My 4 year-old granddaughter Kinsey graduated to “big church” from the pre-school department. Now she gets to stay with us until the welcoming time and then she goes to children’s church with the older kids. Today she was swaying to the combined choirs and singing along. She was so happy to be part of the worship time like her older sister. This introduction into corporate worship is exciting for her.
Sometimes people get all caught up in mechanics, methodology and emotions when worshipping. Some folks think they have to feel a certain way, to act a certain way, to respond a certain way. Some are told their worship is invalid because they do not raise their hands; their hearts are cold because they do not offer continual “Amen and Praise the Lord” in response to music and preaching. As Kinsey begins to learn the meaning of worshipping God, she will watch what others do. She will mimic at times. She will have many questions. But the sweetest thing today was that she wanted to participate. As I watched Kinsey’s expressions, her enthusiasm made me think of what Jesus said about worship:
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24
Our spirit combines with God’s Spirit the moment we believe the Truth. God breaks through our surrendered will and ingrafts His Life with our soul. Once we are regenerated by His grace, we are never without the ability to worship our Creator. Unlike Kinsey, we may have times we feel dead. We may be in crisis and incapable of feeling–but our worship is as genuine as the day we were saved because our spirit bears witness with His eternally. Our faith in Christ and our gratitude for Him is our true worship. And when we cannot muster our broken hearts to praise, the Holy Spirit holds it up to the Father and offers prayer in our behalf.
Do we become complacent in our joy to worship our Lord? Do we care more about how worship affects us and pleases others? Or is our priority in having a prepared heart, and an open mind to hear His voice and how much praise and adoration He deserves for who He is?
PRAYER: Thank you for making it possible to worship in spirit and in truth through Your Son’s sacrifice. Lord, keep us ever mindful of the glory of Your grace and mercy. Let our hearts be open to receive You and surrender our will to Yours and love You for all You are.
© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2011