagan, and anyone who questions the authority and power of the creator, and fails to ascribe the works of the creation to Him, cannot worship Him. Still, Yahovah has open arms to receive those who can meet the pre-requisites. Otherwise, their condition of unbelief acts as a barrier between them and Yahovah.
Once the pre-requisites are met, we can move forward into learning how to worship Yahovah in Spirit and in Truth. By taking action on our faith, we come to Him, get to know his Word and get to know His Way. It is important to know His word first because knowing His way depends on us knowing His word. Worshiping is like a two sided coin. In order for the coin to be valid, both sides of the coin must have the correct imprint. If the head has the correct imprint, but the tail does not have an imprint then the whole coin is invalid, or counterfeit. Both sides of the coin must have a complete and correct imprint for the coin to be valuable and authentic. In the same way, we have both aspects, knowledge of His word and knowledge of His Ways that are integral parts of worshiping in spirit and in truth.
Know His Word
Now, knowing about Him is not the same as knowing Him. Also, to know His way is equally important to knowing His word. His way tells us about His likes, dislikes, what is important to Him, and His preferences. We cannot truly say we know someone if we don’t even know what they would do in certain situations, what they like to eat and the things they like to do. Otherwise, we are just minimally acquainted with the person. Our friends know us very well, but other people know about us. If we are asked to provide a character reference for ourselves, then we would give the name of a friend; not the name of a stranger or acquaintance. Thus, it is easier for your friend to please you than for a person who does not know you, to please you. Because it was well known that Abraham was Yahovah’s friend, we read in 2Chronicles 20:7 where King Jehoshaphat, in his prayer to Yahovah said, “7Did you not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham your friend forever?”
Knowing the way is equivalent to having the relationship with Him that provides understanding of His ways. For example, if a musician who knows how to play the piano and knows how to read the sheet music sits at the piano and plays the tune to a song you know, but pays no attention to the time signature of the music, you would not be able to enjoy the music, you would not be able to tap you feet to the beat, and you might just wonder what on earth is wrong with that musician! Other people may use this opportunity to get out of the room and take a break. The conclusion would be that, this is not music that is pleasing. In the same way, we must synchronize our knowledge of the word with our understanding of the way of Yahovah. Thus, understanding how Yahovah has prescribed His worship and following that prescription is extremely important in order to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Yahovah’s Word is Torah, which is comprised of His law, testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments, ordinances, and decrees. King David talked about them throughout Psalm 119. Yahoshua was Yahovah’s Torah in the flesh. Yahovah’s word became flesh and dwelt among us. There is no way we can serve Yahoshua effectively without knowing Torah because he requires us to teach Torah!!
Know His Ways
Many people have head knowledge but they do not know how to put that knowledge into practical use. To know Yahovah’s Way is to know how to approach Him, to do what He expects of us and how to obey to His commands in the way that pleases Him. In James 1:22, James tells us that we must not be hearers of the word only, we must be doers also; otherwise we will deceive ourselves. The way of Yahovah is like the relationship side of the coin, while the word of Yahovah is the legal side of the coin. But for the worship to take place both sides must become one, even though they are not the same.
The believer who wants to worship Yahovah must diligently seek Him. This person will expend time and energy in bible study and soul searching, fasting and prayer to quiet the voice of the opposing flesh, research and study Yahovah’s instructions, be teachable, and reverently approach the word of Yahovah with a prayerful heart that is hungry for understanding of Yahovah’s ways. The ultimate goal of seeking Yahovah is to grow in obedience to Him and become one with Yahoshua. This is important to know because without Yahoshua we cannot know Yahovah. It is Yahoshua who introduces us to Yahovah and enlightens us on how to apply the instructions we have learned to establish a relationship with Yahovah that is pleasing to Him i.e. a relationship that Yahovah enjoys.
It is Yahoshua who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit to give us the power to subdue our flesh to the authority of our spirit. The Holy Spirit also directs us to the teachings of Yahoshua, teachers or disciples of Yahoshua who teach Yahovah’s truth, and gives us the discernment to recognize whether a message or teaching we hear is in alignment with Yahovah’s ways or not.
