Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be his worshipers” (John 4:23 NASB).
But, do we understand what that worship involves?
Many people approach worship with the same rote behavior as a person might use to recite the “Pledge of Allegiance.” What I mean is, they say the words, but there is no meaning from the heart.
Interestingly, Jonah, the prophet God sent to preach to Nineveh, is instructive in the kind of connection we must have with God in worship. In Jonah chapter two, Jonah is moved with thankfulness for God preserving his life when he was cast into the sea.
Jonah said, “Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, weeds were wrapped around my head. I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, but you have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God” (Jonah 2:5-6).
Can you hear the emotion pouring from Jonah’s heart? He had done nothing to deserve the salvation of God. In fact, Jonah was in rebellion against God when he was cast into the sea. It was while he was inside the fish that Jonah understood he had been wrong and that God had saved him.
A good brother pointed out to me the truth that this is the true meaning of worship, but do we see it that way? Do we remember when we were living in sin and needed a savior? Do we remember when the “great deep engulfed” us?
When we remember when God has brought us up, when he grabbed us by our necks and pulled us away from sin and death, then we will remember the proper attitude (spirit) we should have toward worshiping him. We will worship according to the proper spirit.