John 4:23-24 Authentic Worship
He shows us two components to worship: spirit (not capital-s Spirit but lower case-s spirit, as in the spirit of man) and truth. I think Jesus is telling us we have to come to worship from the heart, not out of religiosity. If you know the passage this verse is from, you recognize that the Samaritan woman Jesus was talking to raised a religious argument, clearly a diversionary tactic meant to take the spotlight off of her questionable moral life, but Jesus hones in on the bare-bones description of what constitutes authentic worship instead of engaging in a discussion of where and how to worship. He doesn't let her get away with the diversion. He uses it like a ballistic missile aimed at her real need to understand what worship must be.
But what does this mean in terms of my daily worship? I often find that this incredibly beautiful world He made brings me to my knees metaphorically--only because I'm so often in the car and unable to literally bow. I've been inspired (which means breathed into, the breath of God) by the splendor of nature since before being saved, but I have to tell you that the quality of that worship experience is a million-fold since coming to know Jesus personally.
I guess it's a little like personally knowing the author of a book. I have a friend, Pat, who writes novels. Before knowing her I might have read one of her manuscripts for the plot, the entertainment factor, or to solve a mystery, but knowing her I looked for little bits of her personality, evidence of our relationship, special insights on what we share. Knowing her makes the novel more personally involving, just as knowing Christ makes nature an ever-recurring affirmation of His character, beauty, love, provision, and so on.
So you see that my painting, Gray Storm (11x17"on Wallis paper), has a lot of color in it! As I stood next to my woodstove and completed this painting I spent a lot of time praying, not about the place or even the painting. I was engaged in prayer for my husband, who was out ministering on the street to homeless people, and for my son, who had called me with an urgent prayer need. That's how the Lord often uses me! I consider it worship, in spirit and truth.