Respond: A Call to Authentic Worship (Part 1)
How do we worship? What are we “allowed” to do while still being reverent before the Lord, worshiping in spirit and truth? What is God's desire for our worship? Does He give us the right to pick and choose how we worship?
Over the course of this multi-part devotional, we will discover and learn the ways that we can actively worship God when we come together as the gathered Church. We are told in Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth that our mere existence, even eating or drinking, can be worship to God; so we understand that our worship is not confined to a time or a place—it is a lifestyle. This mini-series is intended to develop our worship as it pertains to the intentional physical and spiritual acts that we do during our worship. Granted, these things can (and should) be done whether we are at church or not. My hope is that churches and believers everywhere, will experience true freedom in worship together—a glimpse into what heaven may be like one day. God desires us to worship in this way. Let’s learn together.
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)
Part 1: In Spirit
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:15-17 (NIV)
"Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.’” John 3:5-6 (NIV)
“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5 (NLT)
“Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand.” 1 Corinthians 14:15 (NLT)
Jesus made it clear that upon our salvation, we are reborn in the Spirit. He has left us His Spirit to comfort and help us until His return. This is not an “either/or” situation, it is a matter of being born of flesh and spirit. We are born of flesh as soon as we enter the world, but we are born again in spirit when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior. “God’s Spirit energizes and excites our spirit.” (David Mathis, desiringGod.org) Paul made a reference to the difference of worshiping in spirit and truth in the 1 Corinthians passage, stating that he had times when he would pray and sing in spirit (in words he could not understand), and he had times when he would pray and sing in truth (in words he could understand). In this chapter, Paul is talking about the proper way to use the spiritual gifts of speaking in tongues and prophecy. In Deuteronomy, we are shown that God’s desire is for us to love Him with all of our heart, soul and strength. In order for us to worship Him in this way, we have to know who it is that we love, and we have to understand why we should worship Him in the first place. This is where the “truth” piece comes in. Our knowledge of God will inspire our worship.