Does anybody remember the “don’t do drugs” commercial with the skillet?
The commercial showed a skillet on a stovetop and it was hot and ready to go. It also showed two eggs in perfect white shells. With the eggs in view of the camera, the deep-voiced narrator announced, “This is your brain.” Then the eggs dropped into the searing skillet and began immediately to pop and snap and cook. Then the same deep-voiced narrator declared, “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?”
It made a great point about how substance abuse “fries” our brains.
Although it isn’t dangerous to us, something also happens when our brains get “on” worship. It changes us. Our thoughts change, our attitude changes, our behaviors change. We tend to think of “worship” as an emotional exercise only. But it is so much more.
Last week, I started the issue of what happens when we worship God and we looked at the story of Jesus’ interaction with a Samaritan woman. Towards the end of that conversation, she tried to change the subject, but Jesus used her apparent distraction to focus all of us on the very nature of God. While she was talking about location of worship, Jesus responded to her in John 4:23-24:
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
I won’t retread last week’s discussion about worshipping God in spirit. This week, it’s that “and in truth” part that we’re putting under the microscope. It’s easy in our society today to dismiss “truth” so long as our experience validates something “spiritual”. Yet, Jesus made a point to put this in here. It was intentional. It wasn’t a gloss and it wasn’t something He threw in there to make Himself feel better.
It was the truth about what matters in worship.
As you probably know, my blog is called “Theology Meets Life” (if you didn’t know that—surprise!). And this is one of those points where “heady theology” gets really real, really fast.
What “truth” is Jesus referring to? After all, if the Father is seeking worshippers who worship in “spirit and truth” then it means He’s not seeking those who only worship in spirit (or only in truth, if that’s possible). This truth He’s referring to is the truth about God the Father, Jesus, and us.
Ultimately, it’s the “truth” about Jesus and our relationship to Him. It was Jesus who said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Although some take this as strictly referring to salvation (it certainly does), it is deeper and richer than that. Jesus states that the doorway—the only doorway—to the Father in Heaven is through Jesus. It’s why we pray “in Jesus’ Name”. It’s why we know salvation through Him. And it’s the truth of how we worship.
When we worship—that is, centering our mind’s attention and our heart’s affection on the Lord—it is a spiritually and intellectual exercise. It’s why I stress to people to read the Bible for themselves.
Don’t just exclusively read someone else’s thoughts on it. Read it for yourselves. Make His truth, your truth. Make His spirit, your spirit. Make the worshippers He seeks, someone like you.