God of Spirit and Truth
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God is not a God of confusion but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).
When I met Jesus, I had a heart of stone. I didn’t truly care about anyone but myself. In some way, this is true of all of us until the selfless love of God is poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). But then Jesus came to me.
The Son of God rescued me from myself and gave me new life and purpose. And His Spirit began to transform my once-dead heart. But I’m a cerebral kind of guy, and God dealt with me gently and personally, first working to renew my mind by appealing to my inner sense of logic and order. He showed me there is a way He meant for the world to look and function, a way people were meant to behave as image-bearers of Himself. There were laws I’d been breaking and things that were inherently bad which kept me from experiencing freedom and God’s goodness. And I needed the structure His Word provided to give shape to my new life in Christ.
But then I realized something. I wasn’t very close to the God I thought I understood and strived to obey. And God showed me that the heart is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23), but my heart wasn’t getting the attention my mind was getting. I needed God to grow my heart, and He showed me that my heart of love for Him would grow as I was filled with His Holy Spirit. The Father guided me with this Scripture:
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. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24).
God desired me to worship Him not just in intellectual truth—loving Him with all my mind—but also in spirit by loving Him with all my heart and soul as well. And so began a several-year journey into the heart of God. On the journey, I discovered something: God is God of spirit and truth. Since the beginning of the world—and before—He has been both the Word of God (logos) which logically orders the universe (John 1) and the Spirit hovering over the face of the waters, ready to make the void burst forth in the boundless creativity that made the beautiful world we see (Genesis 1).
Each of us is rescued from sin through Jesus Christ by faith in His finished work, and when He saves us, He gives us His Spirit. This means we are free, because the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). Now that we are free, God’s creative Spirit that filled the once-empty earth also fills us with all sorts of gifts we can bring to the family of God and to the lost world. This overflows in times of worship with Christian brethren, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:26:
When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
Each of us brings something special to the table as the one Spirit that has freed and united us also expresses Himself through us.
Paul had a warning for the church. The truth of God’s Word means there is to be an order to church gatherings so that all will have the freedom to bring their gifts to bear in a way that builds up other members of the body of Christ. In the same way that having a little structure in a family’s home will give children the freedom to flourish, God had provided order to His household so that His family can thrive.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don’t forbid speaking in tongues. But be sure that everything is done properly and in order (1 Corinthians 14:39-40 NLT).
Father God, we worship You as God of spirit and truth. You said knowing You was eternal life, and we want to know You and be filled with life. Please open the eyes of our hearts to know You in fullness, and shape our lives and our worship practices to reflect who You’ve revealed Yourself to be. Make our times with You and with our church family fruitful and upbuilding to all. We honor You as Lord of all. Amen!
Scripture is quoted from the following versions unless otherwise noted: ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.
The Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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