In the Spirit and in Truth

William C. Brownson

Read: John 4:19-34

The true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. (v. 23 NIV)

When I was in college, struggling to maintain a vital devotional life, I was greatly helped by these words in today’s key verse. Two things impressed me: First, the idea of worshiping the Father “in the Spirit and in truth,” which seems to say: worship by the help of the Holy Spirit through Jesus, who is the Truth. We need God’s help always to truly worship. But, second, the especially helpful and powerful thought for me at the time was that the Father seeks such worship. He looks for it, desires it, welcomes it. Our heavenly Father seeks our worship, wants our prayers. If I didn’t show up to pray one morning, the Father would miss it! All this gave me a moving, powerful incentive to keep on seeking God.

Ceasing to pray is like forgetting God, which grieves his fatherly heart. Listen to God’s lament when his people Israel did that. He reasons with his followers in Jeremiah 2:32: “Does a young woman forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.”

Think about your devotional life recently. Do you feel in reflecting about it some pang of conscience? Do you feel deep regret about any of your forgetting? And will you make a fresh commitment to do this beautiful thing: remember the Blessed One who never forgets you! —Bill Brownson

Prayer: Gracious Father, thank you that you take delight in our worship.