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 is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24 ESV)
Too many times, we only want to worship when it’s easy. Worship is counting something more worthy than something else.
Sometimes we worship our image more than God. Sometimes we worship our leisure more than God. Sometimes we worship people more than God. Sometimes we worship money more than God. Sometimes we worship our yards more than God. Sometimes we worship our television more than God.
We are prone to put many things before him, and definitely things more convenient to give our attention to.
Worship is definitely more than singing, or listening to singing. But, even in something as easy as singing, we’ll check out because breathing in and breathing out is too tiring when singing. We’ll check out because we don’t like the tune or the type of song.
However, our worship, whether in singing or in any other thing, must be a conscious recognition of doing, thinking or saying something toward God because he is worthy of our effort and sacrifice. He is worthy.
Worship is more than doing whatever is easy or convenient. It should cost us something. Sometimes it costs us time; we worship God, so we count him worthy of praying or getting in the word or gathering with other believers. We count him worthy, so we worship God by giving of our time to help others, even if it means we don’t get to pursue our hobbies. We say in our hearts and minds and with our hands and feet, “You, Father, are worthy! This will cost me, but you are worthy! I worship you!”
I can go on and on, but I think you might get it.
King David got it: “But the king said to Araunah, ‘No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the lord my God that cost me nothing.’ So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.” (2 Samuel 24:24 ESV)
In Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well in John 4, the essence of the issue Christ addresses in John 4:23-24 is that worship is not connected with a certain place or thing. Worship is adoration, and true, spirit-filled believers do not adore a certain place, or a certain object, or a certain day of the week, or a certain activity. A true, spirit-filled believer adores Jesus, and we even adore him when it’s not easy, and we even adore him when it costs us.
John Piper said, “We worship God authentically when we know him truly and treasure him duly. Then the word “worship” refers to that valuing, that inner valuing, becoming visible in the world in two basic ways in the New Testament. One is acts of the mouth: acts of praise and repentance in worship services or small group gatherings. The other is acts of love with the body and the hands and the feet: acts of love that show the supreme value of God by what we are willing to sacrifice for the good of others.” (ref. Hebrews 13:15-16)
Worship has to be more than simply what is convenient. True adoration is not limited to the easy, and, in fact, it operates in the face of difficulty.
Do you worship God or only do what is convenient?