On His Terms
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. John 4:23 (NKJV)
The greatest teaching Jesus gave on worship in the Gospel accounts wasn't to the religious people, to His disciples, or even to the Jews. He gave it to an adulterous Samaritan woman who was trying to change the conversation from her sin to something else—anything else! Jesus points out her infidelity, and she quickly switches the subject to worship. In His response, Jesus gives one of His greatest teachings on worship.
The woman asked a question about geography in worship—who was right when it came to the "where" of worship. You see, worship is one of those areas where people sometimes rely more on preferences, tastes, and experiences than on the teachings of God's Word. When we hold those things more dearly than God's own words on the matter, it can lead us down a path of expression and feeling, with the worshiper validating the worship based on emotional response. Other times it leads us to a discussion as to which songs, styles, and instruments are right and which ones are wrong.
But we've missed the point. Just as the Samaritan woman at the well was asking the wrong question about worship, too often we also ask the wrong questions. And God points us back to His Word. We are called to worship Him on His own terms, not on ours. Worship isn't a matter of musical tastes or melodic preferences. It is our response to the revelation of God, declared by loving God and obeying His Word. When we are practicing those two things, the other questions don't seem to matter as much. Worship Him in spirit and in truth, no matter the setting or style. In all things, we are to glorify Him!
Worship Leader, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
Think about it…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?