WORSHIPPING IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH
As believers, we’re called to worship God “in spirit and in truth”.John 4:23-But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him like that.
What is worship?The best definition for worship I have come across is by Dr. W. M. Temple which is like this: worshipping is to quicken the conscience by the Holiness of God,to feed the mind with truth of God,to purge the imagination by the beauty of God,to open the heart to the love of God and to devote the will to the purpose of God.But you may wonder, “How can I worship God daily? How can I worship God at home? How can I worship God wherever I am?” The good news is, you can, and worship is a powerful spiritual exercise in any believer’s life.
What does worshipping in “truth”mean?Colossians 2:8 says “Beware lest anyone cheats you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ”
The first step in understanding how to worship is recognizing whom to worship. We worship the Father in spirit and in truth.When we worship in truth, we don’t worship empty philosophies that come from the world’s way of thinking. Instead, we focus on the message and the truth of Jesus Christ. “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts” (Colossians 3:16).
Man’s way of thinking is not God’s way of thinking (Isaiah 55:8). In order to worship in truth, we must know the truth, which is found in the Bible. We must continually renew our minds to the Word of God by spending time studying every day (Romans 12:2). When our minds are renewed to what He says is truth (and not the world), we will be able to come to Him and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
For some, expressing themselves in worship can be uncomfortable, especially if they are new Christians. You go to some churches, and the congregation never stands up. They don’t sing, but they just sit and listen to the worship music. Others may sing but they don’t play instruments. Still others will be waving their hands, shouting and running around as the band plays every kind of instrument. Which way to worship is correct?
Well, the Bible outlines seven different types of worship, and they are all appropriate, with each having its place. Let’s examine them:
1).BARAK ~ to bless God, to bow down.
“He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them…. Long live the king! May the gold of Sheba be given to him, may the people always pray for him and bless him all day long.” –Psalm 72:12-15
Barak means to bow down to, or kneel before, the Lord. It communicates that the Lord holds a place of importance and helps us remember just how great He is. Barak is not done out of a begging attitude but rather an expectant attitude, because the Lord is more than willing and able to move on our behalf.
2) HALAL–To be clear, to shine, to boast, to show, to rave, to celebrate.
“David appointed the following Levites to lead the people in worship before the Ark of the Lord—to invoke his blessings, to give thanks, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel.” –1 Chronicles 16:4.Halal translates to shine, boast, rave about, celebrate or even to be clamorously foolish. Can you imagine a more wondrous noise raving about about all the Lord is and all He has done?
3).SHABACH–To shout loudly, to command
“Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise!” –Psalm 47:1.Shabach means to shout loudly or command. Of course, it isn’t simply about being loud. Its focus is to worship the Lord with one’s whole being.
4).TEHILLAH–To sing praises, singing out of the spirit spontaneously
“But you are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].” –Psalm 22:3.Tehillah means to sing unrehearsed, unplanned praises to the Lord. It can include adding words to an existing song or even singing in the spirit to the Lord.
5).TOWDAH–Extending hands, acting out of thanksgiving for what has or will be done
“But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” –Psalm 50:23Towdah is a type of worship that includes extending your hands or raising them in thanksgiving for something that has been done or will be done.
6).YADAH– Extending the hands vigourously
“After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: ‘Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!’ 2 Chronicles 20:21.Yadah means to extend your hands vigorously as in complete surrender.
7).ZAMAR – To touch the strings, to make music with instruments, mostly rejoicing
“Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!” –Psalm 150:3-6.Zamar means to touch the strings. It involves rejoicing and making music to the Lord.
8).KARAR – To dance
Karar is the Hebrew word for “dance”. We should dance before the Lord like King David did in the Bible. The Bible says according to the following: Psalms 149:3 – “Let them praise His name in the dance: let them sing praises unto Him with the timbrel and harp.” Psalms 150:4 – “Praise Him with the timbrel and dance: praise Him with stringed instruments and organs.” Ecclesiastes 3:4 – “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
True worship in spirit for a true and real worshipper should be characterized by:
1.)Reserving it for God alone (Ex 20:3-6)
2.) Involving reverent awe (Heb 12:28-29)
3.)Taking action (Deut 10:12)
4.)Expressing submission to God (Rom 12:1)
5.)Aligning yourself with the will of God rather than the sinful nature of human imagination. (Psalms 15)
6.)Encompassing all of your life (John 4:19-23)
7.)Being both individual and corporate (Heb 10:24-25)