Growing Worshiping Disciples on Mission for Christ

The Vertical Vortex: Worship in Spirit and Truth

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When a Samaritan woman stormfront1came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us. “Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

John 4:7-26, NIV

When I take a bowl of water and begin to stir it slowly with a large spoon, the water will begin to swirl. The energy from my hand powering the spoon transfers to the water. As I increase the speed of the spoon, the water swirls faster. A vortex occurs in the center of the bowl where everything is drawn forward, inward, and downward simultaneously. If I have filled the bowl to the brim with water, the vortex will send the water out over the edge to soak the table around it.

This is a picture of the worship vortex. God fills the bowl of his church with the living water of Christ. He stirs the water with his mighty hand. His instrument to stir the living water is spirit and truth. Spirit and truth propel our worship forward, inward, and outward simultaneously. The worship vortex draws everything to Christ at the center, then propels us out of the church to soak everything around us with the gospel. The worship vortex is the ignition key for personal discipleship and mission in the life of a Christian.

Mike Glenn, preaching for LifeWay Worship Week in the summer of 2011, shared the vortex analogy. His worship team at Brentwood Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn., uses the term “vertical vortex” for the worship experiences they hope to enable for their church. A vortex is something regarded as drawing into its powerful current everything that surrounds it. As I said earlier, Jesus gave the ultimate worship formula in John 12:32 when he said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all to me.” He is the vortex of the universe. When we worship in spirit and truth, the vortex of Christ’s saving power draws all to him.

What is “worship in spirit and truth” and how does it facilitate a vertical vortex in our worship?  STAY TUNED AS WE UNRAVEL THIS MYSTERY RIGHT HERE EACH FRIDAY IN UPCOMING POSTS!  See you here.  – Mark Powers


Author: Mark Powers

Worship Pastor, Riverland Hills Baptist Church, Columbia SC - April 1, 2018 to present Former Director, Worship and Music, South Carolina Baptist Convention, Columbia SC: 2008 - 2018 Author - "GOING FULL CIRCLE: Worship that Moves Us to Discipleship and Missions" - www.GoingFullCircle.org (Resource Publications, Wipf & Stock, Eugene OR, 2013) President, www.WorshipWise.com - Empowering YOU for Powerful Worship Leading! Presenter/Speaker on the MusicArts Mission Movement (M3). To contact MP about presenting or speaking for your conference or training event, e-mail mark@riverlandhills.org or call 803-640-9037. I would love to come and share how your worship ministries can join God on mission in your community!

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