John 4:24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.
Jesus statement of worship is a profound revelation of true worship. When we worship we must, (its an absolute necessity not a suggestion, or a casual remark) worship in spirit and truth! The desire for worship of the one true God must come to culmination in the perfect unison of the spirit and the truth.
One must validate and check the other. We cannot have real worship without both of these factors playing an integral part of that devotion. When we worship, the spirit of God that is in us is alive with cohesion to the ultimate creator. It is His spirit that has given us life and in the depth of our soul, our connection, ingrained on the microscopic level, written in our very DNA is the desire of every single man woman and child to know Him. Regardless if they push that desire away or not it is there. It is in worship that this relation is brought to a new height. Jesus says God searches out for these worshippers.
John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
God inhabits the praise of His people. Praise evokes the presence of God into our life.
But can we just worship in spirit? I believe the answer is No. There is a reason Jesus said we need both ingredients. When the spirit of man is opened to the spiritual realm it is opened up to all types of spirits. In this realm there are different spirits. God is spirit but so are other created beings, angels and on a more malevolent side: satan and his demons are also spirit beings. Also let us not forget that man is a spiritual being as well. He is triune in nature consisting first of spirit, then soul and body. It gives him access to enter the spiritual realm and still dwell in this mortal frame. When man opens himself to worship he opens up himself to the entire spiritual realm. This is where we can enter into error, if we worship in spirit alone. Because satan is a spirit and he can easily influence and deceive man. The bible says in 2 Cr 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. He is still an angel and it’s not his appearance that is corrupt but his nature. When we worship with every good intention and not have it validated by truth we can be lead astray unawares, if all we rely on is the spirit connection.
That is why Jesus says we MUST worship in Spirit and Truth. What is truth?. Let Jesus answer that question. He says in John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. The word of God is truth and Jesus is truth, for he says John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. God will never violate his word. He can never contradict His word. He will never work contrary to His word. When He speaks it will always totally align with His word. If there is anything God is bound by it’s His word. (Psa 138:2b for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.) We then must let this uncompromising factor be the discerner of everything in our life and worship.
People worship lots of things and its not the most obvious ones like idols that come to mind. The most common ones are money, success, houses and children. There is nothing wrong with desiring any of these things, or even excelling in things, but any form of worship that does not have God at its centre is a violation.
Truth must validate the worship of our spirit, to direct us in the right form of worship. In the same vein, we can just have truth and because of this knowledge we become proud and pompous. (1Cr 8:1b Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth). Truth and knowledge must work together in conjunction with the spirit of God. Jesus acknowledges the importance of this! We must worship in Spirit and Truth. God let your spirit lead us and let you truth direct us!
Worship is essential to the Christian life. It gives life to the believer and it draws God nearer. It can change situations and transform circumstances. The next time you are stressed or concerned, try worshiping God. You will see things change as you take your eyes of yourself and put them on Jesus. And remember God is looking for such!