Biblical Worship

One of the most used passages in the New Testament to talk about worship is John 4. People are quick to jump to verse 22-23 and talk about Spirit and truth, which is very important but sometimes, we miss the fact that Jesus Christ is talking about the living water that can be released during worship times.

Worship is a sacrifice that costs us something. Share on X

Thirsty For Worship

“A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealing with Samaritans.

John 4:7

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is it sho says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.

John 4:10

Are you thirsty for the living water? This is something we need to learn to cultivate in every expression of our worship. We should come to worship thirsty for the living water. The main purpose of every time of worship is not just to worship in spirit and truth but to drink of the living water that comes from Jesus.

“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water, springing up into everlasting life.”

John 4:13-14

The World’s Water

The enemy has water. The world has its own water. The water that you drink from the world will never quench your thirst. When you drink the water of the world, you will always need more. When you receive the world’s money, you will find yourself needing more money. If you receive the world’s success, you will find yourself needing more success. In the world, you might drink but you will not be satisfied. But the Bible speaks about a water that actually satisfies.

“The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the only place where one ought to worship.

John 4:19-20

Isn’t it interesting to see that this woman’s point of interest when she met Jesus was worship? A woman with all her problems in relationships, five husbands and a lot of problems but there was something inside her that wanted to find out the truth about worship and how the things of God really work.

Part of our problem today is we worship a God we do not know. Share on X

Knowing The God You Worship

“Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know.

John 4:21 -22

This is part of the core of the problem: we worship a God we do not know. I want to challenge you. It is not how many things you know about God that matters but do you know God personally. Make it your goal to know the God you worship personally.

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.”

John 4:23-24

It struck me to hear that the Father was not looking for times of worship but for worshippers. When you are a worshipper, it is part of who you are, your identity; no one needs to tell a worshipper to worship God. We have spoken about God’s part in worship, which is to send the living water but I want to show you what the Bible says is our part.

The Worship God Desires

During worship the physical actions of your body carry profound spiritual significance, (Romans 12:1). When most of us think about worship we think it is a matter of style. What you do with your body is very important to the Lord.

During worship, the physical actions of your body carry profound spiritual significance. Share on X


Present your body as a living sacrifice. Real worship will cost you. Real worship is a sacrifice and it costs you something. An angel is not going to come and lift your hands or make you sing or shout to the Lord. That is something you have to do. Remember the 6 days of silence and the seventh day shout that brought down the walls of Jericho. They were both physical acts but carried spiritual significance because the Lord had told them to do so. It takes courage to step out of your comfort zone in worship. Do a little bit more than what you are comfortable with in order to present your body as a living sacrifice, pleasing to the Lord.


This area is one which I believe is often overlooked and robs or prevents us from encountering a very deep spiritual encounter with the Lord. We forget we come before a holy God. To come before a holy God acceptably, we must be holy (1 John 1:9). The Good News is that we cannot make ourselves holy; the blood of Jesus makes us holy. Take a few moments before you go to worship the Lord, confess your sins and shortcomings and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus.

The place where we drink the living water is the holy of holies, not the outer court. The way the priests of God interacted with Him in the outer court in Old Testament times was very different than the way they experienced Him in the holy of holies. Sometimes, because we do not cleanse ourselves before the Lord as we come to Him, we do not experience His presence like in the holy of holies. We do not enter into the holy of holies if we are not cleansed.

Being Pleasing To God

Praise means showing appreciation towards someone or something, glorifying, and showing reverence. In the Hebrew language, there is not just one word for praise but 12. These different words conveyed instructions to the Jews on how they should come before the Lord and worship in a manner that is pleasing to Him.

Four Hebrew Words For Praise

  • ZAMAR – Singing with instruments, making melodies, celebrating through music and song.

(Psalm: 9:2, 11; 18:49; 21:13; 27:6; 30:12; 47:6, 7; 57:7; 61:8; 68:4, 32; 75:9; 92:1; 104:33; 108:1, 3; 138:1b; 144:9; 146:2b; 147:1b, 7; 149:3b.)

  • YADAH – Raising hands in worship, praising or thanking God for something specific.

(Psalm: 7:17; 9:1; 28:7; 30:9, 12; 33:2; 42:5, 11; 43:4, 5; 44:8; 45:17; 52:9; 54:6; 57:9; 67:3, 5; 71:22; 76:10; 86:12; 89:5; 99:3; 107:15, 31; 108:3; 109:30a; 111:1b; 118:19, 21, 28; 119:7; 138:1a, 2, 4; 139:14; 142:7; 145:10.)

  • TEHILLAH – To sing, to praise through a spontaneous, new song. To sing a melody from your heart, to add words from your heart to a melody. It’s a special way of singing – unprepared, unrehearsed.

(Psalm: 9:14; 22:3, 25; 33:1; 34:1; 35:18; 40:3; 48:10; 51:15; 65:1; 66:1, 8; 71:6, 8, 14; 100:4; 102:21; 106:2, 12, 47; 109:1; 111:10; 117:171; 145:21; 147:1c; 148:14a; 149:1b.)

  • HALAL – To boast about God in an extravagant, loud, joyous manner even to the point of appearing ridiculous in our expression.

(Psalm: 18:3; 22:22, 23, 26; 35:18; 48:1; 63:5, 11; 64:10; 69:30, 34; 84:4; 96:4; 104:35; 105:3, 45; 106:1, 5, 48; 107:32; 109:30b; 111:1a; 112:1; 113: 1, 3, 9; 115:17, 18; 116:19; 117:1, 2; 119:164; 135:1, 3, 21; 145:2, 3; 146:1, 2a, 10; 147:1a, 12b, 20; 148:1-5, 7, 13, 14b; 149:1a, 3a, 9; 150:1-6.)

The Father is not looking for times of worship but for worshippers. Share on X

The only category of people who don’t have to praise the Lord are the dead! (Psalm 115:17) So, you have no excuse. You have breath and are called to praise the Lord. God wants to inhabit the praises of His people. God wants to inhabit, to dwell in your praises and worship. The Lord desires to live among His people. This is still His dream today. Let us be worshippers, walking in the habitation of the Lord and drinking His living water!

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