Sonoma Raceway

June 23, 2018

Worship in Spirit and Truth

Bob Butcher

What’s the number one ​priority of your life?

It’s likely that which you give your time, money, your affection too.  it should be the presence of God, so it is how you and I steward the presence of God.  Jesus said in Matthew 6:21 which is in His “Sermon on the Mount” “…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” 

Why is it in the scriptures that Jesus is seeking after something?  Here is the Creator ​G​od, who needs nothing, seeking after something.  How is that possible?

What we read in the scripture is​ H​e’s seeking after those that are worshiping in spirit and truth. (John 4:23) Interestingly, Jesus tells this to the Samaritan woman at the well Jacob had dug:

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.”

God seeks after people who are pursuing the Lord.

I think of King David as a perfect example. God turned from Saul and sought out a man who was desiring God.  David was not seeking a kingdom, wealth, power— he was seeking God.

​For another great example it’s well worth your time to spend a few minutes reading 2 Samuel 6.  Early in David’s reign he decides to go get the Ark of God which had been left in Abinadab’s house for 20 years​ after the Philistines had captured it and quickly got rid of it because of God’s wrath on them! (A great read from 1 Samuel 5 to 7). 

Abinadab was a Levite, and likely the closest place they could take it.  But note that only a Levite Priest could touch it and he was not a priest so they “sanctified” his son Eleazar to have charge of it.  There is a lot more to this story but no time here, suffice to say that Uzzah, and Ahio were sons of Abinadab that were used to move it to Jerusalem years later until Uzzah touched it and was immediately struck dead by God and it ended up at Obed-Edom’s house.

So why was ​A​binadab who had the ark for 20 years not blessed like ​O​bed​-​edom who only had the ark 90 days?

Everyone knew and heard of the incredible blessing the presence of ​G​od in ​Obed-edom’s house. ​So w​hat​’​s the difference​ between these two that both had the Ark in their possession but with very different outcomes?

*(Let me maybe say more about Obed-Edom when we get to Roseburg.  It’s really interesting and insightful)

It’s about Honoring​ ​His presence. You honor Him with your time, your finances, with your words and actions.

But that brings all of us a question:  how can you honor a ​God you cannot see if you cannot honor those around you?

So, If there’s one thing​ that you will steward, let it be nothing else but the presence of the Lord. 

(Steward = “ to look after, make decisions about, handle”)

We must consistently recommit ourselves to make the presence of Lord the highest priority, make him our first love.  O​ur lives should be a living epistle (letter) or journal about​​ our personal experience in “​The presence of the Lord”​:

…Honor​ ​His presence. Don’t forget; the Holy Spirit lives in you!

So… honor Him with our time, our finances, our words and actions each day.

…make Him our first acknowledgement when we wake up every morning. 
…My own personal way is a simple “good morning Lord” first thing waking up, and the ODB which is only about 2 minutes which is why I call it “my two  minute pit stop for life.”

To go deeper scripturally, Luke 10:27 show us Jesus answering this questioned area this way: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself”

Note Jesus brings up that “how do you honor God whom you cannot see if you cannot honor the ones we can see?” by tacking it onto how we honor and respect God!

The issue is not whether we will worship, but what. Even better, whom and how.

The “truth” part is plain enough — with the coming of Jesus, that truth centers on His person and work, the one who is Himself “the Truth” (John 14:6) and the message about His saving accomplishments for us, which is “the Word of the Truth, and/or the Gospel” (Colossians 1:5).

It is this “Word of Truth” (James 1:18) by which we’re given new birth, this “Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) that Christian workers endeavor to handle correctly, and this truth that anchors & saturates true Christian worship.

  • John 14:6 : Jesus told him, “I am the Way—yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except through Me.”
  • Colossians 1:5 : the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the message of Truth, the Gospel.”
  • James 1:18 : By His sovereign plan He gave us birth through the message of Truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.
  • 2 Timothy 2:15 :  Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of Truth accurately.”

But what about “spirit”? Is this our spirit or God’s Spirit? Jesus’s memorable statement in John 3:6 helps us understand: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” It’s not either-or, but both together.

For those who are new creatures in Christ, our spirit owes its existence and vibrancy to the Spirit of God. As John Piper writes, “True worship comes only from spirits made alive and sensitive by the quickening of the Spirit of God” (Desiring God, pg. 82). God’s Spirit ignites and energizes our spirit.