The Way of True Worship
By Raymond Perry
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.” John 4:23
I grew up surrounded by the traditional ways of our people. In my youth, I heard the old stories handed down by our elders. They differed depending on a person’s recollection, but they focused mostly on the creation around us. I was told we came from the earth. Ceremonials, corn pollen, corn meal, and sacred songs were the center of my spiritual upbringing. Our family would pay a medicine man to pray and sing for us. As a young man I had so many questions. I began to ask, “What are you praying? Who are you praying to?” I was told that the prayers were sacred, and if shared, would lose their power. I wanted to understand these things, but I was told I could not have the answers.
That was a lifetime ago. I am now a great-grandfather. I have been married forty-eight years. I have lived a long and blessed life. I have a perspective that comes from many years of living. But most importantly, I want you to know how I finally found the answers I was seeking in my youth. It has changed my life! The answers to our beginnings are all explained in the Bible.
The earliest of ancient stories is accurately preserved in the Book of Genesis. I learned that we all have a Creator. He created the first man and woman (Gen. 2:7; 18-23). He provided for them all they needed (Gen. 2:8-17). Adam and Eve were presented with a false message from the serpent, and they chose to believe the lie of Satan (Gen. 3:1-7). They disobeyed God’s one requirement that they not eat the fruit of a specific tree. Their disobedience brought grave consequences (Gen. 2:17). Each generation since that time has experienced physical and spiritual death. Adam and Eve tried to cover their sin through their own efforts (Gen. 3:7). Then they blamed others for their own choices rather than admit their own wrong (Gen. 3:12-13). This was mankind’s first effort to fix problems apart from God. Many religions are attempting this same thing today. They are missing the way of true worship.
In spite of this, God loved Adam and Eve! He clothed them with a covering that required the shedding of innocent blood—something that their self-effort could not accomplish. God gave them hope by communicating the first of many prophesies revealing that God would send His Son to pay the price of our sin by His shed blood on the cross (Gen. 3:15). This was the Creator’s plan for all humanity to be restored to a relationship with Him!
God sent His Son Jesus to earth to be born of a virgin. He lived a sinless life. He taught all who would listen of God’s message of redemption. Luke 24:45-47 tells us, “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations.’” He willingly went to the cross. He took our sins upon Himself. He paid the penalty for our sin that we deserve to pay. He rose from the grave demonstrating His power over death. The Creator’s requirement for the cleansing of sin was accomplished by Christ’s shed blood and death on the cross.
This is the Good News for every tribe and nation. Everyone is invited to come to the Creator through His Son, Jesus Christ!
Our Creator speaks to us through His Word. “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
He has shown us our need. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
He has demonstrated His love. “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
He has paid the penalty of our sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
He has provided one way through His Son. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
He invites all people to come to Him. “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” I Timothy 2:3-5
He allows us to believe or to reject Him. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:36
He transforms our lives. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” II Corinthians 5:17
He is worthy of our worship. “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Revelation 4:11
If you believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross and arose from the grave to take your sin away, then pray in faith admitting you have sinned against God and ask Him for forgiveness. Abandon your former ways of worship (II Corinthians 6:14-18). He will give you His Spirit to dwell in you (Romans 15:13). He will never leave you. He has prepared a home for you in His presence (John 14:1-6; 20:31).
Choosing to worship God His way is the most important decision of your life! This is the way of true worship!
The people of Athens were sincere in their desire to worship God. In spite of all their religious efforts, they still lacked an understanding of God and His requirements for worship. God brought His servant Paul into their community to teach them the truths that they needed. They were finally able to understand Who they were to worship and the way they were to worship the Creator in spirit and in truth (Acts 17:16-34).
God must be worshiped, not His creation (Acts 17:24). God is not confined to any sacred places (v. 24). God determines the way we worship (Acts 17:25). God does not need sacred objects (Acts 17:25). God is the Source and Sustainer of life (Acts 17:25). God has established all nations (Acts 17:26). God determined our time in history (Acts 17:26). God established our place in His creation (Acts 17:26). God can be known by all seeking Him (Acts 17:27). God is actively involved in our lives (Acts 17:28). God is Spirit, and we are created spiritual (Acts 17:29). God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Acts 17:29). God understands our past ignorance (Acts 17:30). God now commands all people to repent (Acts 17:30). God will someday judge our response (Acts 17:31). God assures us of His power over death (Acts 17:31).
I now worship the Creator, not His creation (Romans 1:20). I no longer trust in corn pollen, songs, dances, or any religious rituals. I believe the Creator’s answers given to me in His Word. I trust in Jesus Christ’s shed blood and death on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin. I am forgiven. I am restored. I am happy to finally have peace with my Creator. He loves me and has taken away all my fears. I pray to Him, and He hears me. He speaks to my heart through His Word. That’s why I love Jesus. That why I follow Jesus. He is my Hope! He is coming again (Titus 2:13). I will live the everlasting life. I can hardly wait! I have no regrets dedicating my life to sharing my hope in Jesus Christ. I want Him to be glorified. That is why I share this Good News with you!
*Raymond Perry is married to Lorraine, his wife of fortyeight years. They have four children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He served our nation in the United States Navy for ten years. He has pastored churches for over thirty years and remains active in ministries to his fellow veterans in the Navajo Nation. He is a vital part of the cooperative effort of tribal members and friends in the Native American community sharing their stories of hope.
“We bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, Who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations He allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet He did not leave Himself without witness, for He did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” Acts 14:15-17