4:23 “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.”
John 4:23 (ESV)
When you learn to play a new board game or card game, what is the most important question to ask? Isn’t it this: “What’s the object of the game?” Similarly in sports, establishing “keys to the game” is crucial to success. The end game must be clearly communicated before wins can be expected.
In John 4:23, Jesus clearly shares the Father’s endgame for us all. Do you know what that is? — It’s Him receiving true worship. True worshipers is what He’s after. And embedded in this verse are some crucial accents that set up our worship wins.
Here are Christ’s coaching pointers on worship:
IS COMING: True worship “is coming” was Jesus’s reference to the soon-to-be-released Holy Spirit, a “Revealer” showing us Who to worship, and a “Helper” to coach our proper, consistent worship of Him (1 Corinthians 2:9-11; John 14:26; John 15:26).
NOW HERE: True worship is here because Jesus came. He gave us a bird’s eye view of what it looks like. And He keeps connecting the dots to show us the way to worship our Heavenly Father best -- by faith/trust/obedience (not by law/works/self-justification).
And when we make much of Jesus, following Him well, the Father is surely glorified (Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:13).
TRUE WORSHIP: Our Father isn’t interested in just any kind of worship. He wants true worship. Adoring, believing, grateful, sacrificing, selfless, trusting, unrivaled worship is what He has in mind. This means He wants it pure, not self-serving.
It means He’s fully credited for our salvation through His Son, not to our credit in any way. It means humility, listening, and obedience take the lead in our worship expressions. It means He becomes the worthy Audience and we become the actors, performing for His good pleasure.
It means we worship not to get but to give. And it means that worship is not a game but a lifestyle -- a compelled, driven, grateful way of life.
IN SPIRIT: Worship in spirit suggests dynamic obedience, not dry duty. It means unbridled, unhesitant, soulish surrender. It means our spiritual “want to” is real and strong. It means coming from the heart if we want it to work (John 4:24).
IN TRUTH: Worship in truth means that Jesus, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit all take center court to lead and direct our worship. Jesus is truth incarnate, the living Word. The Bible is truth recorded, the written Word.
The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of truth,” the prompting Word -- residing, indwelling, always pointing us back to truth. To “worship in truth” means our worship offense must run through the Word (John 1:1-14, 4:24, 14:17, 16:13; Matthew 4:4).
So building a strong spiritual endgame begins and ends with establishing good Father worship. This means making much of Jesus, honoring the Holy Spirit’s coaching, worshiping God the way He wants it, soul surrendering, and driving everything through truth.
Reflect: How much do you make of Jesus? To what degree does the Holy Spirit reveal, help, coach in your life? What personal worship adjustment might need to be made so that the Father is more glorified and your endgame stronger?
A prayer to consider: Heavenly Father, I long to bring You my faithful worship just the way You like it. Don’t let me bring anything less than what’s pure and acceptable to You.
Jesus, help me to make much of you. My worship really elevates when I do. You are Lord, not just Savior, worthy of my highest praise and worship.
Spirit of God, show me how to do Father-worship right. Coach me daily on all the ways I can do this.
For Your glory and my joyful worship wins in You. Amen.