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Genuine Worship

True worship is not church attendance or Christian culture. Explore the true meaning of genuine worship and discover how to connect deeply with God.

Worship is more than a song. Worship is a heart position before God, a genuine expression of an inward reality. Religious postures on the outside are just a show without a work of God on the inside. Worship is a heart communication, a place where we are vulnerable and exposed before the eyes of the Lord.

One can attend church and adapt to the culture quickly. You learn that people have a particular Christian language. There are certain words to say and ways to behave. You can mimic the language, copy the customs, and quickly believe that you are following the right path because you are imitating the behavior of others.

But if you see worship as only a social experience, you are missing the point. The Christian communal worship experience culminates from the work of God inside each heart. The inside transformation happens first, and then the outside expression follows.

The Danger of Worshipping in Vain

When you worship as an outward act to fit into a social mold, the Bible describes that as worshipping in vain. The prophet Isaiah wrote,

The Lord said: “These people approach me with their speeches to honor me with lip-service, yet their hearts are far from me, and human rules direct their worship of me.”

Isaiah 29:13

Jesus states that this verse described the condition of the Pharisees. They were concerned about human acts, with people fitting into their cultural agenda rather than genuinely connecting with God’s heart.

They would say things that sounded righteous and faithful. A Pharisee might say, “You want to follow God’s Law, don’t you? To follow the Law, you need to take some additional steps. Follow our customs correctly, and then God will be pleased.” The person would then learn to fit into a cultural mold and recruit more people by giving them similar directions.

Can this happen in church? Sure. Come to a few church services and interact with some of the members. Learn to sing the songs. Learn to behave like those around you. Learn a few Christian catchphrases. You can soon adapt to the culture and act like others in the community.

But is any of that worship? No, it is not. That is adapting to a culture, not worshipping Christ.

A Lesson on True Worship in John 4

What is worship? In John 4, a woman had a similar question. She finally had a chance to ask someone she saw as a prophet. She was getting water from a well, which Samaritan women did then. A man named Jesus came to the well. He started telling her private things about her life that few people knew. She could tell he was a devout and religious man.

She had a burning question about religion and was finally in front of someone with answers. After all, the religious man was pointing out her sin. How else do you deal with sin but through religion?

She understood that she needed to worship God correctly. She had previously listened to what people told her about worshipping God. They had instructed her on worship, but there was a contradiction. Some people say you’re supposed to worship God on this mountain, while others say you worship at another place. She found herself stuck in a clash of religious cultures. Either the Samaritans had it right, or the Jews had it right, but it couldn’t be both.

So she asked him to find out what was the proper way. Listen to what Jesus said.

Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.

John 4:21–24

A true worshiper is someone born again through faith in Jesus by the Spirit of God. Worship happens on the inside and comes out from the person. It is a natural result of the Holy Spirit changing and transforming a heart. When one experiences a radical heart transformation by the living God, one wants to worship him.

When can you worship God? Jesus says that the hour is here. There is no better time than the present to worship Jesus. The Father wants people who are born again to worship him. It is not a form of worship that is a copy or a mimicked act. It is worship from a sincere heart, a genuine place of spiritual transformation, renewal, hope, and a love for Jesus.

Worship God in your car. Worship God in your home, at your workplace, and in your church. Worship God in your songs and with your conversations. Wherever God has you, worship him for who he is, the Savior of your soul.

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