“The hour is come and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is looking for such to worship Him. God is Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 1. The time is now - this generation or church (grace) age. 2. True worshipers vs. false worshipers (any worship not according to God’s Word). 3. The Person we worship (Father). We first praise Jesus because He is the Way. John 14:6 our goal is to get to the Father. This is the will of Jesus. 4. Our attitude and approach needs to be in spirit and truth. Both are essential in getting to the Father. 5. The Father is seeking (searching and looking) people who will worship Him the prescribed way (biblical), in spirit and in truth. Both are necessary. A. Worship God with our human spirits, not our souls but be led by the Holy Spirit - Rom. 8.: 14-17 B. Worship God in truth (according to scriptures). John 17:17 and 2 Tim. 2:15 - The Word of God is truth. 6.God is Spirit - no mention here as to God having a body or a soul. Worship is a spiritual thing. Our spirit connecting with His Spirit. Worship led by the Holy Spirit will never go against His written Word. 7. We MUST (if we are going to worship God) worship in spirit and in truth.
There is no other option for true worship. God’s way is the only way. “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him and bless His Name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations”. Ps. 100:4-5. 1. ENTER - His gates. This is a door or starting point for which we come into full worship. 2. THANKSGIVING is the key to open up the gate. Tell God in word or song for the things we are grateful for and for all His goodness to us. See Ps. 100:4-5 Thanking God is very powerful in getting into His presence. 3. PRAISE (towards God) will take us into the inner court. This has to do with His Greatness, Faithfulness etc. In other words His character. Praise will take us to the inner court but not all the way.
Worship is the next step. “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a Great God, and a Great King above all gods. Oh come, Let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker”. Ps. 95:2-3,6. 1. 1. Thanksgiving (1) the gate we come into the presence of God. Vs. 2. 2. Praise (2), which is psalms to God, takes us into the inner court. Speaking and singing (Heb. 13:15) with joy in our hearts is to be our attitude. 3. Reason for praise, because He is Great and a King (vs. 3) above all. We also praise God because He is our creator (vs. 4). 4. Knowledge of ourselves puts us into the right frame of mind to worship -that is we are created. The creature worships the Creator. This is mentioned in Ps. 100:3. Also in Ps. 95:6 The Lord is our MAKER. 5. Worship (3) takes us all the way into the Holy of Holies, to the Father. Worship has to do with our posture before God more than our words. To worship God is to bow and kneel before Him. 6. True worship will open up for us the voice of God (Ps. 95:7).
Notice also that we are called sheep in this passage. Compare this to John 10:27. In both of these chapters in the book of Psalms we will find that worship has to do with God only (primarily) and not ourselves. Our focus needs to on Jesus and the Father when worshiping. Ps. 100:3 says know the Lord that is we direct our attention to God and off of ourselves. Notice the phrase in this verse - not we ourselves. This tells us to take the focus off of ourselves. In Ps. 95:1 it says we sing unto the Lord - that is to lift (exalt) Him up. Some prayer and songs in our churches today are not appropriate for worship. They may be good songs but belong in another function of the church. Worship is not the time to ask God for something you want, this belongs in a prayer meeting. There is a time for worship and a time for prayer, just like a time for teaching.
Songs taken from the book of Psalms and the book of Revelation are the most powerful worship songs we can get. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou hast created all things.” Rev. 4:11. This verse speaks of the Greatness of God and God being our creator. You will notice the same progression towards worship here in this passage in revelation as in the book of Psalms. Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship. Rev. 4:9 - speaks of giving thanks and in vs. 11 we find Praise - giving glory, honor and power. In vs. 10 we have the Elders falling down on their faces, an act of worship. In Rev. 7:11-12- you can see that falling on your face (or to prostrate oneself) is an act of worship. There are more examples of worship in the book of Revelation; you may want to do your own study. 2. ““When He, the Spirit of truth, is come. He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself. He (Holy Spirit) shall glorify me (Jesus)”. John 16:13-14 this is extremely important when worshiping God. Our worship needs to be directed toward the Father and the Son only. The Holy Spirit leads us in worship, but never speaks of Himself. The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus and the Father but not Himself. The Holy Spirit is the One behind the scenes in operation with the other members of the trinity.
Songs that address the Holy Spirit and our speaking words of worship to HIM, ARE NOT appropriate for church worship. The Holy Spirit will not glorify or exalt Himself; He will only lift up Jesus and the Father. Compare also John 15:26. In 1 Tim. 3:6 - we have the qualifications for elders. It says, not a novice (new convert) or young man without experience or training. In verse 10 of the same chapter it says let him first be proven; back in verse 2 it says he must be able to teach. Worship leaders need these qualifications as well as Elders. Many worship leaders are called Ministers of Worship or Music. Worship Leaders need strong theological and biblical training as well as music in order to minister effectively. Without sound biblical training and teaching, you may have music only and not true worship. When we make it all the way to the Father in true spiritual worship the Holy Spirit will at that point speak to us as to what the Father says by pouring out gifts of teaching, prophesy etc. in order to build up the body of Christ.
Suggested format for worship. 1-2 songs of thanksgiving or speaking to God your personal thanks or a mixture. Then 3-4 songs of Praise, mixed with speaking to God your praise. Followed by 10 to 15 minutes of Worship by kneeling and prostrating yourself before God. During this time you should be silent before God. See 1 Kings 19:12 and Ps. 46:10. You will then hear the voice of God. Allow time for prophecy, teaching and other gifts of the Spirit after you hear the voice of God. Give thanks to God for His marvelous ways.
Sample songs for thanksgiving: 1. Give Thanks 2. Make a joyful noise. Sample songs for praise: 1. Great is the Lord 2. Shout to the Lord 3. He is Exalted 4.Great is your Faithfulness 5. Blessed be the Lord 6. Hosanna 7.Majesty Sample songs that take us into worship: 1. Holy Holy Holy 2.Blessing Honor Glory and Power 3. You are Holy 4. Come let us worship and bow down 5. We bow down. www.lulu.com/billn Bill Naugle