Much of what is called worship today has to do with touching stories, stirring appeals, or a thrilling oratory of a religious character. Beautiful anthems by a well-trained choir, rendered in such a way as to move to tears or to great joy—now this may stir the outward man, but it will not and cannot affect the inner man.
“To worship in spirit and truth stands opposed to worshipping God with the senses.” We can’t worship God by looking at stained glass windows, by listening to the music of a costly organ by smelling of sweet incense or “telling of beads.” We cannot worship God with our eyes and ears, or nose and hands for they are all flesh. “God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
“Must worship Him in spirit and truth” excludes everything that is of the natural man. True worship is the adoration of a saved person occupied with God Himself.
The fact of the matter is that the greatest enemy and hindrance of true worship is religion. People think that if they “go to church” and are reverent in their conduct, join in the singing of the Hymns, and give as the collection plate is passed, they have really worshipped.
What is worship…praise? Yes, but more it’s adoration coming forth from a heart that has been touched by God Himself. It’s a response to His Love. It’s an expressing of gratitude for His unspeakable gift. It’s the making of melody in our heart singing “Worthy is the Lamb.” What is it? It’s loving Him who alone is worthy. It’s a sinner saved by free grace, washed in the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ shouting in his heart, blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for His so great salvation. May the Spirit of the Living God bring our hearts to true worship.