It's Time To Worship

Featuring Brian Doerksen Posted on April 3, 2010

The word time reminds us that we are in the season of worship that God is releasing on the earth. Some people believe that the modern worship music movement “discovered” worship in the last few decades. I think that’s proud and ridiculous! I believe that Jesus inaugurated these days when He arrived a short 2,000 years ago, and even Jesus the Son of Man was building upon the worship of the millennium before Him, which included the Davidic house of worship.
Listen to Jesus’ words recorded in John 4:

A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. (vv. 23–24)

The implications of what Jesus is saying here are huge! “We are changing seasons, and I am bringing clear revelation of the truth so that each of us can become the kind of worshipper the Father is seeking.”

A time is coming and has now come—and we are in that time now. A time when we are called to worship. What does it really mean to worship? Does it mean merely getting together on Sundays, singing a few songs, and clapping our hands? And why did Jesus speak some of His most direct and instructive words on worship to an outcast woman? Couldn’t Jesus have been more strategic? Shouldn’t this conversation have happened in the temple with the high priest, with someone who could teach and influence the nation?

I believe one of the many reasons Jesus spoke to the woman about worship is that He wanted to illustrate the contrast between the truth and faithfulness of who He is and the faithlessness and brokenness of our lives filled with fatherless worship. The shame of the woman at the well was the result of men’s utter faithlessness. I wonder if her father abandoned her, through neglect or more optimistically through death. If she had known the love of a good father, why would have she sought out the love of so many unfaithful men? Do women with good fathers throw themselves into the arms of scoundrels? Well, yes, we can all probably think of a couple of examples, but those are the exception.

But Jesus spoke to a woman who is miraculously still seeking truth, though there is evidence that she had started to abandon hope, for “the man you now have is not your husband” (John 4:18).

And so Jesus offered this woman two things. One was living water. She had been drinking from the polluted wells of unfaithfulness, which always made her thirsty again. Jesus offered her a well of pure water, water that would satisfy her spiritual thirst. All romantic relationships are inherently spiritual. We know that we are not complete in ourselves, and so we reach out for another to complete us. But because we as humans are all fallen, the only romance that can fully satisfy our hearts is the divine romance.

The second thing Jesus offered was the opportunity to worship the Father. I wonder if she cringed when she heard the word “Father.” It seems crazy to me that in our season of history we seem to shy away from this clear biblical revelation. Just because so many men are scoundrels and bad fathers doesn’t mean we should not hold out the truth.
Jesus essentially said to the woman, “People just like you who have experienced the pain and rejection of unfaithfulness can be healed. You can become a daughter again, and this time you will encounter true faithfulness. Trust Me. Everyone who worships experiences My faithfulness.”

There is no better way to be healed from the effects of unfaithfulness than to give yourself to God in worship. As we worship, our hearts are healed by the faithfulness of God, because that’s who God is. Our God is a faithful God!
At the very core of worship is a call to faithfulness, because faithfulness is what’s most important to God. How many times in the Old Testament did God send prophets, calling, “Return to Me, faithless people!” (e.g., Jer. 3:14)? We tend to wander away from God and His heart.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.8

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