At the heart of true discipleship lies spiritual worship – That loving communion with our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Mathew 4:10 declares
For it is written, Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.
Yet 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 – John 4:23
A most helpful analogy of this relationship is suggested by the parable of the true vine and its branches. Through a mutual abiding relationship characterized by love and obedience, the servant brings forth spiritual fruit that glorifies God and bears the mark of true discipleship. The Gospel of John 15:8 declares
When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
It is noteworthy that the love and obedience of this relationship with Christ is the essence of true worship which must be nurtured and cultivated. As a process this communion is experienced through 4 specific stages. First the believer exhibits a spiritual awareness- an immediate and direct sensing of God’s presence. This presence of God is accomplished by consciously ignoring distractions in the environment and solely focusing upon the object of worship which is Jesus Christ. Once the presence of God is acknowledged, one must pass to the second stage which requires an openness of the self. There should exist a willingness within us to reveal the self with total transparency before God without pretense or excuse. Past this point of humility is the third stage called sharing. Sharing is a spiritual activity of the heart independent of the intellect in which the worshiper experiences both giving and receiving. Giving by means of expressing heartfelt honor and praise unto God and receiving by means of hearing the voice of God in solitude. It is within the experience of sharing that genuine fellowship with God occurs and makes possible the forth stage called transformation. The quality of this interaction brings about a spiritual change in the character of the worshiper that is reflected to the external world as more perfect fruit of the Spirit – the personality of Jesus Christ. This model of communion with God is dynamic and central to all dimensions of spiritual worship whether it be private, family or church worship
May the Holy Spirit God lovingly bestow upon us the sacred experience of this true spiritual worship.