What is the Right Way to Worship God?

In John 4, a woman asks Jesus where the right place to worship God is. Jesus, in his typical fashion, gives an answer that the woman isn't expecting.

He says, "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24)

Spirit and truth. I've thought about what this means. I understand that God is a spirit and I must worship him from my spirit, my soul...from within me. But what about truth? How do I worship God 'in truth'?

In that verse, truth is translated from the Greek word alētheia. It has the connotation of meaning ''in reality' or 'in fact'.

What I think Jesus is saying here is that we must worship God both in the spiritual reality where he exists and in the physical reality where we exist.

In our heart as well as with our hands.

From who we are and in what we do.

The issue, according to Jesus, isn't where you worship God, but how.

It's easy to get caught up in the mystical realities of a supernatural God, and I'm not going to say that's a bad thing. But I am going to say that we can't stop there.

I've heard many people express the desire for God to bring about 'More of you, less of me'. I understand the sentiment, but I'm not sure it's what God is after. God isn't trying to move us into oblivion as he takes over more and more. We're not just roadblocks in his way. He has called us to be full partners in his work and in his kingdom. He wants to fill us, not destroy us.

We are his work, not a hindrance to his purposes. You may think I'm being arrogant and acting a little too presumptuously. I assure you I am not. I say these things only because God clearly reveals them in the scriptures. I would agree that we don't deserve God's presence among us, or the freedom to invest our lives in him; but he not only makes it possible, he helps us to accomplish it.

But he has done all this so that we can be part of bringing his Kingdom and his will to this earth. He doesn't just want us getting happy off his gifts and his presence, he wants us to do something with them.

I think it's very possible to be so heavenly minded that you're no earthly good. And I would argue that you're forgetting to worship God in truth if you reach that point.

We are both in this world and also not of it. We must not run away from either of those truths. Because doing so would prevent us from worshiping God in the way Jesus said we ought.