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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Sunday, June 6

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.
—John 4:23

Worship can never be limited to or defined only as taking place in church. Many people are uncomfortable within the confines of the traditional church. Some are suspicious of institutional authority, some have been hurt by the church at some point in their lives, and some are disillusioned when "church people" don't seem to live what they say they believe. 

True worship, more than going through specified rites, is the desire to give the Holy One our honor and love. What distinguishes true worship from mediocre, or even false worship is our willingness to give our heart to the Holy One whether we are inside or outside a physical church.

The Holy One seeks true worshippers—those who are willing to take the risk to let their heart be grasped and claimed by Eternal Love. It is a risk, because we don't really know what it will mean for us. And, because it is such a risk, most of us are content to simply avoid worship altogether, or limit our worship to attending a Sunday church service to alleviate our guilt. 

But the real question to ask ourselves has nothing to do with the church or the people in it. The real question is not about what God will demand from us if we risk giving our heart. The real question is: how much do we love the One who made us, who redeems us, who sustains us, and who loves us more deeply than we love ourselves? 

It is this question and our answer to it that will make it possible for us to worship in spirit and truth.

O God, let my heart be so filled with love for you that my every breath becomes a silent whisper of true worship.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2004.