Well Politics

20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But 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. 24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

We can all find ourselves in a situation just like the woman at the well.  We can hold onto external worship, religion, or external objects of worship in an attempt to cover up sin.  We can point out how they are doing it wrong or different.  We can sit back and critique all that others do as we do a slight of hand on our hearts.  We do it so easily and not even give it a second thought.

Have we gotten to the point that God needs an ad campaign? Does God need to entice people to worship him? If you need a church to provide you with certain perks in order for you to worship then just don’t go. Why I say just don’t go? Because at this point you are incapable to worship in spirit and in truth. Your worship comes from self comfort, self worth, self worship and glory from other people. Your place of worship is a status symbol.

Has a minister, preacher, pastor, teacher or just someone who is walking with the Lord ever questioned you?  How did you respond?  Did you question their lifestyle or try to call attention to a portion of their life that is questionable?  Did you try to make a case about how “that it really isn’t important”?   Did you show that your way is more modern and not corrupted like the “church?”  Did you try to show that you are doing the same thing just not held down by the other stuff?  Do you even hear what is being said?  Are you even listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you in that moment?  Do you understand that because you can sound right it doesn’t mean it is?  Do you understand that God’s word can only be interpreted in such a way that it agrees with the entire Holy Scripture and not just a small part?  How many times have we literally disregarded whole books at a time to feel better about the world we have created?  How many times have we compromised God’s truth to make adjustments for our desires?  How many times have we lowered God’s holiness so that someone we admire can still be a part of our lives and influence us?

As Christ makes mention of the woman’s sin, she changes the subject to her worship habits.  What we don’t see without real study of what is revealed here is life changing.

“The Samaritans (Hebrew: שומרונים‎ Shomronim, Arabic: السامريون‎ as-Sāmariyyūn) are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Religiously, they are the adherents to Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism. Based on the Samaritan Torah, Samaritans claim their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian Exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to Judaism, which they assert is a related but altered and amended religion brought back by those returning from exile. “

Looking at who the Samaritans were; now think on those who call themselves “modern”.  Think of those who call themselves “spiritual” and not “religious”.  Think about “new agers” as they combine other “belief systems” to make one that seems similar but not like Christianity.   The Samaritans had taken the Torah and did away with the Books of the Prophets and all that they said.  They decided to worship in a place of their choosing and not where God had commanded.  They based their entire religion on half of the information.  They did this because they felt that what the Jews were doing was wrong.  Why? Because of the Hebrews who rebelled before God passed judgment on Israel.  We do it ourselves more often than we would like to admit.  We have all thrown the baby out with the bath water because we judge God based on non-believers who say “Lord, Lord” as though they know God and he knows them.  So we take out what we don’t want to be held accountable for.  We black out those things we have no intention to take to heart.  We remove those things that will conflict with the lifestyle we desire to live.  We re-interpret God’s attributes, laws, commandments, Spirit, meaning and doctrine to make room for those who we desire to fellowship with.   The theme that runs throughout is a conforming to the world.  Whether if we know it or not we have made an idol or a new God; a new religion and if we put Jesus Christ in it, he is not the Son of God.  This is why in verse 22, Jesus tells her that she worships what she does not know.  The woman as well as all of the other Samaritans is not worshiping God at all.

Think about this seriously…

Christ goes on to say,  John 4:23 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. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

We base so much of what we do towards God on what we want to do and what we are comfortable doing.  More times than most all that we are willing to do for God in the form of worship is external gestures. We all try to create a place of worship and a “new thing” or “new way” of worship.  We dress it up and call it pure because we have made it pure.  We take out what we feel is tradition based on our own wisdom.  The driving fact is that how we were taught to worship by people who were sinners just like us don’t seem right.  We feel that if what they were learning and doing was so in line with God, that their lives would be reflecting that.  Not once do we think about the real issue which is the person’s heart and not external actions.  Yes, we do have a part to play in how others see Christ but our obedience to Christ is not resting on how well a sinner follows Jesus.  I have myself been over critical of others and how they behave.  I have also thought to myself how I would do it differently.  But the wisdom of God and the Holy Spirit teaches has changed me.  My eyes see fruit; my heart feels for those who honestly choose to see God’s word with closed eyes.  I stop condemning because my Savior does not condemn.  Now I pray for them and try to instruct them as the Holy Spirit leads me to.

Romans 14

13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesusthat nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Jesus instructs the woman that the time is coming and has arrived when we will worship God in Spirit and in Truth.  A time when it will not matter where we worship God.  The Jews worshiped at the tabernacle because that is where God had put his Spirit.  It was before the veil that was before the Holy of holys, where only one high priest entered.  Now Christ sits on the throne of grace for us as we can approach him whenever we want.  It is our hearts that is circumcised and not our external flesh.   It is not the offerings that God delights in but a broken heart where a man worships God from the soul in complete truth to the Holy Scripture.

Psalm 51:16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;

you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God area broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

We cannot say we are worshiping God when we refuse or don’t believe in all of him.  And if we reject parts of his word we don’t and can’t accept all of him as Lord.  The entire word became flesh not just some.  If we break one law and keep all the rest, we still sin against all of it.  If even our greatest accomplishments are seen as holy by the entire world it is as filthy rages in the eyes of God thus sin.  We can only be seen as clean, righteous, holy and acceptable through faith in Jesus Christ who is the complete word in the flesh.  We can’t worship the Father in spirit and in truth without Christ as our savior who is the truth.   It is Christ that gives us the Holy Spirit, who helps us to worship God as the spirit that dwells within us is God the Holy Spirit.  This is what it means to worship with the soul.  It can be shown externally but it doesn’t have to all the time.  It is deep and meaningful; it is beautiful as well as inspiring.

Romans 8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit ofhim who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodiesthrough his Spirit who dwells in you.

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