|John 4:||23: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.|
24: God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Two mandatory parameters
Here, then, we have the two mandatory parameters for effective worship. Leave either of them out and one's worship of the Most High is futile. To engage in effective worship a believer must worship ‘in spirit’ and ‘in truth.’ Notice that the phrase ‘in spirit’ precedes ‘in truth.’ This is significant. But what do the terms ‘in spirit’ and ‘in truth’ mean?
No doubt many of us have attended religious services which are faultless in their presentation and musical content, colourfully costumed and rich in ritual; but we have come away spiritually empty and somewhat saddened, because the Spirit of the Holy One of Israel was absent. Something vital was missing. It's like visiting a wax museum where every exhibit is perfect in every detail, but also perfectly dead. Obviously this is not worship worthy of the Creator. Indeed, the Almighty loathes such worship and most sensible people eventually tire of it.
Satan is also battling for the control of the human will and mind; and you and we have the choice of who wins, the Holy Spirit of the God of Israel or the deceptive spirit of Satan. That is the choice of every person on earth. It is the God-given human right to freedom of choice. In short: Your reins are what you secretly want to do.And it is the Spirit that controls ‘your reins.’ And it is ‘your reigns’ - ‘your will’ - that controls the real YOU. Once a person has decided to surrender his/her will (reins) to God, to do His will, all subsequent thoughts, words, actions and understanding, especially the understanding of Scriptural doctrines, are motivated by the Spirit of God. That is what the Saviour meant when he said:
|John 7:||16: “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.|
17: If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
|1 Samuel 16:||7: “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
|Jeremiah 17:||9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?|
10: I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
|Jeremiah 11:||20: “But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause.”
|Psalm 139:||23: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:|
24: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
|Psalm 26:||2: “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.”|
Yahweh's only begotten Son Yeshua, (Jesus) is also searching and testing the reins and hearts of men and women. And, like his Father, the Saviour also rewards according to our works.
|Revelation 2:||23: “And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.”|
Strange as it may seem we humans are also controlled by reins - the human will. Yes it is your will that controls your actions. The word heart is also another term for your innermost inclinations, desires and will - the real you! When you hand over the reins of your heart to the Almighty, you are, in fact, handing over your will to Him. He then has total control of the real you. And that is what the Almighty seeks - total control - albeit but with your permission. True to His high regard for personal freedom, the Almighty will never take over the reins of your heart without your consent. You must be willing to hand them over, else He will not take control of your will. That is why He continually requests your permission and invites you to accept His authority and control.
|Isaiah 1:||18: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.|
19: If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”
1. The Requirement:
|Deuteronomy 6:||5: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy might.”|
2. The Request:
|Proverbs 23:||26: “My son give me thine heart.”|
3. The Result:
|Psalm 1:||1: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.|
2: But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3: And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4: The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5: Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6: For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
When the God of Israel finds a heart that is receptive to His Spirit and one that is willing to be controlled (reined) by Him, He blesses that person with His Presence. No greater blessing is possible to the sons and daughters of men - than Yahweh’s Presence. And no better qualification can be found than to have it said:
|Hebrews 8:||8: “For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:|
9: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.”