In Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman, it didn’t take long before their conversation turned to worship.
I would guess that was as hot a topic then as it is today.
The woman’s question was sincere, "I know there are two ways to worship…the Samaritan way and the Jewish way…but which is the right way?"
Jesus dealt with that question once and for all as he explained that the true God is seeking after worshippers to worship in spirit and in truth.
The Samaritan religion was characterized by enthusiastic, lively, and highly emotional worship.
Although this kind of worship was stimulating and left the worshippers feeling good, they were missing something.
They did not have information about God and the Messiah that had come.
They lacked the basic truths of God that should motivate us to worship Him in the first place.
The Jews had the opposite problem.
They believed the truth as revealed to them by God and literally built their entire culture around this truth.
Unfortunately, this kind of belief became as routine as lacing their sandals or washing their hands.
They lacked a spiritual, emotional experience that should accompany knowledge of such great truth.
The same kind of thing is happening today in worship.
Some people worship totally in the spirit.
It’s true that worship happens from the inside out.
Sincere worship begins within the depths of a person’s heart and overflows into every area of life, bringing blessing and joy to those around.
But with all this emotional charge, it’s easy to set our emotions above God.
That places us in danger of making an idol out of worship.
On the other hand are people who worship primarily in truth.
They know God as revealed in His Word and cannot be swayed in their beliefs.
People like this live with purpose and confidence.
Their faith is a rock for them in times of trouble and they provide strength for those around them.
Their thinking is clear and untainted by emotion.
But we can easily be hindered in our worship if we become so afraid of feeling that we emotionally disengage.
Our Heavenly Father wants our worship to be a balance between our heads (what we know about Him) and our hearts (what we feel towards Him).
On which side of the spectrum are you?
Do you need to simmer down your emotions and spend some time getting to know the God that you worship?
Maybe you need to loosen up and let the Holy Spirit guide your emotions as you worship Him.
Jesus said, "True worshippers will worship in Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks." (John 3:23)
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