Yahovah Introduces Himself
Last time in Part three, we looked at how to Worship God in Truth. In this episode, we will look at, how to worship God in Spirit. Yahovah our God was faithful to fulfill the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and in so doing, He INTRODUCED Himself to the children of Israel because they did not know Him. The miracles he performed to protect them in the process of delivering them paralleled His acts on the first days of creation. He created a pillar of fire to lead them on their journey by night and a pillar of cloud to lead and protect them by day. He stopped Pharaoh’s armies in their tracks when he placed the pillar of cloud to stand between the children of Israel and Pharaoh the destroyer. By so doing, He separated the holy from the unholy by placing the cloud between them. On Israel’s side of the cloud, there was light and on Pharaoh’s side of the cloud, there was the darkest night, stopping the enemy in its track. The light He called day and the darkness He called night. These demonstrations proved to the children of Israel that their God is real, not a figment of their imagination; and that He is the creator of all things.
Fruits of the Flesh
We can study how to worship God in spirit by separating ourselves from and avoiding the things that Yahovah hates. We see this list in Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things does the LORD hates: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren”. These seven things are abominations to Yahovah. By looking closely at the list, we see that all these things are fruits of the flesh produced from the heart of man. These attitudes and behaviors comprise the game strategies of contestants on the Reality TV shows like Big Brother, and Donald Trump Apprentice to name a few. These values are commonplace in our society, at work, at school, in families and among groups. We even find them in the church congregation among brethren.
The other fruits of the flesh are listed in Galatians 5:19-21. The apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church congregation because they were not living in obedience to the commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Their disobedience was evident in the attitudes and behaviors they displayed. Paul said, “Now, the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling and such the like: of which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God”.
Worship Yahovah in Spirit and in Truth
Now that we know what is not pleasing to our God, Yahovah, what must we do? We learn from King David, In Psalm 51:6, 13, 14b – 17, what we must do to worship in spirit and in truth, “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. And my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, O God you will not despise.”
Worship Yahovah in Spirit
In Isaiah 66:1-2, Yahovah speaks to us through the prophet Isaiah. He tells us what we must do to worship in spirit: “Thus says the LORD, the heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you built unto me? And where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath my handmade, and all those things have been says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.” Here, Yahovah is telling us that we are now the place where He seeks to dwell. However, for the dwelling place to be pleasing to Him, the person must have a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart. Next, the apostle Paul admonishes us in Romans 12:1 saying, “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, for this is your spiritual act of worship. Finally, Yahoshua taught us in Matthew 5:3, that those who are poor in spirit shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.
In the Bible, we see that Yahovah punished the children of Israel many times because they participated in worshiping idols with the gentiles. Each time, Yahovah would send prophets to rebuke them for worshiping idols. Yahovah gave them His instructions for a holy life in the Torah, which clearly forbids the worship of idols. Through their disregard for Torah, the Jews lost their position with Yahovah and He transferred their assignment to the gentiles. Today the gentiles practice disobedience to Torah, teaching it is abolished and preventing others from obeying it.
Feed My Lambs
Yahovah has always likened the children of the kingdom to sheep. He sent us His shepherd, Yahoshua to feed us with Yahovah’s word, the food of the kingdom contained in the messages He preached. Just before His departure, he had a conversation with Simon Peter after breakfast, in John 21:15, He asked Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” Peter replied, ” Yes, Lord: you know I love you” Then He commanded Peter, “Feed my lambs”. Then at His departure, He commanded us to go into all the world and make disciples of all the nations, teaching them whatsoever He taught us. As we feed on His word and grow spiritually, we become mature sheep and are able to feed the lambs that believe on Yahoshua through our teaching. Yahoshua commanded His disciples, in Mark 16:15-18 saying, “And he said unto them, go you into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, he that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And all these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
Most people know they have a spirit but they do not give it much thought. They only think of it when it comes up in the sermon at church or in a conversation. Therefore, it does not get much attention. As a result, it does not get the nutrition it needs to grow. Yahoshua told Satan that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahovah. So here, we see there is food for the spirit. Yahovah desires to feed us His word as a hen feeds her chicks; but we must hunger for it.
To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice
In 1 Samuel 15:2-23 we read the account of King Saul’s disobedience to Yahovah’s command to kill the Amalekites. The command was clear, “Now, go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” Upon hearing from Yahovah that Saul disobeyed the command, the prophet Samuel confronted King Saul about his disobedience: “And the LORD sent you on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed. Wherefore then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but did fly upon the spoil, and did evil in the sight of the LORD?”
In his self-righteousness and rebellion, Saul defended his actions and the actions of his men, in his disagreement with Yahovah’s charge against him. Then Samuel rebuked Saul, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams; for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has rejected you from being king.” Here we see disobedience to Yahovah’s word is equivalent to rejecting Yahovah. Yahovah’s instructions are not subject to our interpretation and rationale. It is not open for debate or negotiation. The obedience and faithfulness of Abraham is the type of worship Yahovah required of Saul, but Saul did as he desired, instead of what Yahovah prescribed. In the same way, to disobey Yahoshua is to reject Yahovah and Yahoshua, because the Son speaks what He hears from the Father who sent Him.
Where have we seen this scenario play out before? We saw it in the case of Cain and Abel. Cain disobeyed Yahovah’s instruction on how to present on offering of worship; but Abel obeyed. Thus, Abel’s worship was more acceptable than Cain’s was. Cain became jealous of Abel and instead of trying a second time to present a more acceptable offering he became stubborn and rebellious. He finally rejected Yahovah and turned to idol worship.
Yahovah’s word is truth and in it, He prescribes what we must do and the way we must worship Him. Abraham was the perfect role model for worship recorded in Torah. When he heard the command to sacrifice his only begotten son, Isaac in worship to Yahovah, he did not hesitate, negotiate, debate or disobey. In faith, he carried out Yahovah’s command with a heart of faith and trust in Him. He did not bring along an animal to sacrifice for “just in case”. Instead, he was willing and ready to give up His son to Yahovah to please Him. This worship is the outward and inward mindset and attitude Yahovah requires of those who worship Him in spirit.