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Worship styles vary from church to church. Some worship styles are very brainy, liturgical, and subdued. Others, like many African American churches, enjoy hand clapping, rhythmic music, and lots of “Amens.” But whether worship is formal or informal, liturgical or emotional, the critical question for true worship is this: Do worshipers get a glimpse of God and respond properly? True worship takes place when the Holy Spirit communes with our spirit, giving us glimpses of the nature and character of the triune God, causing us to respond in love, adoration, praise, thanksgiving, and obedience. In His dialogue with the Samaritan woman in John 4, Jesus explained the kind of worship that honors God. He said to her, “Believe me, dear woman; the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem… But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth” (from vv. 21–24). So no matter what worship style we prefer, unless it comes from our core—engaging our total inner being; unless it is based on God’s revealed truth, and unless it results in our readiness to obey Him, it falls short of true worship.

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