“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24, ESV
For others, to say that someone is spiritual is to suggest that he or she has a generic interest in religious or supernatural matters. However, to speak of SPIRITUALITY as an attribute of God is to identify Him as a spirit — an immaterial, invisible, and infinite being that is fundamentally distinct from every material, visible, and finite creature.
GOD IS A SPIRIT. He is not composed of any substance conceivable by the bodily senses as He exceeds all in the nature of being, so He exceeds all in the nature of spirit — He is higher than all souls, higher than angels. His nature is so immense that there can be no word or term in any language suitable enough to express and conceive of Him.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO REPRESENT GOD BY ANY IMAGE. No matter how good an artist can be, he or she can never make an art, a painting, or a sculpture excellent enough to portray the infinite, glorious, majestic nature of God. If it is impossible for the human eye to see Him and impossible for the human mind to conceive of Him, so it is much more impossible for the human art to represent Him.
THE RIGHT CONCEPTION OF GOD. If the Lord dwells in an inaccessible light which is beyond our capacity to sense, imagine, or understand, how then should we properly conceive of God? Since we cannot have a full, adequate, and suitable notion of Him, we must try to do our very best to make our thoughts about the Lord as high, as pure, and as perfect as we possibly can — for He is infinite in every way: above all, beyond all, outside of all.
GOD CAN DO ALL THINGS. If nothing is above and beyond God, then there’s nothing great which He cannot do for us, nothing great which He cannot work in us. With the Spirit comes great power — the Spirit is the power behind the magnificent creation of the universe (Gen. 1:2), the power behind the unusual strength of Samson (Judg. 13:25), the power that lifts people up and carries them away, literally (Ezek. 3:12) and figuratively (2 Pet. 1:21).
As a spirit, God is also omnipresent — always present among His creations, always with us and in us. He is present in blessings as well as in sufferings, present in enjoyment as well as in judgment. With judgment being mentioned, herein is a CAUTION AGAINST SPIRITUAL SINS from Stephen Charnock:
“Carnal sins change us from men to brutes, and spiritual sins divest us of the image of God for the image of Satan. We should by no means degrade our spirits, which bear upon them the character of the spiritual nature of God, and were made for His residence: let us therefore behave ourselves towards God in all those ways which the spiritual nature of God requires us.” — Stephen Charnock
WORSHIPING GOD IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24, ESV). When we worship God, our souls must sense His close presence, our minds must be filled with thoughts of Him, and our hearts with overflowing love and affection for Him. We must worship Him in spirit because He is spirit.
No one can actually tell anyone whether he or she is doing worship the right way or not; what really matters is what’s in the heart, the mind, and the soul. However, being given with both body and spirit, we must worship God with both. As body movements reflect what a person is thinking or feeling so as bodily worship reflects spiritual worship.
WORSHIP ROOTED IN JESUS CHRIST. Other than our thoughts and feelings about God, other than the singing, shouting, dancing, clapping, and raising of hands, most importantly, the spiritual worship required by the gospel is done in the exercise of faith, love, joy, humility, and with deep reverence of the Lord — a kind of worship that is rooted in the Word of God. Jesus Christ is our Lord, Savior, Redeemer; He is our life — and till we are created in Him, no act of worship can be spiritual.
THE SELF-EXAMINATION CHALLENGE. At this point, I challenge everyone who may have read this blog post down to this end (including myself) — to have our hearts examined in the manner of our worship. And with these questions I shall end:
How often do we worship God? How do we prepare our hearts for worship? How do we express ourselves in worship? How are we after worship?
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” – Romans 12:1 ESV
This is an updated edition of an article originally published on thegodiknow.home.blog
Featured Image by Annie Spratt