How To Worship In The Spirit – Part 2
“It is we…who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh” Philippians 3:3
This leads us onto the next interpretation of the vital verse from John 4 that tells us we should “worship in spirit”. Not only do we worship led by our spirits rather than our flesh as we have just learnt, but in order to do that, we must:
Worship by the Holy Spirit
When Jesus left the earth after his resurrection, he said to his disciples “In a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit”. That word baptised means to be immersed or dunked. He was saying he would sink us, immerse us and drench us in his own Spirit and presence.
Your spirit and God’s Spirit must come into a state of glorious union if you are to be led by the Spirit in powerful worship. As you become one spirit with God through surrender and in-filling (1 Corinthians 6:17), his motives can become yours, his love becomes expressed in you, and for the purposes of this book, your worship is led and perfected by his own Spirit’s leading. It is the Holy Spirit who will communicate to your spirit, giving direction, power, life and strength to your worship.
If we are to worship by the Spirit, we must worship as people drenched and covered by that beautiful gift, the Holy Spirit. Dry, fleshly worship is not enough. God wants wet, spiritual worship! Worship that will “Glory in Christ Jesus”. Inspired adoration, under the influence and leadership of God himself. God centred, God instigated, God directed worship.
Rivers of Spiritual Worship
In John 7:37 Jesus invites us to drink from him if we are thirsty. He also tells us that after this, “streams of living water will flow from within you”. This is a powerful picture, but what does it mean? We know he was talking about the Holy Spirit, (he tells us that) but how will he “flow from within us”? Will it be like some kind of blue liquid, bursting out of our belly buttons and streaming onto pavements, down streets and into houses, touching the world? No, of course not! I’m being silly to make us think about what we read!
When we drink of the Spirit, what are the streams that flow from out of our inner most beings? I believe Revelation 19:5 and the book of Acts give us a clue. Revelation says this:
“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters…shouting: Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty reigns.”
Could it be that the river that flows from within us, when we drink of the Spirit, is indeed a river of praise and worship? I believe it is.
It is amazing to see that every time the Holy Spirit is poured out in the book of Acts, there is a river of the voice of the Church that flows in immediate response. Catch this and you will learn an amazing truth about worship:
When the Spirit is poured out in Acts 2, there follows streams of tongues declaring the wonders of God from the disciples. There is also a river of Gospel preaching leading to 3000 salvations (One mathematical Catholic priest reminded me that was 6 born again for every word Peter used. That’s the kind of fruit I want!). As you continue through the book of Acts you see that every drenching of the Spirit is accompanied by praise, prophecy, tongues or bold Gospel proclamation, all expressions of our worship. Think of it: Every time we drink of the Spirit, a river of praise will flow out of us.
It is the Spirit at work within the Church that releases rivers of praise, streams of worship and oceans of prophecy. It is the Spirit that releases riptides of bold preaching on streets and in work places and gathered meetings. We don’t want merely our clever songs or leadership styles, but the mighty river of the glory of God, pulsating throughout the Church, making us fruitful witnesses and powerful praisers.
Let the Stream Flow
Learning the difference between our flesh and the promptings of God’s Holy Spirit, in communion with our spirits, is key to worship. Softening our hearts to yield to God, be filled to overflow with his Spirit, and then let “the river” out of our mouths is essential. Developing an obedience to God’s Spirit brings us into a realm that is far above the highs and lows of emotional experience. Above the realities of pews and song singing. Far higher than the bored chanting of the prayer hymn sandwich. It is the place where we lose our agendas and submit to his. We forget the songs and start connecting with God.
When we drink, and let the streams flow from within us, we will find ourselves communing with God himself. Connecting to the life flow of the Spirit of God, rather than singing “at” or “to” God. He will fill us, woo us, lift us and cause rivers of living water – indeed living worship – to pour out of our hearts in God perfected praise. Praise that God has perfected himself is guaranteed to be accepted by the Perfecter – He knows what he likes! So drink. Drink deep. Get your congregation drinking deep, and let the streams of God burst into your neighbourhood with praise and preaching.
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