NOW IS THE TIME FOR TRUE WORSHIP (Part 1.)


This was taken from:
THE OVERCOMERS TRUMPET CALL
Volume 1 Number 2
June 2007

True Worship
John 4:23 “But the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.”(KJV)
John 4:23 “But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.”(NLT)
God seeks worship, He seeks true worship and He is looking for true worshipers. The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth for true worshipers, for those who are fully committed to Him in their life, actions, relationships, careers, homes, marriage, thoughts, finances, possessions and words. In this age of hypocrisy, duplicity, and falsity the Lord is seeking for true worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. The Spirit of God is stirring the hearts of God’s people to come and worship Him with the kind of worship that He seeks and deserves. The truth is that much of what we perceive to be worship today is actually an affront to God and offensive to Him. Much of the worship in the church today is neither true nor in the Spirit for that matter, therefore God will not receive it. As the Lord says to Israel through His prophet Isaiah; “stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. I cannot bear your evil assemblies.” (See Is1:13-15) God would not receive their offerings, prayers and worship because it was done in pretense for the people were hypocrites. Isaiah himself testified to this fact in God’s own words; “these people honor Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain…” (Is29:13). And so it is today in God’s church. People worship Him with arms outstretched, with great show of emotion, some even worship with tears rolling down their cheeks all the while they are living in sin and hypocrisy, their hearts defiled and corrupted. We may fool others and even ourselves but we cannot fool the all seeing and all knowing Most High God.
Gal 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.” (NIV)
Gal 6:7 “You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself!” (CEV)
Gal 6:7 “Do not deceive yourselves; no one makes a fool of God.” (GNB)
The women at the well (John 4:1-26)
Jesus famous teaching on worship in John 4 to the Samaritan women at the well needs to be studied and taught in the church again. If God is seeking true worship from true worshipers we had better search out the matter and qualify ourselves as true worshipers.
The woman at the well was a Samaritan, the Samaritans were a people of mixed race. She was a woman of ill repute and she lived a life of iniquity. No Rabbi or Pharisee would have ever even glanced her way but here we see the Lord engaging her in conversation. Our Lord came for people such as this; people like this woman, people like you and me. She was lonely, despised, brokenhearted, an outcast but the Lord loved her even though she was steeped in sin and iniquity. She has had several husbands and the man she was with at that time was not even her husband. The Lord offers her living water and immediately she is intrigued.
John 4:11-12 “Sir,” the women said, “You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our Father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself…” (NIV)
John 4:13-14 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst…” (NIV)
Jesus answer to her question stirred a desire deep within her that has haunted her all her life, a desire that could never be fulfilled till now… This woman tried to satisfy this desire deep within her innermost being with all manner of things. It was because of this unfulfilled desire that she looked for fulfillment in the arms of several men. She had a great thirst deep within her for living water. She had a God-shaped hole in heart that she tried to get filled but she was looking to fill it in all the wrong places. She like all of us before we received Christ was going down a dead-end street. When men knock on the door of a brothel or drink themselves into oblivion or snort a line of Cocaine they are looking to quench the thirst for living water deep within them; they are looking to fill that God-shaped hole. Only thing is that the thirst becomes greater and the hole becomes bigger. This women was thirsty for living water but she looked for it in all the wrong places therefore she remained thirsty and had to return to Jacobs well to try and satisfy this thirst deep within her. Jacob’s well represents those things that we try and substitute God with in our lives. But those who drink from this well always end up thirsty for more. (More on this in a moment.)
Jacob’s well also speaks of RELIGION. Jacob represented the Patriarchs as well as their religion and traditions. When this woman at the well discerned that Jesus was a prophet she immediately brought up a religious matter and concern of her.
John 4:20 “Our fathers (the patriarchs) worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
To this woman this was an all important matter that she needed to be resolved. She wanted this matter resolved because she rightly discerned that her religion was not fulfilling her as a person. In fact it was because of religion that she ended up in such a mess. Religion did not satisfy the thirst therefore she ended up seeking for fulfillment elsewhere. There can be no true worship in religion and religious people can never be true worshipers. So many people are lost and bound to a never ending cycle of trying to quench the thirst for living water, with the things of this world, only because they could never find true worship in the church. All they could find in the church was religion, tradition and dead formalism masquerading as worship; and these things could never satisfy the thirst deep within them. Many have backslidden and there are a multitude of prodigals wandering out there in the world. People who once had tasted God’s living water who have now run dry and have become thirsty, only because they stopped drinking from the fountain of living water within them. These are the people who once knew true worship but they fell back into religion and tradition. How easy it is to start in the Spirit and end up in the flesh. If you have become dry and thirsty you have departed from the fountain of living water and have ended up at Jacob’s well, the well of religion and tradition. A fountain bubbles and constantly brings forth fresh water but a well is a place where water becomes stale and stagnates with no movement whatsoever. This is also how we can differentiate and discern true worship from religion.
I have said that Jacobs well also represents those things that we try and substitute God with in our lives. These things are nothing but idols. The church is guilty of pervasive IDOLATRY and this hinders true worship of God in His church.
JER 2:13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
Here God through His prophet accuses the nation of Israel of apostasy (backsliding) and idolatry. They have turned their backs on God only to indulge in idolatry. A cistern was a type of well that they dug in rocks for the storage of rain water as a precaution during the dry seasons. So in effect God accused them of forsaking Him as their living water for substitute water, water that could not satisfy their thirst. These cisterns speak of idols which are substitutes or replacements of God in our lives. As previously stated the church is guilty of turning its back on God and replacing Him with cheap substitutes or idols. An idol is anything that distracts us from God, anything we place above God, anything that causes us to become less affectionate towards God and anything we have placed our trust in. Almost anything can become an idol, ministry can become an idol, the bible can become an idol, our creeds and doctrines can become an idol, and even worship can become an idol. How many of us have departed from true worship into idolatry? So many are guilty of worshiping the temple of the Lord instead of the Lord of the temple. The worship of Mammon is prevalent and pervasive all over the church. Tithing has become an idol in many believers’ lives and some have even begun to worship Mammon with their tithes unknowingly. When ever we give money to get money we are guilty of this perverse form of idolatry. We would do well as a church to heed the commandment of the Lord:
EX 20:3-5 “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image … you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”
Like Israel the church has forsaken their fountain of living water for dug out cisterns filled with the stale and murky waters of idolatry. The church has run dry and empty and they are forever returning to Jacob’s well, the well of religion and tradition to satisfy their thirst for living water. But their thirst has only become so much more intense and so right now, the church is parched with an intense thirst for living water. This is the Lord’s doing because He wants us to return to Him with all our hearts and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Rev 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.”
Jer 3:22 “Return, faithless people; I will cure you of your backsliding.”
Jer 29:13 “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”
Joel 2:12 “Even now, declares the Lord, return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

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