Corporate worship: God is looking for you
John 4:23-24 (NKJV)
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
There is so much packed into these few verses from John 4 about worship, but one more thing I want to draw out is this, from verses 23-24 – let’s read them from The Message:
“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”
Do you realise God is out looking for you, for us all? He’s not passively sat by, waiting to see what happens in the hope that something might happen.
Imagine you’ve put on a big party – you’re celebrating a significant birthday – and loads of people have come out to celebrate with you. The place is heaving with friends and family. The music kicks off and you want to dance (bear with me if you’re not a dancer at parties, your imagination is key here!), so you head into the crowd to find some people who’ll dance with you. But everyone you ask has some reason not to dance – they’re not really into dancing, they don’t like this song, they’re talking to a long-lost friend. No one wants to dance with you (except for your slightly drunk Uncle who no one wants to dance with or be seen anywhere near to!) – how disappointed would you feel? But you keep looking around the room. Then you find someone, and then someone else, and so you get to dancing, and maybe a few more come over and join you. But so many more are just milling around, maybe watching, maybe laughing at those dancing (especially the Uncle), maybe just not interested at all. It would seem strange to you that people who came out to celebrate with you aren’t actually joining in with the celebration! Suddenly this party has become about what they want to do, and not about celebrating with you. Have you been to a party like that?
So maybe you’re seeing where I’m going with this already – that party sounds a little bit like church sometimes!
So let me say this again, straight from God’s Word: He is looking for you! God is looking for people who will join with Him in His celebration. If you knew someone was looking for you, someone who you knew loved you and wanted to meet with you and enjoy your company, you’d do your best to get found by them. Let’s not make excuses anymore for not joining in with God’s celebration of His Son and our Saviour. Let’s make it easy to be found by Him.
It all starts as a choice, the attitude we choose to come to church with, a decision that starts before we even get to church.
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord”.
Come to church with a ready heart: ready to give, ready to serve, ready to join in. Prepare your heart before you leave your home.