Imagine you’ve been doing something the same way all your life and before you, previous generations have done the same thing. Suddenly, someone comes and tells you that you don’t know what you’re doing; you’ve been doing it wrong all these years. That was the case with the Samaritan woman and, if truth be told, with many of us today. The Father is looking for true worshippers. He created all things, gives life to all things, owns all things but yet, He lacks one thing. God told Pharaoh “Let My people go so they may serve (worship) me” (Exodus 8:1). Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “The Father is seeking such (true worshipers) to worship Him” (John 4:24). The call to worship is immediate- “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth” John 4:23. Examine the text carefully and you’ll see that the Father is not looking for true worship, but true worshippers, but who are they?
The text gives us a clue; true worshippers are those who are led by the Holy Spirit; under the Spirit’s influence, they worship with their heart and mouth (Isaiah 29:13). In other words, the Holy Spirit conceives and guides their worship, and whatever they do, is in accordance with truth – “Sanctify them by Thy truth, Thy word is truth.” John 17:17. Worship from the heart is essential because Christ said that our worship is in vain, when the heart is absence (Matthew 15:8,9).
“The hour is coming, and now is” is a phrase that indicates the immediacy of the situation. John uses it again when speaking of people hearing the voice of Jesus and accessing eternal life, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the [spiritually] dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” (John 5:25) A similar time-sensitive warning is given as part of the first angel’s message which says, “the hour of His judgment has come”; this is in relation to the pre-advent judgment and also, that this is the time to be certain about who to worship.
A clue to the acceptable way to worship God is found in John 4:24. Earlier, in verse 22, Jesus told the woman, “You worship what you do not know”; implying that in order for our worship to be effective, we must have a clear knowledge of who God is and the things that will bring pleasure to Him. The first point we must know is that, “God is a Spirit” and if we set out to worship Him we “MUST worship in Spirit and truth.” “Even so, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11 No one knows God better than His own Spirit – that same Spirit is within you and me. We need the Spirit of God to worship a Spiritual God.
You’re a true worshipper if you allow the Holy Spirit God in you to open your spiritual eyes so that you can recognise the one to worship, and give Him the glory, honour, and praise that belongs only to Him.