For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.
John Eldredge uses a really good example of law and the spirit of the law in his book, The Ultimate Relief of Holiness. He uses the speed limit as a for instance: The speed limit on a certain road might be 45, but if someone in your passenger seat munching on a bag of peanuts starts turning blue from anaphylactic shock the driver is going to lean on the gas and get the the hospital as fast as possible regardless of the speed limit. Likewise, in bumper to bumper traffic, we don’t assert our right to drive the full speed limit, chaos would ensue.
Only obeying God like he’s some kind of checklist on an invisible “todo” list is like letting your blue faced passenger pass out in your car. God is Truth, but there is also his Spirit behind His truth.
Jesus put it this way: “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” There is a law to obey not to commit adultery, but the spirit of the law, the essence of that law, is not to harbor lust in our hearts. Same goes for murder and anger. (See Matthew 5)
So when I see this verse: “For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth,” I think to myself how glad I am that God isn’t just one dimensional. God. Bam. That’s it, you must be “this tall” to access. We are not worshiping a statue that may or may not fit through my front door or in my purse. So, I don’t just acknowledge him with my head, my logic, and my deeds and leave my heart out of it. God is Spirit... He is everywhere.
In forms of matter, he’d be a gas not a solid. He permeates every single area of my life. So to worship (obey, thank, think about, talk to, honor, and respect) Him, I give Him access to all of me, not just the parts people see but also the invisible things in my heart and mind.
I worship Him in truth, the right way, how He prescribes in his Word. AND I worship him in spirit by asking him to help me live out his prescriptions not only in visible ways but also in the invisible ways.
For it is God who works in you (gas - not a solid) to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
I’m glad You have access to all of me so that You can point out what needs to change. But I’m even MORE glad that You give us access to all of YOU because you are Spirit and not a fixture like every god of every other religion. You are everywhere. And the place I am most glad You are is with me helping me to will and to act according to Your will. I love You and pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.