But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24 (NLT)
For we who worship God in the Spirit are the only ones who are truly circumcised. We put no confidence in human effort. Instead, we boast about what Christ Jesus has done for us. Philippians 3:3 (NLT)
There is a story of a man who one night had a dream. In the dream an angel escorted him to church one Sunday. There he saw the musicians playing vigorously and the worship team singing with gusto. But the man heard no sound. The congregation was singing but he heard nothing. Finally the minister got up to preach. But the man could not hear him either. In amazement the man turned to the angel and asked him for an explanation.
"This is the way it sounds to us in heaven," said the angel. "You hear nothing because there is nothing to hear. These people are engaged in a form of worship, but their thoughts are on other things and their hearts are far away."
It’s so easy to play church and forget the reason why we are there. It becomes a formula. We come to the service, sing 6 or 7 songs, listen to the message and then go home. All the time our hearts have been far away from Jesus. God created us to worship Him. To have fellowship with Him. He created us as spirit beings. When these bodies we live in die, our spirits will still live on. Worship is communion with our Creator and if we don’t worship Him in spirit and truth our worship becomes ineffective.
I have been involved in music ministry for over 20 years and I am still learning what it means to truly worship God in spirit and truth. It is very easy to let your flesh take over and try to please man instead of God. Worship becomes more of a performance for the congregation than it is a sweet fragrance to the Lord. At times the worship leader can make himself the center of attention and the worship, though it may sound great, can actually become a stench before God. I have noticed that when I lean too much on my flesh, I struggle. Yet when I take my eyes completely off myself, repent and surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit, amazing things can and do happen.
Can you imagine what would happen in our churches if everyone came with repenting hearts and a determination to concentrate not on our problems, but on Christ alone, what would happen? I believe that God would visit us in such a powerful way that our lives and lives of those around us will be changed. Let’s together with God’s help strive toward this.