For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.
One time, the Apostle Paul said that even though he was far away from the people of a particular church that he was present with them in spirit (see Colossians 2:5). I hear a lot of Christians repeat that sort of phrasing when they can’t make it to a potluck or something: I’ll be with you in spirit. Well, how? Why do they say that? How are they going to do that?
I figured out how in the car one day when a Johnny Mathis Christmas song came on the radio. My mom loves Johnny and blasted his records when we’d clean house on Saturdays when I was growing up. I was not thinking about my mom at the time because I was thinking about the store I was driving to and what I needed to get when I got there. But the second his voice came through the speakers in my van my mommy was all in my head. I could visibly see her in my mind’s eye, and time spent with her just came flooding into my heart and mind (all of my invisible insides). I think I even called her when I got home. We are with someone “in spirit” when we think about them, when we focus on them, when we think about something we know they think about.
Similarly, If I want to worship God “in spirit,” I simply think about him. I think about what he thinks about by reading and recalling his Word. I listen to music that relay truths about him. I talk to him often and about everything – and most of these conversations are not audible to anyone else. It all takes place on the inside but connects me right to him in a flash same as mom my was “with me,” so to speak in my car that day.
God takes care of me physically and spiritually. So, I must obey and trust him not only spiritually (on my inside) but also physically (what people will see).
Colossians 1:15 says that Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation. God has an invisible quality to him, so there is also an unseen aspect of my relationship with him. But invisible doesn’t me non-existent. I have an invisible relationship with gravity right now too, and there is tons of physical proof that it exists.
My behavior (what people see) should reflect what’s going on inside that they do not see. So I cannot believe in God and only interact with him invisibly and be disobedient physically. Neither can I display a bunch of obedient behavior on the outside while not revering God on the inside. Both of these cases would make me an insincere Believer with a casual and false confession of faith.
God is Spirit (invisible) and Truth (reality). So sincere Believers interact with him, obey him, trust him, and revere him on the inside and outwardly.
Thank you for your visible and invisible qualities that make you all consuming in my life. Thank you for flooding my heart and mind. Thank you for giving me real truth to pursue and for taking care of me physically and spiritually. I really do want to praise you with ALL that I am inside and out because I love you and I am so thankful for your love and forgiveness. And I pray in your Son’s name, according to your good will. Amen.