John 4.23 describes a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
God has told us how to worship Him: in spirit and in truth. It makes sense that He would tell us how to worship Him since He has commanded us to worship Him, to reverence Him, to honor Him and to recognize Him as God alone and that there is no other.
But what does it mean to worship God in spirit or in the Spirit and in truth?
A clue to answering this question lies in the example of David from 2 Samuel chapter 6. In this chapter David seeks to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem.
The ark is the symbol of the presence of God; it is between the cherubim that God speaks and makes Himself known.
In round one David worships God with singing and dancing but since they didn’t read the Scriptures they fail to move the ark appropriately resulting in the death of one of the participants.
In round two, after determining the proper method for moving the ark, they continue to worship God through song and dance and sacrifice resulting in success.
The difference between the two rounds and the clue to worshiping God in spirit and truth is OBEDIENCE.
God is not impressed by our intentions but by our compliance to His expressed will. God is not moved by our exuberance for Him but by our submission to Him.
No doubt God enjoys our singing and dancing but in the context of obedience to His commands.
Jesus, God made man, reiterates this when He says if when you come to worship Me there remember you have conflict with your neighbor go first and resolve the issue then come back to worship Me.
The problem with God is that He believes He is God and as such requires our obedience to Him for obedience is our practical means of loving Him and demonstrating to Him our submission, our allegiance and our dependence.
If we would worship God properly then we will obey Him totally.