Worshipping in Spirit and Truth

Chris Jones by Chris Jones

Enter his gates with THANKSGIVING.  Go into his courts with praise.  Give thanks to him and praise his name.  Psalm 100:4

There’s a familiar phrase to many Christians.  It’s a common expression we take from John 4:24.  There we read about John telling a Samaritan woman that one MUST “worship God in spirit and in truth”.  It may be a difficult concept for some to understand, and seems thoroughly disregarded by others.  When I imagine what a true worshipper of God might look like, I think of King David (as most probably do).  If you’re unfamiliar with his story, you can read about him staring here.  It’s a story that chronicles a man whose worship directly touched the heart of God.

In comparison to someone like David, I feel like I live a pretty lackluster life.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I love my life.  I have a great wife.  I’m the father of two awesome little boys who are growing to be special men in God’s Kingdom.  I have a career that I really do love and God continues to breathe fresh life into the dreams He is placing in my heart.  Still, I feel far from what He designed me to be, a perfect instrument of worship.  Honestly, and ironically, it’s worship songs that make me feel this way.  Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I feel this way in regard to worship songs I wish I could sing from the bottom of my heart.

Have you ever heard this quote from A.W. Tozer, “christians don’t tell lies, they just go to church and sing them”?  I think this is partly true.  How often do we stop and consider the words of the worship songs we sing?  I feel like some of them expose how far I am from being able/willing to fully abandon all of my goals and ambitions, in exchange for all He has for me.  Take, as an example, the words of this popular worship song:

Lord I give you my heart.  I give you my soul.
I love for You alone.
Every breath that I take, every moment I’m awake
Lord, have your way in me

Some weeks, I just don’t feel like that guy.

Worship is serious.  It’s not just a time for us to sing with one another.  It’s another opportunity for us to open our hearts before God.  The last thing I want to be in those moments is false.  Rather than sing something that may not be true of myself, I turn those thoughts into prayers.  “God help me to lay aside my selfish ambitions and learn to live, guided by your plan for my life.  Right now I just don’t feel like I can say that I’m living for You alone.  Holy Spirit help me live a life and be a man through whom You can truly have your way.”  Perhaps I’m splitting hairs.  Admittedly, it seems like such a small difference.  However, I believe it’s a great expression of His worth to us to acknowledge how far we are from His glory and that only he can bridge the distance that separates us.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:10-12  Give thanks today, with a pure and grateful heart.

(note: Re-reading this whole thing, it sounds like a bit of a bummer on what is such a significant day for most of us.  I apologize, if it comes across that way.  I’m curious to hear your thoughts.)

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Posted on November 24, 2013, in Chris Jones, Christianity and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I think you’re onto something significant here. What if our spirit man which knows the truth about us gets confused when we sing words that our spirit knows aren’t true? “Well which one is it?” our spirit may think. “I happen to have inside info that he does NOT live for God alone with every breath he takes.”

    I like how you turn it into a prayer. Lord, help me to…live for You in ways that are always pleasing to You.

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    • There’s definitely so much that God wants to reveal to us. I certainly don’t claim to know much, when it comes to all of His mysteries. I do, however, believe the key to unlocking them is more simple than any of us might realize. I’m fascinated by it all.

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  2. Honestly, I am beginning to realize that this “Witness Runner Blog” is starting to tear down some pretty significant walls that I have created over the years. Yes, I am right there. Spiritually feeling inferior while we worship knowing good and well that I am not living up to what I am professing to be. The only thing that keeps me going everyday is GRACE. I have to truly believe in God’s grace because my inferiority in my christian faith (really is pure laziness) has kept me from really reaching a hurting world. I am given opportunities everyday to make a difference and I often fail to allow every breath and moment I take to live for him. I am beginning to think I am schizophrenic because I have such contrasting behaviors. Thanks for continuing to work in my life. I am very appreciative!
    Pam

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    • Thanks Pam. Your comment is a tremendous encouragement to me today. I typically feel of my posts, that I’m just talking to myself about myself. I have a couple rough drafts right now, that easily fit that mold. My problem is that I let that feeling develop in me an apprehension to share any of these thoughts. Typically, this results in me “hemming and hawing” over every syllable, attempting to squeeze out of each theme an illustration and piece of encouragement that compels the masses. Ironically, the goal of this whole effort is to encourage people to make personal, individual connections through which we can share the work God is bringing to completion in our lives. If ever there is something you read here that you feel would be useful to your friends, please feel free to pass it on. Have a great day!

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