The Bible tells us in John 4:23, 24 that “… God is Spirit and they that worship him must do it in spirit and in truth …” Many interpretations have devoured his passage and all it has done is caused confusion.
As far as religion goes we have allowed someone else to define it for us, instruct us in it thus determining the nature of our relationship with the Almighty.
In other arenas this is not so.
In the medical field a doctor’s first prognosis is challenged with a second and sometimes third opinion. In the areas of finance, advisors are challenged daily with our current economy and many have lost their practices because they didn’t perform in the best interest of their clients. When you go before a judge you have the right to appeal his decision. If you don’t like your haircut, you’re free to choose another barber. Even at a fancy restaurant, if you don’t like your meal, you can send it back.
Why do we not take the same liberty with religion?
Religion seems to operate on a first disclosure basis – meaning the first person who teaches you gets your loyalty. So if your parents were Baptists, in most cases you will be Baptist. If your parents were Catholic you will be too. No fuss. No fight. We just accept.
Then it gets worse. Once we get caught up in the WAY the faith tradition is done, we lose sight of building a relationship with God. So instead of knowing Him spiritually, we try to know Him physically (i.e. going to what is considered His house to worship Him); mentally (i.e., practicing forms of worship, festivals and holidays); or emotionally (i.e., trying to feel God or draw closer to Him through music, listening to preaching or chanting) Now, I must say, I am not against these things. In their proper place, they won’t do any harm. When they become a replacement for knowing God spiritually, this is where I take issue.
The problem I have is this: When trials and tribulations come in your life, you will need God the spirit not a form of godliness. The music won’t be loud enough to stop your pain, forms of worship won’t satisfy tribulation and in most cases the lion’s share of the people that go to the same building you do on Sunday won’t or can’t help you with your trial. You will need to KNOW God for yourself – and that means spiritually. How do you do that you might ask? This is a huge subject that can not be explained or digested in one post, but for now I offer these three things:
1) Pray to God and tell Him that you want to know Him spiritually and to put you on the path.
2) Read a multiple translation of the Bible daily – this is a Bible that will have at least four different translations like the King James Version, New American Standard Version, New International Version and the Amplified Version.
3) Start judging people by what they do and not what they say. A person that is spiritually sound lives the life. Surround yourself with these folks and they will guide you. Spoiler: These people will really know and have an understanding of the Bible and you will be able to tell by the way they act.