‘God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24 (NIV)
Oh how we shy away from a text like this? Who is left who is bold enough to tackle it? Who is willing to walk down the road where it leads? Do we just love to pick it apart? Do we prefer to divert its intention? Do we prefer to have something more solid that we can hold in our hands? Does it scare us? Are we happier if we can make it mean something that we can manipulate a little easier? Do we shy away from talking about spirits? Do we take a giant step back when confronted with the Holy Spirit? Is it easier to hold Him in lofty yet distant ideals? Is it far easier to swallow if the implications of the Spiritual World are not actually brought into confrontation with us today? Is it more comfortable to leave the issue for another day?
Perhaps it would be a neat trick to be able to water the text down to where we could swallow it and digest it. But would we be honoring the One who spoke these words? Could Jesus have intended to give us more than a mouthful? Might it have been His intention to give us Something that was bigger than we could take in? Is this the paradox of the Spirit of God? Is the Holy Spirit Something or Someone Who is just so big that we could never ever truly capture it all? Is this where wonder and amazement come into our worship? Are these worthy responses from finite beings when come to contemplate the Infinite God?
Do we think terror is an adequate expression for what a human may experience when brought into a true awareness of the limitlessness of our God? We live in a world full of parameters. We know how this works and where that comes from. We know how far things go and we take comfort from knowing these limits. But what happens when a mortal steps where mortals cannot go? What happens when we come into the Presence of God? Suddenly there are no familiar limits! Where God is, He has no limits. He is All-Powerful! He is without beginning and without end! There is NOTHING He cannot do! He not only breaks any parameters we may imagine are there, but He shatters them and makes them look ridiculous! If we are truly honest, to approach God, we must embrace the Spirit. We must realize that our God is far beyond any description. God is far bigger than our wildest imaginings. He is GOD! He Is Spirit! Spirit stands far outside our abilities to define. Spirit lives where we are unable to see. Spirit moves in ways we are unable to understand. Should it be immensely pleasing to know our God is way up there above all our attempts to limit and define?
Jesus sets before us the size of our dilemma. He tells us God is from beyond. Then He tells us who they are who will actually know Him. He says we are the ones who will embrace this limitless Spirit. We are the ones who recognize the immensity and the fear, but step forward still. We are the blessed few who understand the terror of standing before an almighty and righteous God. We will press on nonetheless. We will place the hope of our salvation in Jesus Christ. We will cling tighter to His hand as we step into the Spiritual Land where we cannot see the lines that limit or define. We will leave behind our world of comfortable limits just for the opportunity to know and love a God Who is Spirit. He will be our Truth! He will be our God!
Dear Jesus, take our hand. We step where it scares us to go. Who can approach God and live? It terrifies us to think of a Realm without our familiar limits. Yet You have held it out for us. You said You would take us there. Teach us to worship God in Spirit. Teach us to worship in Truth!