Worshipping in the Spirit—John’s Example
In my last post I wrote about worshiping in Spirit and in truth. I used Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well to illustrate the point.
In this post, I want to focus on the apostle John and his example of spiritual worship. In John 13:23–25 John wrote, “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, ‘Lord, who is it?’” Here we clearly see worshiping in the Spirit. It involves “leaning back,” or pressing in and getting close to the heart of Jesus.
John knew how to worship in the Spirit. He demonstrated it in this verse, then sixty years later, exiled on the isle of Patmos, he finds himself worshiping God in the Spirit. He’s alone and in a cave with Jesus. He’s in the Spirit.
What can we learn about spiritual worship from John’s experience?
It’s supernatural. We have a God who is alive. He’s supernaturally alive and He has supernatural gifts and unique encounters for His children as we worship in the Spirit. John heard the voice of trumpets and saw lamp stands. He saw Jesus and gave a full description. He saw stars in hand, a sword in a mouth. He heard thunder and felt earthquakes. Mark 16:17, 20 says, “And these signs will follow those who believe…and they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.”
Here’s a question: Is anything supernatural happening in you or through you as a result of your worship? If not, are you just singing songs or mouthing words, not worshiping in spirit?
It’s Prophetic. This means that spiritual worship is both hearing and sharing divinely inspired words and sometimes even future events, as a result of worshiping in the spirit. Seven times from Revelation 1:3 to 22:19 we read prophesy from John. Revelation is prophecy and it came as a result of his worship in the Spirit. He not only saw his prophecy, he was asked to share it. It was given to him and it went out to people, through him.
Here’s another question: Is anything prophetic happening in you or through you as you worship? Or are you simply singing songs or mouthing words and not worshiping in Spirit?
It’s intimate. Remember John 13. John goes from a leaning position to leaning with an affectionate embrace. He was getting as close to the heart of Jesus as he could. Here’s something we need to remember: Worshiping in the spirit has nothing to do with physical location or bodily posture and everything to do with intimately, affectionately embracing the Son of God!
It’s revelatory. Worshiping in the Spirit helps us see the unseen. Forty-seven times the word “saw” is used in the book of Revelation. It’s about what John saw. It was about what was revealed! It starts with Revelation 1:1,2 and ends with Revelation 22:6.
I have another question for you. Are you seeing the unseen? Are you seeing Jesus? Is anything being revealed to you while you worship? Worshiping in the spirit opens us up to revelation!
It’s inspiring. Worshiping in the Spirit elicits three different responses from John—reverence (Revelation 1:17); weeping (Revelation 5:4); and obedience (John does everything he’s told to do). If you’re not inspired after your “worship time” there’s a disconnect somewhere. Do you have a greater sense of reverence? Has your affectionate embrace produced some emotive response? Have you realized obedience is necessary?
It’s transporting. Worshiping in the Spirit takes you places. John is told seven times to “come.” Jesus wanted to him somewhere. He tells him, “Come up here, higher, closer, deeper.”
Does your worship take you places? Does it take you deeper into God’s arms? Closer to His heart?
God is looking for people to worship Him in Spirit because He wants His people to have a supernatural, prophetic, intimate, revelatory, inspirational, transporting relationship and experience with Him. Are you ready to worship like that?