Summary: Fourth in the series on worship. We must worship in spirit and in truth.
THE TWO INGREDIENTS OF WORSHIP
One day a pastor went home to lunch with one of the families in the church. While he was waiting to be called to the table the mom and dad were in the kitchen preparing things but the little 9-year old boy was in the living room with the pastor. The pastor said “boy, that sure smells good.” The little boy replied “yep, its buzzard.” The preacher scoffed, “Oh, you mean chicken.” To which the little boy said “Nope, I heard mom tell dad this morning “We are going to have the old buzzard for lunch.”
Jesus is speaking to the woman at the well. He is telling her of her need for living water. She is attempting to distract him and argue culture and religion. Jesus boils it down to a simple statement. This statement teaches us a tremendous amount about worship.
Imagine with me for a moment. You are at home and you get hungry for something sweet. You decided to make chocolate chip cookies. You look in the cabinet and realize you are out of brown sugar. You don’t want to go to the store. You think “you know, sand looks like brown sugar” so you use sand as a substitute ingredient. Then you realize you are out of cooking oil so you go get some of your husbands Quaker State. Who’s ready to eat those cookies? Look alike ingredients are not equal. Jesus tells us what ingredients are necessary for true worship.
I. THE SPIRIT MUST BE PRESENT IN WORSHIP.
A) We must worship in spirit—“An attitude of humility and communication that is not based on emotion but which must not restrict emotion or the movement of the Holy Spirit upon our person.”
B) How do we know what the spirit directs? I Kings 19:11-13
1) God does not always work through the extravagant.
2) But when we visit with God…whether it is in the earthquake, fire or still small voice, it will move us.
3) It will also challenge us---“Elijah what are you doing here?”
C) We must be careful not to quench the Spirit. I Thes 5:18
1) To quench is to “put out the fire, to suppress, to stifle”
2) Anger, resentment, jealousy, pride, and a callused heart will all quench the spirit.
3) Jer 20:9 Is the fire of God burning so hot in your heart that you can’t stand to be quiet about it?
Without the Spirit, our attempts at worship are merely empty ritual…..no more than the Pharisees had.
II. THE TRUTH MUST BE PRESENT IN WORSHIP.
A) The truth is simple—When Jesus wanted to teach a great spiritual truth He would many times use a parable.—When calling fishermen to follow Him He called them to be fishers of men…..When teaching about millions who were seeking the truth, He pointed to the harvest ready fields and said the fields are white unto harvest, pray to God that He will send laborers.
B) But the truth is not simplistic—To be simplistic means that the complexities of an issue are overlooked.
1) “We serve the same God, isn’t that all that matters?” Have you heard this statement?
a. Many claim to serve the same God but it is a lie….A few years ago I heard Evangelical pastors stand side by side with Louis Farrakhan and say “We serve the same God.” Louis Farrakhan is the leader of the nation of Islam.
b. Serving the same God is the MOST important thing but it is NOT the ONLY important thing.
STAND UP FOR WHAT THE WORD OF GOD TEACHES.
It is a sad thing but truth by many churches today has been decided by what others will do or how they will react. “Pastor, we can’t do that. We will scare everybody away.” Does God know what He is doing? Has He changed the truth? Then should we preach and teach the truth?
Sometimes I hear people taking pride in having one or the other of these ingredients. “Well, we may not have the spirit in our worship but we sure do have the truth.” Or “Yes, your right, we have compromised the truth of interpretation but we sure do have the spirit.” Do you want sand for brown sugar or Quaker State for cooking oil? Do you know the truth personally? I mean The Truth—Jesus Christ? Is the Holy Spirit living in and directing your steps? Are you worshipping in spirit and in truth?