Jesus instructs that we worship the Lord in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). Worshipping in spirit has to do with worship in the right attitude and this comes from the heart (Romans 6:17). This worship is seen in the story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:4-6). Malachi 1:6-14, God tells us the kind of worship that is not in the spirit, and the curse associated with that sort of worship.
Worshipping in spirit has the goal to please God, not man. (Galatians 1:10) Worship is designed to praise God and to instruct and strengthen man. It was not given to entertain man yet many feel they must be entertained by it. Such an attitude leads to several abuses:
- Songs are chosen with an emphasis on the beauty of the music and its arrangement rather than on the words and their meaning.
- Sermons are preached which stress levity and brevity rather than the needs of the hearers.
- Prayers are offered in eloquent phrasings to impress those present rather than to humbly approach God’s throne of Holiness.
While we should rejoice at the blessings derived from worshipping in spirit, we must not forget its God-given goal is not to entertain us but to strengthen and edify us (1 Corinthians 14:26); to glorify; to exalt; and to magnify God; and to celebrate our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.