August 10th – In Spirit



In one short passage in John Chapter 4 Jesus said more about worship than all the creeds have ever said. One of the things he said was that to be real before God, worship must be in spirit.
At its basic level, that means that worship is a spiritual exercise, not merely a correct religious procedure to be followed. En pneumati – in spirit – the right spirit is the offering of your whole self. When we attempt to worship God with but a part of ourselves, say our lips – our brains – or our posture – or our dress – we fail, because to worship in spirit means with the whole of what we are, warts and all; what we may become, and even what we have been. Spiritual worship involves the sum total of our personalities. All laid down gladly before God, for in the end, when all our human equipment is left behind, what is there left, but our spirits?
Jesus did not say in the spirit – meaning the Holy Spirit – but he did say that God is Spirit, and that’s the only plane on which you can commune with him. If the presence of God, the Holy Spirit, is not recognised, then all forms of worship are merely human rigmarole. Mind you, the Holy Spirit is not to be hijacked by any group of people saying “Only if you worship as we do, have you the spirit”. They infer by this that only our brand of sacraments are valid; only our brand of ministries are usable; only our way of celebrating or even swinging from the chandeliers is spiritual. Worship in the spirit is not any particular form of meeting, neither does it merely mean you must be sincere. Because you can be sincere, but wrong. It means that the agenda is God’s – entirely his – so we have to let go of our agendas and our will power, and commanded by his Spirit, to say we are sorry for what we are, to repent of what we have become and to be willing to obey his orders, whatever they are. That is worship in the spirit. The single-minded motive of seeking God’s face.
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.Psalm 27:4
If you are in Christ, you have become a part of the temple of God, and the spirit of God dwells in you.
A Prayer:(Christina G. Rossetti, A.D.1830)
“Make us of quick and tender conscience, O Lord; that understanding, we may obey every word of thine this day, and discerning, may follow every suggestion of thine indwelling spirit.Speak, Lord, for they servant heareth.
Now read Isaiah Chapter 40.

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