Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

Worshipping In Spirit and Truth

 

 

 

                    

 

 

                       Worshipping   

                   in Spirit and Truth

 

John 4:20-24

 

Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 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. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:20-24 NKJV)

 

This scripture is one that has haunted Christianity for over two thousand years. When it sprang from Jesus lips, it was never intended to fall to the ground as idle chatter, but serve as words of warning to future generations to be careful what, where, and how we worship.

 

We watch the unfolding of idol after idol in this generation and wonder how much man has actually progressed in his trek through history. We see civilizations continually march around the same mountain of worshipping what they do not know, rather than worshipping what they know. Our anything but static behavior proves that we have certain tendencies to shift from one extreme to another rather than fix our eyes upon the one true God in faith. 

 

Understanding and living out this passage of scripture is an important part of seeing God move in your personal life as the God of power and might. We can settle for whatever our emotions will throw out there, or we can press in to the place where God controls the thermostat of our lives and we venture into that place of worshipping God in Spirit and in truth.

 

 

The Heart of Worship

 

Psalms 73:25-28

 

Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord G OD, That I may declare all Your works. (Psalms 73:25-28 NKJV)

 

I remember well when Matt Redman released the song “Heart of Worship in the late 1990s. It is a song that begged my curiosities so I read interviews done with Redman about the song’s origin. It apparently came out of a season where his pastor, during a season of dryness, made a bold move and shut down the church’s sound system and sat the band down for a time. It was then that they were able to focus upon the true heart of worship. And that’s when God took over.

 

When the music fades, all is stripped away, and I simply come / Longing just to bring something that’s of worth that will bless your heart… / I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about You, Jesus

 

Understanding the need for finding God in the secret place is no longer an option or can be considered a “feature of a church”. We are reaching a point in civilization where it will be the artery where the fount of God’s grace revitalizes those who are famished from a flesh soaked, materialistic world.

 

God is not seeking those who will show up at church for the 9..11...and 12:30 matinee. He is looking for those who will SIMPLY COME; no agendas, no pomp, no expectations from man...just a hunger for God.

 

 

 

 

 

Temple Purification 

 

Hebrews 10:19-23

 

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:19-23 NKJV)

 

Understanding that God is present in worship is the first step toward seeing God move in the place of worship. The place of Spirit and Truth, according to Jesus would no longer be the mountain of man’s efforts or the building of his flesh. The putrefaction of the church is everywhere around. It started with fashion shows and religious power struggles and has proceeded to Wi-Fi hot spots where people surfing the internet during church services  has become the replacement for God’s word and power.

 

It’s like saying that God is not enough...our sick need for entertainment has placed us in an almost drug induced coma where we need to have something else...anything else...but God. Jesus took on the veil of the flesh and defeated it to get that out of our way and we simply reintroduced the flesh to our worship services by making it all about the comforts of man.

 

When we show up to worship, we have a key available to us and that is the “New and living way”....it is Jesus. He is the author and the finisher of our faith. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life...he is the Great I am...the Rock of Ages...the One True God...The one that sticks closer than a Brother...He is the Lamb of God....The Resurrection and the Life...He is the Son of God....and he is more important than your smart phone or your social schedule.

 

Vessels of Honor

 

II Timothy 2:20-21

 

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. (II Timothy 2:20-21 NKJV)

 

Being an old advertising man, I always look for the disclaimer on a product. A disclaimer is the part of an advertisement, broadcast or print, that tells you just what you are or are not paying for. Some call it... “the small print”. I affectionately see 2 Timothy 2, 20 and 21, the great disclaimer of preferential treatment in the house of God. It tells you where you stand. This scripture tells us all that we have equal access to the throne of God, not according to our physical worth, but according to our hearts.

Case in point: I can take a two hundred dollar stem of pure Waterford crystal and fill it with Boone’s farm ripple wine and have an abomination. I can take a clay cup made by a kindergarten student and fill it with Chateauneuf du Pape Champagne and the worth of the vessel becomes significant only by its contents.

Here, Paul is telling Timothy that Gold or Clay....Silver or wood...The honor comes from the content. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of what this world is serving. I’m sick of the rot that passes for church in this country. I’m ready for God to fill the vessels of humility with the precious wine of His presence. I’m Begging God to take us back to the heart of Worship, where it is ALL about Jesus....I’m more than ready to see the place of Worshipping “In Spirit and In Truth”.

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