By Pastor Dan Hickling
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”—John 4:24 (NKJV)
Balance is beautiful. When you observe something that’s perfectly balanced, there’s a strong internal sense that says yes, this is how things are supposed to be. And when you see it not happening . . . well, anyone who’s learned to ride a bicycle can complete this thought.
Jesus unveils a beautiful balance concerning both God’s nature and our relationship with Him in the passage above. In context, Jesus is speaking to a Samaritan woman of questionable reputation. And yet, that doesn’t stop Him from divulging a deep divine truth to her. He reveals to her that God, specifically referring to His Father, “is Spirit.” In other words, God is immaterial and not limited to physical properties. He is transcendent and unbound by this world.
But then Jesus goes on to tell her that He must be worshipped “in spirit and truth.” Here’s where we begin to see a beautiful balance as it relates to God’s nature.
The word used for “spirit” is the same word used to describe God but refers here to the spiritual nature He has placed inside of us. It’s the part of our being that is immaterial, transcendent, and unbound by the constraints of this world. It is quite literally otherworldly and supernatural. This divinely given dynamic within us is how we connect to, interact with, and worship God. It is personal and subjective.
But this is counterbalanced by “truth,” which means there are facts and realities relating to God. We don’t invent or determine who He is. Certain things are true of Him, things which He’s revealed to us in His Word. These things define our understanding and worship of Him. They reveal a definitive and objective aspect of His nature, as well as our worship.
Do you see the beauty in this balance? God is above the natural world, and so is our relationship with Him. It’s spirit based! But God has also revealed certain truths about Himself, truths that define and govern our relationship with Him. It’s truth based! Together, we enjoy a spiritual vitality with God rooted in the realities concerning Him.
DIG: What two aspects of God’s nature did Jesus reveal to us here?
DISCOVER: What do each represent?
DO: Think about ways your relationship with God be more balanced.