Genuine Worship (John 4:23–24) - Radical

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Genuine Worship (John 4:23–24)

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

Ah, there is so much here in this conversation Jesus is having with this woman at the well about living water that springs up, wells up into eternal life.

John 4:23–24 Calls Us to Worship in Spirit and Truth

Just a reminder to you today that Jesus is a living water for your soul that will never ever run dry. So to seek him over and above everything in this world. But then, you get later on in the conversation Jesus is having with this woman, and he starts talking about worship of God in spirit and truth for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

Just think about those two together. In John 1, we see Jesus full of grace and truth. Not just grace, not just truth, but grace and truth together. Here, worship is described by Jesus as being marked by spirit and truth because God is spirit and God is true. So we want to make sure our worship of God, whether our everyday worship as we offer our bodies as living sacrifices before God, right, Romans 12:1, or our gathering with God’s people for worship is marked by both of these things by truth, by the truth about who God is anchored to the truth of God’s word, and that we are led by the Spirit in our everyday lives and when we gather together for worship. This is not just mechanical motion. This is spirit-led worship that we give to God.

So when we gather in our churches, let’s make sure that they are marked. Let’s make sure that our gatherings are marked by worship in spirit and truth, that it’s clear the Holy Spirit is leading us, and guiding us, and directing our worship. I think about these prayer gatherings we’ve been having in our church family, and I’m not against planning in any way.

John 4:23–24 Reminds Us We Need the Fullness of God’s Spirit

I actually love planning and prefer planning, but I think about how God’s spirit has led us to pray for hours at a time in ways nobody could have planned and I hope in ways that are anchored to the truth of God’s word at every step. Let’s worship together in spirit and truth, and then let that be the commentary on our lives every day, every moment that we are following the leadership of the Spirit as we cling to the truth of his word and as we proclaim the truth of his word and the power of his spirit.

Oh, God, make us worshipers like this, we pray. Even this phrase that you are seeking such people to worship you. May we be those people on a daily basis, and when we gather together with your people, may you be pleased, honored, and glorified by our worship in spirit and truth. God, lead us by your spirit to worship you according to your word. Keep us from trying to choose between these two. We want the fullness of your spirit and the fullness of your truth in our lives, in our churches, and we pray for worship that’s marked by both in ways that lead to the spread of your truth and the power of your spirit.

Praying for the Bathari People

God, we pray for the Bathari people of Oman, the small people group that is totally unreached by the gospel. God, we pray. Hear our cries for the Bathari people right now and cause the gospel to spread among them that they might join the throng of worshipers among all the nations giving you glory in spirit and truth. God, we pray for the spread of your worship. You’re seeking worshipers like this. Bring Bathari people to worship you in spirit and truth, we pray. All of these things, we pray in Jesus’ name according to Jesus words in John 4:23–24. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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