Today we want to recall the conversation Yeshua had with the Samaritan woman in John’s gospel. In that day and in that culture, this conversation would have been borderline scandalous. But there’s some very interesting things in that conversation that all believers need to take to heart.
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and 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)
Most believers have heard and quoted this scripture before, heard teachings and interpretations of it based on our theological biases. Denominations have much to say about the spirit and truth aspect of things, at times focusing on one while ignoring the other. Charismatic churches tend to emphasize the spirit aspect, sometimes to a fault if they blur the lines that are defined by the truth. In other words, how many times have we heard someone justify their unscriptural actions with the statement, “The LORD told me to do this.” So called nominal churches might focus on the truth aspect of it to such a degree that they diminish the role of the Spirit in their congregations. So many churches are resistant to the Spirit of God doing anything in their congregations.
One main point the Messiah appears to be making is that the true worshippers of the Father are those who are balanced. They are governed by the truth, but are directed by the Spirit of Truth. The true worshiper allows for the Spirit of God to move in their lives and will not be bound by religious interpretation of Scripture, particularly those things men have added to the Word. True worshipers are those who are guided through life by the Spirit of God and realize that the Spirit will not lead them to do something that contradicts the Word of Truth. True worshipers approach the King in a Scripturally balanced manner. Lacking balance does not allow for one to stand upright before Him nor walk the straight and narrow path that leads to life.
Believe it or not, the story of the Titanic speaks to this issue in a fascinating way. Consider that it wasn’t really the iceberg that sank the Titanic as much as it was the lack of balance. Pride was a major component in this tragic tale and that greatly contributed to the ship’s lack of balance. The ship had massive motors, providing a lot of horsepower and drive – a lot of spirit, if you will. Unfortunately, the greatest ship of its time possessed a very small rudder; one that was incapable of adequately directing a ship with that much horsepower in extreme circumstances. On that cold April night, the R.M.S. Titanic encountered some extreme circumstances and was found to be out out of balance. When the iceberg was sighted, the ship was going too fast and the rudder couldn’t maneuver in time to miss it. So, if you can receive it, the Titanic is a picture of having too much spirit (engine) and not enough truth (rudder).
On the other hand, the captain of the Titanic was a very well trained, knowledgeable mariner. He had sailed these waters many times, and was well versed in his craft. That knowledge (truth) might be the very thing that worked against him that night. What he knew wouldn’t allow him to seriously consider the ice warnings that had been coming in all day. His experience in sailing silenced the voice of conscience (spirit) that said, “Slow down.” Too much truth and not enough Spirit created the scenario that exposed the ship’s weakness – too much horsepower and not enough rudder.
The lesson is that we all need to be balanced in the way Messiah presented to us- to approach our Father in spirit and in truth; walking within the boundaries His Word has established in the way His Spirit leads us to do.