John 3-4 (NLT link) 

Discover His heart: He is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth

It’s difficult to communicate with people when we’re not on the same page as them, so to speak.  Our focus may be different, perhaps our understanding of the thing we’re discussing is not the same or maybe attitude is an issue.  Regardless of the cause, we’re well aware when we lack agreement and harmony in a dialogue.  In John 4, Jesus gave some powerful advice to the Samaritan woman about successful communication with our Father

@ John 4
The Samaritan woman at the well approached her conversation with Jesus with many issues regarding her race, her lifestyle and her worship. Jesus introduced her to the Living Water and answered her question about the proper place to worship with a powerful key to communicating with God. “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 that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (23-24)

Jesus put to rest the dialogue about where to worship and focused on how to worship.  It was a new time, gone were the old traditions and typical ways of Old Testament worship, and now was the time for true worship – His coming changed everything!

Through the acceptance of Jesus and His salvation, we are no longer confined to a certain place or tradition of worship, but we have access to Him anywhere, any time because He is a Spirit who is everywhere all the time.  But how do we worship Him in spirit and in truth?

True worship is not done out of obligation or tradition, but it is offered out of sincerity and a genuine desire to express love and adoration for God – this is truth.  Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 15:8 when He quoted Isaiah regarding the Pharisees, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”  Worship in truth comes from a heart so full of Him that there’s little room for anything else, when our lips express what is truly in our hearts.  At these moments of true worship we are not thinking in the back of our minds about the errands we need to run or the roast in the oven or the next appointment because our thoughts of Him have filled our hearts and minds.  It’s not as though we can fool Him.

“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:17)  My most genuine spirit worship comes when I worship Him for who He is in relationship to who I am not.  It’s difficult to worship Him for the immensity of His greatness and goodness when there’s even an ounce of pride in any great or good in me.  “Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens.  You have done such wonderful things.  Who can compare with you, O God?” (Psalm 71:19)

When the magnitude of His greatness shakes me to my knees in humility and brokenness, my spirit, my inner man, can truly worship in spirit the God who is Spirit.  Same focus, same understanding, same attitude – on the same page, so to speak.

True worship is sincere, attentive, heart-felt and spirit-humbled communication with the Father that can take place anywhere and anytime because He is a Spirit who is everywhere all the time.  Because He has to look for it, apparently true worship isn’t something that flows easily from His children, “The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way,” (23)  Oh, that He will find in each one of us what He is looking for today! 

Moving Forward: I join with David, a true worshiper, and pray, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14) 

Tomorrow @ I Timothy 1-3

Isaiah 12-17 (NLT) 

Discover His heart: He has filled us with living water so that we’ll never thirst again

When we’re really, really thirsty, there’s nothing as satisfying to quench our thirst as an ice cold glass of water – that is, if we take the time to drink it. The body is made up of 60-70% water; and on an average day, we lose 8-10 cups of it through breathing, perspiration and elimination.  Because of this, most doctors and nutritionists encourage us to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid each day in order to keep the body functioning properly.

Thirst is the body’s way of telling us that we are already deficient in water, that somehow today we haven’t gotten what we need to replenish the body.  We need to avoid this, but the problem is that when we’re not thirsty, water just isn’t all that appealing.  Even though a refreshing glass of water is available to us, we don’t drink if we’re not thirsty, never thinking about how much we really need to drink it. The Bible has a lot to say on the matter of thirst. 

@Isaiah 12
“In that day you will sing:  ‘See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.’ With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!” (1-3)  Isaiah prophesied that God would deliver the remnant of Israel from captivity and provide a highway back to Jerusalem. (Isaiah 11:16)  They would sing a song of victory similar to their song after the Exodus out of Egypt in Exodus 15:2.  And with joy they would drink deeply from the fountain of salvation.

We can’t help but think of Jesus here, the one who is our salvation, who invited the Samaritan woman at the well to drink deeply from Him, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)  When we drink from His salvation, we receive access through the Holy Spirit to this bubbling spring of water to where we need never thirst again.

Well then, we might ask, if we have this bubbling spring within us, why do we sometimes feel so dry and thirsty? It could be because we’ve left the Source.  When the Israelites sinned and rejected God, He said, “For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned methe fountain of living water.  And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!” (Jeremiah 2:13)  We can drink all the soda or alcohol we want, but it’s not going to do for us what a drink of pure water will do.  And spiritually speaking, we can connect to any other source we want in order to fill our spirits, but that source will never give us eternal life with God.  Talk about thirsty!

We may feel dry and thirsty simply because we haven’t taken a drink.  It’s like the old saying, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”  We can stare at that refreshing glass of water all day, but if we don’t make an effort or take the time to pick it up and drink it, it won’t help us.  Soon, we will begin to feel thirsty, but at this point we are already deficient.  As believers, we need to understand that the fresh, bubbling spring is within us; and because of this, we can drink, drink deeply, anytime and never be thirsty again. Our devotional time is when we drink up His Word and drink up His fellowship – this is where we drink deeply.

If we find ourselves thirsty, if we’ve failed to drink, we have this invitation from the Source, “Let anyone who hears this say, ‘Come.’  Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17) 

Moving Forward:  “Cheers!”

Tomorrow @ Matthew 5-7