Read John 4:1-26
“(A) new day is coming—in fact, it’s already here—when the importance will not be placed on the time and place of worship but on the truthful hearts of worshipers . . . The Father is spirit, and He is seeking followers whose worship is sourced in truth and deeply spiritual as well. Regardless of whether you are in Jerusalem or on this mountain, if you do not seek the Father, then you do not worship (John 4:21-24, VOICE Bible).”
There is no pretending with God. He is the One and Only Sovereign God. Creator of all things. Knower of all thoughts. Seer of all hearts. He will not tolerate pretend worship.
The woman who found Jesus at the well that afternoon thought worship was about the location. But Jesus told her differently.
The heart from which you worship God is the key to true worship.
It was easy for Samaritans and Jews to get caught up in the details while missing the truth of what God calls true worship. The Samaritans thought Mt. Gerizim was where God would be honored in the kind of worship He demanded. The Jews believed that place to be the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But the truth could only be found in Jesus’ words . . .
“Regardless of whether you are in Jerusalem or on this mountain, if you do not seek the Father, then you do not worship (v.24).”
God seeks full devotion, whole-hearted truth in hearts that depend on Him alone.
If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves arguing the wrong thing, just like the Jews and Samaritans of long ago.
Yes, He had ordained that His people worship in the temple until His Son Jesus would make a way for them to live by His Spirit, in His holiness by His own blood sacrifice. But if those people were only pretending to worship Him, it really didn’t matter whether they did it in Jerusalem or Samaria or Timbuktu.
What He seeks is true worship that comes from hearts that are fully devoted to Him.
Today, we have no temple in Jerusalem, no Mt. Gerizim, no specific place designated as the exclusive place of worship. Instead, we have the Spirit of God Himself available to live in our hearts and lead us into the worship that He requires.
As a result, we can worship in the car on our way to work, in the kitchen as we empty the dishwasher. God loves the true worship of a man who seeks Him as He plays basketball with his kids, a woman who honors Him with her early morning run.
Where will you worship God today?