“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
As we see in Genesis 22:4, along with the wood, Abraham also brought with him fire. A burnt offering could have never been possible without it, and throughout scripture fire is synonymous with the Holy Spirit. It was on the Day of Pentecost that the Holy Spirit was poured out like fire on mankind as they praised and worshiped Him with all their might.
Just as it’s impossible to have a burnt offering without fire, so it is impossible to have true worship without the fire of the Holy Spirit. Sure, we can sing a song or a hymn or two, but without the fire of the Holy Spirit they’re just songs and we’re just going through the motions. It’s amazing what we sometimes call worship. Worship is not two fast songs and then two slow songs, it’s a place. Again it’s that “yonder place” that Abraham went to with his son, Issac, where he was willing to lay everything on the altar of obedience, for the sake of a covenant, and allow it to be consumed. Hebrews 12:29 says, “For our God is a consuming fire.”
We can not hold the Holy Spirit at bay and think we are going to be able to worship. We must embrace the Holy Spirit and allow Him to worship through us. According to John 4:24, because God is Spirit, the only way we can effectively worship Him is in spirit. I can tell you from my own experience that when the Holy Spirit is not embraced in our worship it is dry, meaningless, and the only thing that’s consumed, or wasted, is our time.
Here in Eastern North Carolina where I live, there are currently two major wild fires that are burning. One in the area of the outer banks, and the other to the south. In both fires, thousands of acres are being consumed. In fact I live a good distance from both of these fires, but the smoke was so heavy in my area recently that many had trouble breathing. In the same way, God want’s to have full access to every part of our lives so that indiscriminately He can burn up and consume everything in us for His glory. When something is consumed by fire, it is never the same and it is only the Holy Spirit, released in and through our worship, that can burn up any and everything in us that would keep our lives from being a “living sacrifice.”
Jesus was the one making the statement here in John 4:24. He knew what was necessary to enter into the place that the Father considered worship, and according to Him it’s a “must” that we worship in spirit. The only thing holding most of us back from being spirit worshipers is fear. Fear of losing our dignity. Fear of being emotionally overwhelmed and the fear of the unknown. The truth is we have nothing to fear when it comes to true spirit worship. That’s not to say that the above won’t happen, but when we worship in the spirit it’s all good. We must lay down our dignity, our self consciousness and our will on the altar of worship and allow the fire of the Holy Spirit to consume us.
Today’s Thought: Fill us today Father with the Holy Spirit and help us worship you in spirit and in truth.