This blog post was written by Sarah Kim.
Sarah Kim was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She enjoys using calligraphy and lettering to celebrate occasions and people. When she isn’t doodling, Sarah works as a biomedical communicator, where she has combined her love for science, storytelling, and design to create healthcare strategies. She loves day trips with her husband Alex—especially when it involves pizza!
Instagram: @bysarahkim | Website: www.bysarahkim.ca
I grew up thinking “worship” was something confined to Sunday mornings, in the little sanctuary that I grew up in—and what sweet mornings they were! But today, I thank God that worship is far more than that. I thank Him that worship is for His glory, but it is also for our good. It can happen anywhere, anytime, and it is not a means to an end but that it is the sweet end we are created for.
God redefined what worship was to me in such a life-changing way. I grew living a religious routine for the first 22 years of my life. The word “worship” did not sound like something that happened organically or outside of the routines and rituals of church. I believed God required me to “warm up” throughout the week by reading the Bible and praying, so that I would be ready to worship with my all on Sundays. Over time, it became a burdensome practice. How could it not?! The pressure of having “good worship” was on me and my actions. Slowly, worship became compartmentalized and routine. Where was the joy of my salvation? Why did I have guilt in my heart? Where was my heart-beating, foot-stomping, soul-crying love for Christ?
In my searching, I turned to the Word. I read the story of the Samaritan woman by the well in John 4. She encounters Christ for the first time and, amidst a conversation about living water and her shameful past, shares with him that her people worship on the mountain while Jews worship in Jerusalem. Jesus responds by saying that “the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father” (v. 21). He has come to remove the barriers between people groups and emphasize the One we worship more than the location in which we gather. He offers the hope of a day when “the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (v. 24, emphasis added).
The One we worship is more important than when and where we worship. The truth found in the Word of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a believer are the only tools we need to worship. Worship requires our heads and our hearts to be engaged in knowing and loving Christ, both individually and corporately. It happens when we have a true understanding of who He is, and we’re changed by it.
Following this encounter with Jesus, the Samaritan woman drops her jar and runs back to her town to tell everyone about Jesus (vs. 28–30). She doesn’t spare a moment; she has understood who He is, and with joy and confidence she worships the Lord—inviting those around her to know and worship, too.
So what does it look like to worship “in spirit and truth” day in and day out? It starts with the Word of God.
When we are deeply in His Word, our beings are engaged with the truth of God. In particular, starting in personal worship—through reading the Bible and spending time in prayer—allows us to shift into the right gear for the day. I also like to choose a short verse to reflect on throughout the day and write it down somewhere. Rather than letting my circumstances shape my attitude, the Word of God begins framing my circumstances instead. Over time, personal worship has become more like spending quality time with a friend than checking off a reading goal or a set prayer time. And by the time it’s Sunday, my heart is excited to share testimonies of what He’s done and praise Him in corporate worship.
Whether we are eating, working, or resting, when our eyes are fixated on Christ and we see Him as our treasure, we are worshiping. It’s intended to be a part of everything we do. It’d be foolish to think that our lives are just a means to worship later: to make money so that we can tithe later, to make friends so we can evangelize them later, or read our Bibles so we can “really” worship later. We are living sacrifices (Rom 12:1–2), and God uses every moment for His glory. The way we speak to others, spend our money, plan our summers, and raise our kids are all opportunities for us to proclaim Jesus as Lord and glorify Him. God turns our everyday moments into magnificent acts of worship. In spirit and in truth, let us worship Him!