WORSHIP THAT SATISFIES THE FATHER
For more than forty years, I have been fighting the battle concerning the genuine worship of God. This battle has not yet been won, for in our meetings we can still see certain traditional things. We do not have that much reality of Christ as our offerings. Whenever you come to a church meeting, you should come with Christ as your sin offering and also as your burnt offering or meal offering. Actually, we all should come to the meetings with Christ as all the offerings. However, many still come to the meetings in a traditional way simply to sit quietly.
All the saints have a regenerated spirit. Why would so many not use their spirit to utter something of Christ in the meetings? I have observed that only certain ones, a minority, do most of the sharing and testifying. Sometimes you can anticipate ahead of time who is likely to speak in the meetings. Some saints attend the meetings again and again, but never utter a word concerning Christ. They attend the meetings to enjoy the singing and listen to a message. Do you know what this is? This is a traditional way of worshipping God, the way practiced by the majority of believers.
The way of worship practiced by many Christian groups is composed of traditional elements. There may be a program, or order of worship, that includes hymns, a solo, a prayer offered by the minister, the reading of the Bible, the taking of an offering, a sermon, and the benediction. Although we do not follow such an order in our worship, we still may be too much under the influence of tradition. Therefore, we need to exercise ourselves to have the kind of worship that will satisfy the Father. The worship God the Father desires is in spirit and with Christ as the reality of the offerings.
THREE IMPORTANT MATTERS
In His conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4 the Lord pointed out three important matters. First, He indicated to her that she needed the living Son of God as the fountain to become a spring of water welling up within her. First He said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (v. 10). Eventually He told her, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a spring of water welling up into eternal life” (v. 14).
Worshipping in the Human Spirit
Second, the Lord spoke to the Samaritan woman concerning the need of the human spirit to worship the divine Spirit: “An hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and reality; for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit; and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and reality” (vv. 23-24). This word was given to instruct her regarding the need of exercising her spirit to contact God the Spirit.
Here the Lord was not telling the Samaritan woman to worship God in the Holy Spirit. Actually, the Holy Spirit is the object of our worship, not the means by which we worship. We should worship the divine Spirit by means of our regenerated human spirit. The Lord says, “God is Spirit.” If we would worship this Spirit, we must worship Him in our spirit. Only spirit can worship the Spirit. The worshipping spirit is our human spirit, and the worshipped Spirit is the divine Spirit. Hence, the human spirit worships the divine Spirit.
This divine Spirit is the Triune God—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. The entire Godhead is Spirit. In John 4:24 “God” does not denote part of the Godhead, but denotes the full Godhead. However, due to the influence of systematic theology, some Christians try to separate the Father, Son, and Spirit. It is commonly taught that we should never pray to the Holy Spirit or worship the Holy Spirit. According to traditional teaching, we should worship God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. But the word of the Lord Jesus in verse 24 indicates that the entire Godhead is Spirit. In the Trinity not only is the Spirit, Spirit, but the Father and the Son are also Spirit. The Triune God is Spirit, and we worship Him as the divine Spirit by our human spirit.
In chapter four of John the Lord Jesus strongly emphasized the human spirit. However, worshipping the divine Spirit by the human spirit is very much neglected by today’s Christians. Instead of worshipping in spirit, many worship in programs, schedules, and rituals. We also may fail to worship in spirit when we come to the meetings. Do you attend the meetings of the church in your spirit? You may fail to come to the meeting in spirit. Instead, you may attend the meeting in your schedule, program, and way.
Whenever we come to a meeting of the church, we should come not in a ritual or form—we should come in our spirit. I can testify that I would not have peace within if I did not pray to stir up my spirit before coming to a meeting. All the saints need to have the practice of stirring up their spirit before they come to a meeting. Whenever we are about to come to a church meeting, we should stir up our spirit so that our spirit may be “lifed” in a full way.
In His conversation with the Samaritan woman the Lord pointed her to the two spirits—the divine Spirit and the human spirit. The divine Spirit is worshipped by the human spirit. Today we need to give careful attention to these two spirits.
Christ as the Reality of the Offerings
The third matter the Lord pointed out to the Samaritan woman was the worship of the Father in reality. Christ is not only the living Son of God as God’s gift to us; He is also the reality of all the offerings. I encourage you to put into practice all that you have heard concerning Christ as the offerings. It would be helpful to read Experiencing Christ as the Offerings for the Church Meetings. We should not take the messages on Christ as the offerings as mere teachings. We need to put those messages into practice and pray, “Lord, I want to take You as my sin offering and trespass offering so that I may partake of You as my burnt offering, meal offering, and peace offering. Lord, day by day throughout my life I want to enjoy You and participate in You as all my offerings.”
In our experience we need to have the living Son of God as the divine gift given to us, we need the worship of the divine Spirit by our human spirit, and we need Christ as the reality of the offerings. If we have these matters in our daily experience, we shall have a life that is fully satisfied by Christ, and in our church life we shall have a worship that will satisfy God to the uttermost. In our human life we need Christ as the living water, and in our church life we need Christ as the reality of the offerings. If we have Christ as the living water and the reality, we shall not have any traditional Jacob’s well or Mount Gerizim with its mixture in worship. Instead of tradition, rituals, or forms, we shall have a life in which we are satisfied and a worship that satisfies the Father.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)