The other day (meaning over a week or so ago) I was reading through John as part of my read through the bible in a year program, and I came to the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). It's one of those stories that I am quite familiar with and thus I have a tendancy to skim it more than actually read it. However, this time around, I got stuck on verse 23 where Jesus says, "But the time is coming - indeed it is now here- when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way".
I couldn't help but think what does it mean to worship God in spirit and in truth? I hear people say this verse all the time (and by people I mean other Christians and pastors), but honestly I can't say I've ever really thought about what it means. So I did a bit of a word study...meaning I looked up the greek words for "spirit" and "truth"...and I came up with a pretty interesting description (although I do not claim to be a bible scholar in any way, so this is just for my own understanding). To worship God in spirit and in truth is to worship Him from the essence of your being without pretense, deceit or falsehood.
That's the kind of relationship I want with God....a relationship where I am not laying my claim or pretending anything or even putting on a show for God or anyone else. But rather a relationship where from the very core of my being I am truly seeking God, longing to know Him and make Him known, and worshipping Him with all that I am, because I know how completely loved I am by Him and how much He has done for me! That's my prayer! That's what I want my life to look like! And that's what I think God is looking for!
It's kind of crazy to me though that all of that can come out of studying ONE verse...and that even weeks later it's still having a lasting effect on my life, in that every day I find myself praying that God would make me a true worshipper...one who worships in spirit and in truth. It doesn't always happen like that though...that I read a verse and it sticks out to me and becomes so meaningful....but when it does, it reminds me of just how living and active God's word is and that He still is speaking to His people through it today!