Dear Friends of God,
Jesus said to the woman at the well that God seeks true worshippers who worship in spirit and in truth. That means to me that God is looking for heart worship which is loving and spontaneous, not some rote mantra that is performed from a sense of duty. I think worshipping “in truth” means lining up with who He is, His character, and nature. For example, since He is a God of life, we should not worship Him by cutting ourselves like the Baal worshippers did in Elijah’s day.
Another aspect of worshipping in truth is lining up with His word, the Bible. It shows us not only who God is, but also His ways and what is pleasing to Him. I have been dwelling on Leviticus 19:30: “Keep my Sabbath days of rest, and show reverence toward my sanctuary. I am the Lord” (NLT) or, “Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary; I am Jehovah” (ASV). He wants us to regard a certain day in time, and a certain place on earth, as holy or special.
True worship, then, includes our attitude toward these two earthly things—a day and a place. We know the day is the seventh one each week and the place eventually will be His temple in Jerusalem. In the interim, He has given us a place where He has put His name for our fellowship at Fairwood, and that is why we keep feasts in His sanctuary there.
I remember a former Kingdom minister emphasizing that our attitude toward the Sabbath is the most important thing, even more than what we do on the Sabbath. That word “keep” or “observe” the Sabbath includes both our attitude and our actions as the definition of the Hebrew word shows: “shamar (shaw-mar’); a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, take heed, keep, mark, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save.”
Even though it is not in the definition, I think the word “honor” shows the right attitude. Honor is something we do within our heart. That is the word Isaiah uses in chapter 58:13. In this passage He includes a description of honoring. I’ll insert number designations into the verse, so as to make a list of what honoring the Sabbath includes: “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, (1) from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and (2) call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, (3) not going your own ways, or (4) seeking your own pleasure, or (5) talking idly; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Finally, notice the amazing promises He makes for those who honor the Sabbath day. We will ride on the heights of the earth and will feed on the heritage of Jacob! His mouth has spoken this promise to all of us.
May we keep this Sabbath in a way that blesses Him!