‘“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23, 24).”’
Nothing could be truer than the words of Jesus (John 14:6). In the statement above He tells us that from the moment He spoke to the women at Jacob’s well (4:6), true worshippers worship their heavenly Father in spirit and truth – that is with their affections, their desires and their will.
With this disposition they keep nothing to themselves. They are conscious that the Father *knows everything about them, and there is no nook or cranny that is not seen by Him (Psalm 139:1-16). They recognise that all things come from Him (1 Corinthians 11:12) and that they are His subjects (Matthew 6:13). He owns them (cf. Psalm 50:11, 12), and everything He has created.
This wholehearted dependance upon God elicits great praise and adoration of the One who supplies their every need (Philippians 4:19). They endeavour to praise and to worship Him all day long, and they seek to please Him. However, there are times when they stumble, and they need to confess their sins (1 John 1:9) and to seek His forgiveness. This is true and acceptable worship of the Father, in spirit and in truth.
On a personal, level, if we don’t worship Him in this way, let us plead for His mercy, and ask Him to help us to worship Him as He desires, and as He has commanded (cf. Exodus 34:14; Matthew 4:10). He created us to worship and to adore Him forever (Revelation 5:13). This is the prime reason for our existence, but He also created us to have pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11; 36:8) in His new earth to come (Revelation 21:1), where we shall have an inheritance in Him (Ephesians 1:11; Revelation 21:7), and we shall be His inheritance (cf. Deuteronomy 4:20; Psalm 94:14).
Why is it then, that from the time of Jesus’ statement, it’s patently obvious that not everyone worships the Father in spirit and in truth?
Well, Jesus never said everyone would worship His Father in this way.
When praying to His Father, before His disciples (John 16:29), Jesus prayed for the salvation of His elect (17:9, 11), i.e., the remnant referred to by Paul, in Romans 9:27 and 11:5, who worship Him in spirit and in truth. This remnant is the true church of Jesus Christ. They are the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 79:13), not the goats (Matthew 25:31-46) who are cursed and destined for ‘the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (v. 41).’
Individual believers, each in their secret place, and when gathered together, pray to their Father (6:6), and they worship Him in spirit and in truth. When joined together in this way they commune with one another (1 Corinthians 10:16). They pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18), through the Son to their Father, who is not a remote (cf. Acts 17:28), austere god, but their loving Father, who cares for their every need (Matthew 6:31-34).
God allows Satan and his cohorts to use their evil powers (cf. Job 1:6-12; 2:3-8) for harm, but in the end, good prevails for the ones He loves (Job 42:12-17; Romans 8:28).
It must not be forgotten that the LORD is the Sovereign King of the universe, and He *controls all things and He brings to fruition what He has decreed (Isaiah 55:11). He spoke to Cyrus saying: ‘“I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and I create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things (45:7).”’
Could it be that in this time of the Coronavirus pandemic our Father is allowing satan, ‘the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2),’ to bring calamity to the nations? Could it be that God is putting His people to the test of true faith (James 1:3; 1 Peter 1:6-9) and true worship in spirit by isolating His church in lockdown?
We in the UK, and others worldwide, cannot meet with our brothers and sisters in Christ (cf. Hebrews 10:25). We cannot gather together for communal worship, and we cannot physically meet for the breaking of bread (1 Corinthians 11:20). We cannot baptise our Lord’s disciples in water (Matthew 28:19) and we cannot present betrothed ones to our Father to be joined together in holy matrimony (Mark 10:6-9).
If the Coronavirus is a deadly weapon of satan, it is wielded with power granted to him by God, and for as long as God protects and shields His people (Psalm 91:4), satan is powerless to stop them from worshipping Him.
Even now we can join together via the Internet for communal praise to His name, and to pray for the world, and for those who are suffering. There’s absolutely no way that satan can separate us from the love of Jesus (Romans 8:3. 39). We are His and He is ours (John 10:27- 29). We are in Him and He is in us (John 17:20, 21).
By His mercy and grace (Psalm 145:8), we worship Him in spirit and in truth.
‘Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and your buckler (Psalm 91:3, 4).’
*The Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence of God