Spirit and Truth
I am awed by the words the Lord spoke to His disciples after they returned from Wal-Mart with some groceries and supplies and found Him conversing with a woman from Samaria. If you recall, the heat of the Gospel was burning close to this woman and bringing her to point of crisis in regards to Who this person was that was speaking to her. “Sir” she said to Jesus, “I perceive that You are a prophet.” And then, as it to deflect the gaze of Jesus to a side, debatable issue, she restated the common question of her day pitting the Jews and the Samaritans at odds with each other. “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and you people (ouch!) say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” In other words, come on big guy, deal with that! My racial prejudice is showing.
Jesus responded, in part, with a statement that has filled my heart with longing. A simple, single sentence that has brought me to this point of deep hunger, at any price or personal cost, for a deeper relationship with Him. The words Jesus spoke have given me purpose and a goal. They have, in effect, been the calling of my life.
Jesus said, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshippers.” *
Wow. Did you catch that?
Jesus clearly said that there is a time, which existed then and now, when the Father will seek those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. Now, in seminary and from the Sunday pulpits, we have focused almost entirely on the topic, “What Does Jesus Mean by Spirit and Truth?” and have missed the focus and truth of what He was saying. We have gone for the academic and ignored the spiritual, the practical applications. I guess you could say we have looked at only what this verse says that won’t offend or force us out of our comfort zones.
“Hmmm, interesting topic preacher. I never quite thought about spirit and truth that way before. Really enjoyed it a lot. See ya next Sunday.”
But what Jesus said is that there is a group of people whom “the Father seeks to be His worshippers.” Now sit back and let that sink in for a few moments.
What Jesus told the woman at the well was, in all of created humanity, especially those called out of darkness into His marvelous light, those whom He knew from the foundation of the world, there are two categories of Believers— two categories of worshippers, if you will.
There are those who worship the Lord in their own way, with all sincerity and good intentions, who faithfully stand, or raise their hands, or sing hymns or choruses, who lug big ‘ol King James or soft-covered NIVs to church each Sunday morning, evening and even Wednesday night and enter into a described and predictable time of singing, sitting, giving, standing, listening, sometimes sleeping— and who believe that this is all there is to worship. You know, faithfulness, dependability and service within the church setting. “Just doing our duty, ma’am.”
But Jesus said there is a group of worshippers who worship the Lord in “spirit and truth” and all that conveys, and it is these worshippers “the Father seeks to be His worshippers.” In other words, there are groups of people who worship the Father the way He wants to be worshipped— the way, or in the mode, that puts a smile of His face, that gives Him the biggest blessing. And, these people are so pleasing to Him that Jesus said the Father literally “seeks to be His worshippers.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but I want to be in that group. Don’t you?
And, if I were brutally honest and transparent, I know that I haven’t been. My experience in church, the predictable form and mode of worship that leaves me longing for more, is not the kind of worship the Father seeks. Not by a long shot. I know He also longs for more from His children… and especially from me.
Hence, this section titled, Leaving Laodicea. Here I will post items that show what Leaving Laodicea looks, smells and taste like as well as posts that will help move us from lukewarn faith into the realm of Spirit and Truth Worship.
Come join with me in this quest to rediscover Spirit and Truth Worship and let us leave Laodicea behind.
Adveho quis may.
Come what may.
* John 4:23, Joshua 4:6-7, John 6:13