“You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:22-24 (New International Version)
Have you ever driven on a winding road through the mountains? There is nothing like a jagged rock wall on one side and a deadly drop on the other to help you focus on the road ahead. Add nighttime darkness and rain to the equation and prayer becomes an essential driving component. I have driven in these conditions with my family and it is amazing how focused that you can become when you need to be.
I have had this kind of white-knuckled focus the past several weeks as I have been thinking about a conversation that Jesus had with a lonely and rejected Samaritan woman near Jacob’s well as recorded in the fourth chapter of the gospel of John. Jesus was basically helping a love-starved woman understand the truth of who He is and what He could offer her. Jesus told the woman that if she really knew who He was she would ask Him for “living water” which the Bible tells us is the Holy Spirit (see John 7:39).
If I am completely honest I would have to admit that there are times in my life as a believer that I have traveled too close to the “rail” of truth and became legalistic. On the other hand, there are times that I have strayed too close to the “rail” of love and was afraid to confront the truth and ugliness of sin. Didn’t Jesus teach us that we need both “rails” to stay on the narrow path that leads towards our Father? The Spirit always leads us to Truth and teaches us how to balance love and judgement.
Dear Lord, please forgive me when I have wanted to be right more than I wanted to love and accept others. Also forgive me when I have wanted to be loved more than I wanted to stand up for truth. Help me to be a true worshiper who worships the Father in Spirit and in truth.