Worship and service to and of God; His will be done.
John 4:4-42 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
And He had to pass through Samaria. 5 So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; 6 and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11 She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 16 He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” 19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
27 At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?” 28 So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” 30 They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. 36 Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.”
39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of His word; 42 and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”
In today’s text Jesus says: “True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” What does it mean to worship God in spirit and in truth? In part that is answered by what is said before Jesus makes this statement. The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know.” In order to worship in truth, there is a knowing of truth that is necessary. In John 14:6-7 Jesus says: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” So Jesus says that in order to worship the Father we need to know the truth and we need to know Him. It is not enough that we know about Jesus. It is not enough just to believe who He is and what He said and did. We need to know Him fully; intimately. If we will know Him, we will not be able to do any less than to worship Him.
It is also in knowing and believing in Christ that we receive the Holy Spirit, the other necessity in worshipping in spirit and truth. In John 7:37-39 Jesus says: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. To worship God in spirit, our spirit must yield to and become one with the Holy Spirit. In the text it says: Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.” Worship is not something which is limited to a physical place. It is not limited to this physical realm at all. To worship God in truth, to truly worship Him we must access or enter into the heavenly realm, where He resides. It is only through Christ, the way to the Father, that we have access to heaven. Heaven is not just a place we hope to go to when we die. The heavenly realm is where we are to live even now. True worship brings heaven and earth together. Whether we go up or whether the presence of God comes down isn’t really what matters. What matters, the truth is that when we worship God in spirit and in truth, we fulfill the prayer of Jesus which says: Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. When we worship in spirit and truth, we bring the realities of heaven to earth.
Our lives in Christ are to be worship of Him and obedience and service to Him. In today’s text it says: His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?” So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” They went out of the city, and were coming to Him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” Far too many people today work to serve the Lord. Serving the Lord is something we are to do, but if it is work, if we strive and struggle, if we grow weary in serving Him, we are not doing it like Jesus. Doing the will of God, what He sent us to accomplish, should be life giving. It should feed us and energize us. If we serve our own agendas or the plans and the programs of others in the church it becomes difficult. If we are doing God’s will, serving Him in what He created us for, it become life giving to us. It is important, vital to our lives then that we truly know what it is that God wants us to accomplish for Him, with Him and through Him. Paul, before he knew and served the Lord, thought he was doing the Lord’s will in persecuting the church. In Acts 24:16, Paul recounts his encounter with the Lord and the beginning of his knowing Jesus and His purpose. It says: When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' Whatever we do, even good, if it is not what God has purposed for us, it is hard. We are kicking against God when we do anything other than His will. Conversely, in Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” When we walk with and work with Jesus, doing the will of the Father, it is easy, even restful because Jesus bears the weight of the work for us. Jesus said He only did what He saw the Father doing. (John 5:19) In John 14:12-14 He says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” If we will do the Father’s will, working with Jesus, it will be easy, life giving and sustain, even restful, because Jesus will do it with us and for us.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit; I live to worship and serve You. May I do both, all that I do, in spirit and truth. May it be that as I walk and work with You, the realities of heaven would impact earth. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.