By Pr Ben Odongo
In the Old Testament, they worshipped by laying a sacrifice on the altar. Worship was never about singing, although they sang praises.
Today in Christianity, we have limited worship to singing slow songs and forgot about sacrifice.
The Samaritan woman in John 4:20-23 asked Jesus: “Tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshipped?”
Jesus answered, “The time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way.”
Worship was done in Jerusalem through setting up a sacrifice before the Lord at the altar. But that was the old system.
Jesus said we are now in a new system where worship is done by going into the spiritual reality, which is in Him. This brings us to the question; how is worship done in this reality?
Real worship is in spirit
In the Old Testament worship was about going to Jerusalem, offering sacrifices and bowing down before God. In the New Testament the venue for worship shifted to the spirit.
Even Paul taught the same: “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3).
To the New Testament people, worship has nothing to do with a physical place; it is in the spirit.
John 4:24: “God is a spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.”
Worship has nothing to do with a physical place. The Bible teaches us that we worship in spirit. But whatever we do in the spirit has an expression or manifestation in the physical.
How do you know when someone is worshipping in the spirit? You will see the physical manifestation of that worship.
Physical manifestations are not the real meaning of worship, they are only the physical manifestation of how you act in the spirit. These are; singing, giving, holy living, raising arms, kneeling and many more.
Romans 6:10-11: “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise, you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”
Whenever we reckon ourselves dead or crucified with Christ, then we have offered a sacrifice. And whatever we do by reckoning ourselves dead is the manifestation of that worship.
If you sing without coming before God in the spirit, coming into Jesus’ death, laying on the altar and watch yourself die, burning as sweet-smelling aroma rises to God, then your singing is not a worship no matter how slow the song may be.
If the singing is not coming from a soul that is reckoning herself dead, and pouring out Christ unto God, then that singing is not worship.
If you are only giving because they say you should give, if that giving does not involve you dying to self, and if it is not done by the Spirit, then your giving is not a worship or sacrifice no matter how large that giving may be.
I am trying to correct the mentality that all you have to do is sing some songs and go to Church weekly, and then you have fulfilled your spiritual duty or you are hereby a good Christian.
God does not just want your Church time. He wants the whole of you.
He wants you to worship Him with the whole of your life. And worship cannot be done carnally, otherwise it is not worship at all. You cannot do these things just for the sake of formality.
You must put your heart into it, press into the spirit because until it touches the spirit and establishes itself in it, then it is not worship.
Romans 12:1: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life , your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.”
God bless you.