Have you ever had a full meal and for some reason you remained hungry, which caused you to keep snacking, yet you still were not satisfied? Nutritionists say that this type of hunger is not a need for calories, but a need for nutrition in the form of minerals and vitamins or even essential amino acids or fatty acids. Regardless of where the deficiency lies, the bottom line is lack of nutrition. Did you know that you can eat three large meals per day and still be malnourished? Well, our spirit needs nutrition too, in the same way that our flesh needs nutrition. That is why Yahoshua during His temptation, told Satan, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Well, In 1991 I was in a state of spiritual malnourishment and no sermon seemed to address my need. The problem was that I couldn’t identify my own need; I just knew I was constantly hungry, until one day at my bed side, I called out in prayer, to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and made my petition known. I didn’t know his real name; I thought it was “Lord”. At the end of my prayer, I ended it in the name of Jesus. When I got up off my knees I felt better because I felt I had to now walk in faith and wait to receive my answer. On my one hour drive to work that week, I was listening to christian radio but I wasn’t hearing anything because I wasn’t concentrating on what was being said, as I was preoccupied with my own thoughts; so I turned off the radio and I began to pray out loud and cried out to Jesus.
You see, before I got married, I had been accustomed to feeling His presence and seeing Him in my dreams and just feeling close to him on a daily basis; and now I had been married for about seven years and I missed those times of communion with Him. The cares of life had crept in and I was afraid that I had lost my first love, my affection had moved from my God to my husband, and now I was repenting of my lukewarm state. Finally, I had a breakthrough on my way to work when I received His answer to my prayers, and I was calm again, I felt I was home again, I was happy again, I felt my life was back on track!
The years following, I was on a spiritual high! I felt that I was so close to God, I could just reach out and touch Him. During those days, I didn’t know His name, but I wasn’t aware that I didn’t know, because my prayer and worship were all directed to Jesus. I had been a source of spiritual encouragement to my friends and family, so I was feeling quite secure in my spirituality as I had been leading prayer meeting services, leading praise and worship, and was being used by the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick and they would received their healing. So I was convinced that I was worshiping God in spirit and in truth.
Then one day while encouraging my girlfriend on the phone, she asked me a question that I was not able to answer to my satisfaction. I doubt she was satisfied with my answer too. She asked, “How do I worship God in spirit and in truth?” Since that moment, I went searching the Bible to find the answer, but I never found it. So I decided that if I was able to find the answer to, “How do I please God?” then I would be half way there. All the answers I came up with did not answer worshiping God in spirit and in truth.
We read in John 4:23-24, “23But 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. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” The question in every believer’s mind and heart is, “How do I please God?” When this question is distilled down to its basic elements, it becomes two questions: 1) how do I worship the Father in spirit and in truth and 2) who is a true worshiper?”
Subsequently, I focused my bible studies on doing word studies on the word, worship. During that time, I had a dream that has remained fresh in my mind as it did the day it happened. I dreamed I was sitting at a table with my Bible ready to do my study. At first it appeared that I was outside in my back yard; then the scenery changed and I was at the park. There were many people in my vicinity and they were quite busy doing their activities and some were playing. It was evening and the sun was setting while I sat there quietly alone with my Bible. Then unexpectedly, a man came and sat next to me on the bench with the sole purpose of helping me in my study. He gave me direction on which books of the Bible to focus on reading in my study. He named the books of the bible as he turned its pages and then he left. I awoke immediately and was excited because in my spirit I believed I had just sat with Yahoshua and he gave me help and direction on my bible study. This was a gift, a privilege and a blessing beyond comprehension!
When I awoke it was late in the morning and my husband was already up. When I noticed he was not in the bed, I called out to him in excitement to share my dream. Because I dream frequently, he thought it was just another dream. So I told him my dream but he did not share my excitement. I rattled off the books Yahoshua told me to read but when I spoke the name of the last book, I paused because I did not know of such a book in the bible. I asked Rod if he had ever heard of the book “Jasher” and he said, no. I began to doubt myself that I remembered the name of the last book correctly. For years following, I thought of words, names and places in the bible that sounded like Jasher. Finally, I decided after about 10 years that maybe I got it wrong. My husband thought I was weird each time I reminded him of my dream and the name of the book I couldn’t find.
