“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:24 NKJV
The first sphere our worship is to take place in is “spirit” and the second is “truth.” We will consider the second of these in this meditation.
There are two basic forms of “truth” as it is both communicated and perceived by us as humans. One way to define these is as “linear” and “non-linear.”
Linear truth is the form expressed in written and verbal language. It is linear because the details being communicated follow in succession one after the other in a “train of thought” or “line of reasoning.” This is the form of truth you are engaging with right now as you read this post. At this point you know part of what I am seeking to express and shortly you will know more as you continue on in this linear form of communication.
Non-linear truth, however, is a form where the particulars contained in or concerning a certain matter exist simultaneously and may be comprehended all at once. This form of communication is generally sensory in nature and doesn’t involve the use of linear language. If you were to look at the header picture at the top of this post, for instance, a multitude of particulars would be communicated to you all at once without any language involved. This is why it is said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Both linear and non-linear forms of communication have their unique advantages and also certain limitations, and so the best way of expressing truth often employs them both. For instance, this is why we put captions under pictures and look at maps to augment driving directions. In either case, the perception of truth is enhanced by linear and non-linear forms of communication synergizing together to give a more complete understanding of what is knowable and true.
These dynamics have a spiritual application as well.
God is the embodiment of all Truth. In His Person, all of the particulars of wisdom and knowledge exist simultaneously in perfect unity, fullness, and living reality.
If all the truths contained in and concerning God were to be expressed in linear, written form, the entire universe would most likely not be able to contain the volumes that would be written. Concerning the earthly life of Jesus alone, John said, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:25 NIV) We can extrapolate from there what it would take to contain a linear expression of all of the wisdom, wonders, works, and ways of God from eternity to eternity!
The God of Truth, however, is not merely a vast conglomeration of linear expressions of Truth. Rather, in Him all Truth exists simultaneously in one, integrated, all-at-once, non-linear Reality. Within the shoreless Ocean of Truth, whom God is, an infinitude of particulars of wisdom and knowledge “swim”, interrelate, and may be expressed both linearly and non-linearly, but all Truth is essentially and inherently one in His Person.
For us to worship God “in truth”, then, we must not only encounter and engage with the linear truths of God, but also be led through them to behold and bow down before the non-linear God of Truth. This process begins with the meditation (“grazing”) of our heart upon the truths of God as they are revealed through the written/spoken Word of God. It consummates in the contemplation (“gazing”) of our heart upon the God of Truth as He is revealed by the indwelling/overshadowing Spirit of God.
As we enter into worship in this way, we will become like Job who not only knew God linearly (“My ears had heard of you…”), but also came to know Him non-linearly (“but now my eyes have seen you.”) which resulted in Job’s ultimate transformation (“Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:4-5)
The highest, purest, and most transformative form of worship “in truth” involves these dual dynamics and this progressive development. As we enter into worship, then, may we allow the linear rays of light that radiate out of the Scriptures to lead us to gaze upon the non-linear Source of Light in Whom all Truth abides in resplendent glory! Then we will truly become the kind of worshipers the Father seeks, who worship not only in “spirit”, but also in “TRUTH!”
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