By obeying the instructions of Yahovah, we get to know His Word; and find ourselves desiring to fellowship with teachers of His word to support the work of His Kingdom and to increase in understanding how to overcome the obstacles the flesh and the enemy bombards us with. Through this process we are encouraged, motivated, equipped and enlightened to share the good news of the kingdom with others. The apostle John tells us in John 4:23-24, “23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
The people who are intrinsically motivated or drawn to worship Yahovah in spirit and in truth are the joint heirs with Yahoshua. John said the hour has come, meaning that we are at the season appointed for the sons of Yahovah to be revealed. The true worshipers are the sons of Yahovah also known as the children of the kingdom. Yahovah knew them before they were conceived in their mother’s womb, and declared their purpose before they were born (Romans 8:29-30). Yahoshua said, I go to prepare a place for you and I will come again and receive you unto myself. The place is prepared only for the children of the kingdom.
They are called children of the kingdom because they received the light of the Spirit of Yahoshua that shines through them. John the Baptist declared in Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Yahoshua obeyed Yahovah’s commandment, which He gave Moses to teach the children of Israel. When He was asked by the Pharisees what is the greatest commandment, Yahoshua recited Deuteronomy 6:5 from Torah, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.” This is very important because without love for Yahovah, you are not motivated to worship Him, because worship goes against the desires of the flesh. Yahovah commands us to have His commandment in our heart. To do that we must meditate on it day and night, and we must also study, learn and understand the fine details of how to demonstrate this to Yahovah in the way that is pleasing to Him.
Too often we think we understand a method or instruction and we perform it and end up either having to start over or having our results rejected because it did not meet the required specification. As a chemistry instructor I have had students who would begin an experiment and follow the procedure according to their understanding, and end up with the wrong results. Many times they would be the first to complete the experiment, just to find that they have to go back to step one and start all over again. The second time around, they are more willing to take it slow, ask questions and read the instructions more carefully. In some experiments they are required to be very careful with the observation as the end point for the result could flash by very quickly without them noticing. If they miss it then they will end up with the wrong results the second time. The time wasted is sometimes very painful, especially when you are the only one left behind, still trying to figure out where you went wrong, and the “slow” students are done with the experiment, cleaned up their stations and gone home. The lesson is to never assume you understand, but to be teachable and be willing to ask questions of those who are more spiritually mature for clarification and teaching.
Today we see this problem in the Christian church where they read the epistles of Paul and assume they understand what Paul is saying about various topics pertaining to the law. As a result, they have wondered away from Yahoshua and will find themselves in the same predicament as the five foolish virgins. It is never a good idea to jump to conclusions thinking you know what a passage is saying without checking with those who know more than you, but most of all, pray and wait for the Holy Spirit to enlighten you or direct you on where to find the teaching on the subject.
As the children of the kingdom who worship Yahovah in spirit and in truth, we are also responsible for teaching the word of Yahovah and the way of Yahovah to our children. Yahovah tells us in Deuteronomy 6:7-9 to impress these commandments upon our children. We must hold conversations with our children throughout the day, when we go for a walk, and even at bedtime, about these commands because each day brings new opportunities and examples of everyday practical occurrences in behavior and conversations we can use to expound and enlighten them on the application of these commands,. We are to be so attached to the commands that we should learn to recite them and make visuals around the house to remind us of them. When we are aware of what the commands are then we can detect when something has gone wrong. But when we are unaware, many things could be going wrong and we are oblivious to the fact. That is why it is important to post it around the house and have visuals around the house to teach our children.
Deuteronomy 6: 13-18 provides instructions on how to stay clean in the sight of Yahovah so you can enter into His presence for worship: “13Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. 17Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors,”.
Usually, when a Christian hears the word law or Torah, they think about the sacrifice of sheep, rams and bullocks in the temple. As a result, they turn off their ears and close their mind and are not prepared to listen or learn. Their pre-conceived notions of the meaning of these words control their attitude towards the application of the word. They have been taught by the Christian pastors that the law has been done away with and no longer applies to us today because Jesus nailed it to the cross. A lady told me that we no long have to keep the law because Jesus kept it for us. Unfortunately, she didn’t have a scripture in the Bible to back up her statement and I thought that was very sad because she was spouting the talking points she received from her church about the law of Yahovah. This is scary business because we will be judged by the law; so we are responsible to learn them so we do not break them.
Again, Yahovah’s Word is Torah, which is comprised of His law, testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments, ordinances, and decrees. King David talked about them throughout Psalm 119. Yahoshua was Yahovah’s Torah in the flesh. Yahovah’s word became flesh and dwelt among us. There is no way we can serve Yahoshua effectively without knowing Torah because he requires us to teach Torah!! Yahoshua said to His disciples, “If you love me keep my commandments”. How can we say we love Him when we do not keep His commandments and how can we please Him when we disobey His commands?
This teaching will continue in Part 3.