Last year, about 20 years after that dream, while I was listening to a bible question and answer session on the internet, a question came in from a person asking the teacher if he had ever read the book of Jasher, and would he recommend it for reading. I recognized the name of the book immediately and I listened intently to the answer. The minister said he had read the book and he recommends reading it. Immediately, I called out to my son in the other room and told him what just happened.
We started searching the internet for the book. We discovered from many people on the internet writing about it, that there were fake copies of it floating around and it was hard to find a genuine copy. Then, he found a link to a copy provided by a publisher who told all he went through to obtain this authentic copy from its source. I clicked on the link and downloaded the book from the publisher, with the entire publisher disclosures included. I read the book and was happy to find it. This book is a must read. The publisher has vowed that it is genuine and I believe it is. I have not read any other copies out there and I don’t think I will unless I am convinced that it is genuine too; and my only reason for reading another copy would be to do a comparison.
This book really opened up the Torah to me and displayed the awesomeness of Yahovah in being present in the midst of His people, tending to their needs, hearing and answering their prayers. He taught them to trust in Him and to fight. He gave them boldness, wisdom, courage and strength to defeat and overcome their enemies. The kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light are clearly delineated in the events on the pages. I was glued to the book and I was led to worship Yahovah for the work of His hands in the many events, as I read through the pages. I believe it has given me a new perspective of the plan Yahovah has for His people and what he expects of us. Certainly, without faith it is impossible to please Him. He will not even hear our prayers without faith! The book reinforced the fact that Yahovah does not take kindly to compromise, laziness, whining, excuses, lack of courage, ignorance, fear and lack of faith. He expects us to take action mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Along with Torah, this book, along with Maccabees 1 & 2 have put into right perspective for me, what it means to worship Yahovah with all your heart, with your entire mind, with all your soul and without all your strength. In order to worship this way, we must base our thoughts, actions and lifestyle on His word and that is when we become true worshipers, worshiping in spirit and in truth!!!!
Worshiping requires focus, awareness and understanding because worshipping is not a passive activity. Where do we get the energy to worship Him? In the same way we generate energy to live, get up each day and go to the job or run your business and actually accomplish work, return home and take care of our family, relationships, then take care of our body and finances, home and health; it is the same way we must generate the energy needed to worship Yahovah. The enemy is constantly fighting against us each time we get started by depleting our energy, overcoming us with sleep, creating distractions to interrupt our focus, planting contrary seeds in our minds, growing those seeds with lies, sending his children of darkness into our lives and creating confusion to throw us off track, in order to create doubt in the truth found in Yahovah’s word, as we encounter increased cares of life.
We are fighting the enemy who works through our flesh to force us to give up the good fight of faith. It is not enough to talk a good talk; we must also fight the good fight of faith because our actions speak louder than our words and thoughts. Thoughts, words and wishes are passive endeavors which by themselves and all together, can accomplish nothing. The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”. Also James, the brother of Yahoshua tells us in the book of James 2:17, “17 Thus, also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead”. So let us put life into our faith by taking action. Like everything else that you enjoy doing in life, you never work a day in your life if you enjoy the pleasure that comes from doing it.
What do Yahovah and Yahoshua require of us? The answer to this question will open the door to a new lifestyle of worshiping God in spirit and in truth. Remember, many people know what they should do but they never do it. The reward is in the doing! Not the knowing, thinking, saying, teaching, wishing, intending, or planning to do; it is in the doing. The consequence is in, not taking action.
In the Old Testament, Yahovah tells us what He requires of us. And in the New Testament, Yahoshua reiterated what Yahovah told us. The bottom line is obedience. Yahoshua is Yahovah’s only begotten Son and the teacher to whom the treasures of Yahovah has been entrusted. Yahoshua will be our judge and He will restore heaven and earth to the way Yahovah intended them to be in the beginning. Therefore, it only makes sense for us to obey Him now before it is too late. What does worshiping Yahovah in spirit and in truth looks like? I will address that question in Part 2.