“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
Jesus said to the woman at the well and to us, “You cannot worship whom you do not know.” God is spirit, therefore to know Him, we can only know Him by the spirit. So to worship God in spirit and in truth, we must see by the Spirit of God who He is. You and I cannot rely on our natural senses to tell us who God is. You may feel that He is disappointed in you, you may feel that He is angry with you, you may feel that He is ignoring you and so come to a conclusion about who He is through your natural feelings. That is not knowing Him by the spirit. You may see some disaster in the world or some terrible tragedy befall a particular type of person or people and make up your mind about who He is by what you see. That is not knowing Him by the spirit. You may hear tremendously moving or persuasive accounts of men, who think they know what He is like and make up your mind about Him by what you hear. That too is not knowing Him by the spirit.
For each one of us, the only true revelation of who God is, comes by the Spirit. “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1Cor.12:3) To see God as He truly is, you must see by the Holy Spirit. But what does that mean? What does it mean….to see by the Spirit?
One day, about 2018 years ago in the temple in Jerusalem, it was an ordinary day with many hundreds of people coming and going, including many new mothers bringing their babies to be dedicated to the Lord. An old man called Simeon, being full of the Holy Spirit, walked across the temple court, picked out one particular baby; Jesus, picked him up in his arms and to the shock of Mary and Joseph said “Bless you Lord. Now I can die in peace, because my eyes have seen your salvation” (Luke 2:29,30)
What is it to see by the Spirit? To see by the Spirit, is to see what the Spirit sees.
We must understand that what the Spirit sees as perfect and full of the glory of God, our natural eyes, our natural understanding sees as weak and foolish, –like a new-born baby, looking just like all the other new born babies.
As believers, if we do not allow the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to see what He sees, then we will live like mere men. If we only see ourselves in the natural, then all we will ever see of ourselves as believers, is that we are weak, foolish and sinful and we will remain blind to what the Spirit sees; that we are perfect and full of the glory of God, ….for here is what the Spirit sees, He sees Christ in you and you in Christ.
What do you see?
Jesus came to open the eyes of the blind, to bring sight not just in the natural, but that men would see what God sees. What does God see when He looks at us as believers? He sees us in Christ as His beautiful, perfect bride, for when He looks at us, He sees His new creation in Christ, He sees His perfect work of redemption. When He looks at us, He does not see our work, He sees His. He does not see our life (separated/apart from Him/fallen short of His glory/sinful life). He does not see a separated life because He does not see two lives, our old life and our new life. He sees one life, for as Jesus declared in the garden of Gethsemane, we are made perfect in one (John 17:23). Atonement is all about at-one-ment.
That is why the Holy Spirit ministers to our spirits, to the new man in Christ and speaks to us as if we are complete in Christ, because that is the reality He sees (Col.2:10).
The Holy Spirit does not see us, nor speak to us, according to who we think we are, or feel ourselves to be. He speaks to us according to who He knows us to be.
You may say, ‘are you seriously asking me to see myself from heaven’s perspective?’ Yes! The Gospel is seriously asking you to see yourself from heaven’s perspective. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Col.3:2-4) Set your mind on things above, not earthly things, for you died and your life is no longer a self alone life but an US life. The Holy Spirit doesn’t waste His time speaking to a dead man, He only speaks to the new creation. If we want to know who the Holy Spirit sees us as believers to be, we need only read the Word, for He wrote it. He wrote this in 2.Cor.5:17. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Now that is how the Spirit sees us, ALL NEW, …..but many of us Christians have a problem. We don’t see very well in the Spirit. We just can’t seem to see ourselves as the Spirit sees us! According to what Jesus declared to this Samaritan woman, if we can’t see what God sees, we can’t worship Him in spirit and in truth. When we think of worship, as Christians, we think of singing and being in church. But to God, our life is our worship; how we are living and how we are living all comes down to what we see, what we are believing (Prov.4:23, Prov.23:7)
Eager to impress God the people said to Jesus, “What should we do that we may do the works of God?” Right the way across the Church today, the same question is being debated; “What should the Church be doing, to be about God’s business, to be doing the works of God? In John 6:29, Jesus gave the answer to that question; “This is the work of God, “Believe in the one he sent.”
To be fruitful in God, we must not define ourselves, we must not see ourselves, by what we do. We must believe in His work, not ours. To worship God in spirit and in truth is not about singing the right songs, or putting on the right sort of meetings, it is about living each day according to how God sees us, not how the world sees us, for how God sees us, is the only truth that God sees (1Sam.16:17, 2Cor.5:16)
When you are a father or mother, you see your children as the most precious things in the world. But every day you know that they will go into a world that does not see them as you see them. They will be in a classroom, or a bus, or a street, or one day a factory and to everyone else they will just be another nameless face in the crowd. The world will not treat them as you treat them. They will not speak to them as you do, for they do not see the truth that you see; they do not see how precious and perfect they are. Your hope and your prayer is this; that your children would not grow to see themselves through the world’s eyes, but through yours; that they would grow in the truth of how special, how wonderful they are and in knowing that truth about themselves, that truth would appear in their lives, so that they would lead the wonderful and precious life that you always saw in them. Welcome to the Gospel that abolished religion. Welcome to the message that still opens the eyes of men and women to see in Christ how God sees us.
How God sees us, is the only truth that God sees. Most of us as Christians, when we look at ourselves, all we see is our old record. As long as that is all you see, then that will be all you sound like; the same old record. Here’s the Gospel; God changed your record. If any man be in Christ, the old record has passed away, behold all things have become new. Keep looking to Christ as your life and your life will be worship to God, in spirit and in truth.