Rabbi Schneider - Communicate Deeper With God
I'm going now to the 4th chapter and I'm picking up where I left off last week. Last week I ended with Jesus' statement, where He said to the woman at the well, "Salvation is from the Jews". It was a very unique message and very important. I really highlighted and kind of brought out, what does that mean for us today that salvation is from the Jews? I'm not gonna go back and review that. Again, I encourage you to go back and listen to it. I'm gonna pick up now in the next verse. Yeshua said in the 23rd verse to this woman, He said, "An hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. For such the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth".
I pointed out on the last episode, that we had two separate kind of channels that Yeshua was ministering. On the one hand He was telling her that the revelation of God to the world has come through the physical lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It's come through the Jewish people. But then He went on to say, "But those that worship the Father will worship Him neither in this mountain where you Samaritans worship or even necessarily in Jerusalem. But those that truly enter in to a heart to heart communion with the Father will need to do so, not from a geographical place, but in the spirit". Listen again what Yeshua said. "An hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. For such the Father seeks to be His worshipers".
I want to talk with you about worshiping God in the spirit. How do we do that? The first thing that we have to understand is that to worship God in the spirit we have to be authentic. We have to be real. I mean some of us have been so kind caught in a religious trap or religious mode, that the only prayers that we pray are prayers that we were taught when we were children, are taught in church that are memorized prayers. And of course some memorized prayers can be very powerful and very articulate, and they're very doctrinally sound. But to enter in, beloved, to deep waters, we need to bare our soul to the Lord. We need to open our heart to Him. We need to talk to Him, as a man speaketh to a friend, talking with Him about our deepest fears, our deepest insecurities, our deepest confusion, our deepest desires. We need to bare our soul to Him, because He can only come into that place that we've opened up to Him.
And if we just have these religious prayers that we're saying and don't open up our hearts to Him and disclose to Him who we really are, He can't come in and dwell with us in a deeper way. We need to hide nothing from God. After all He already knows everything, but He can only come in as we bring Him in. You see there's a mystery about our relationship with Hashem. There's a mystery about our relationship with God. Our God knows everything. He's everywhere. He's omnipresent. He's omniscient. He knows everything. But He only comes in and dwells where He's invited. He is a gentleman. He can intrude any time He wants to and He does that at times. But in terms of the type of relationship that He's looking to have with us, you and I who He created in His own image, there needs to be a partnership involved. He's not looking for a robot. He's not looking for somebody to force Himself on. He's looking for somebody that desires Him.
The Word of God says that His eyes are looking to and fro across the world, looking for somebody who is wholly devoted to Him, so He can show Himself strong to that person. You see the unique thing about human beings, the thing that separates us from the animal kingdom, is the ability of consciousness that we have, our ability to be conscious and our ability to choose. Let me say that again. What makes humankind unique? What is it about you and I that's unique from all of God's other creations? Two things. Number one, it's our awareness. The fact that we have consciousness, that we can analyze, we can discern at a level of awareness that no other animal can do. And then secondly, it's the ability that we have to choose.
You see animals can choose to eat this or eat that, but I'm not talking about just survival instincts. I'm talking about a moral quality. I'm talking about a higher quality of consciousness and a deeper ability to choose. The ability that we have to be aware spiritually and the ability that we have to choose, makes us unique and defines why we're created, why the scripture says that we're created in God's image. And so the reason the Lord made us this way is He's looking for a partner in love. He wants to love us and He wants us to love Him back. But it's not real love if He makes us love Him. In order for there to be real love we have to voluntarily choose to love Him. You see we exist in God, because all His creation is upheld by His power and yet there's a degree, beloved, that we're unique individuals that are separate from God and we can only be united to Him when we sovereignly choose to be united to Him.
And so God is looking for those that will worship Him in spirit and in truth. And in order for us to worship Him in spirit and in truth we have to make a conscious decision to love Him. And one of the ways we begin to do that is by being more authentic with Him, disclosing our self to Him, talking to Him more than we talk to anybody else in life. We should communicate with Him in the spirit in a deeper way than we communicate to anybody else on the earth, even our spouses. We should be talking to Him all the time. Talking to God is not just talking from our mouth. We can talk to Him out loud from our mouth and we should, but we can talk to God in our thought life just by being conscious of Him and being conscious that we're being conscious of Him; knowing that He's communing with us in our thought life. We can commune with God in the recesses of our soul in a silent way. We can commune with God from our soul.
You see before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He opened up His mouth and He spoke out loud. And He said, "Father I thank You that You hear me. I know You hear me always, but I'm saying this out loud so my disciples will know that You hear me". And then He said, "Lazarus come forth". You see He prayed to the Father out loud before calling Lazarus out of the tomb, so the disciples would hear Him talking to the Father. But Jesus said, "Father I don't need to talk out loud to know You hear My prayer. I know You hear Me in the inner recess of My soul. I don't have to make it out loud to know You hear me. I know You hear me". You see sometimes we think the problem is that God is too far away. Conversely sometimes the real problem is we won't receive how close He really is. He's closer to us than our heartbeat, but we won't open up and let Him in. It's a scary thing to be so open, to be so vulnerable to let Him in. He's closer to you than your heartbeat.
In order to enter into this relationship that is deeply fulfilling, this relationship that Jesus said is a relationship so that you'll be satisfied and thirst no more, because you were created for a relationship; in order to enter in you need to talk with God. Begin your day, beloved ones, just talking to Hashem. And you know what? He knows you don't feel great all the time. He knows when you're in a bad mood. It's okay, be honest with Him. Try to discipline yourself to choose right in terms of overcoming the negative attitude. Try to count your blessings when you have a negative attitude, looking at the glass as half full, rather than half empty. But He knows the way you're feeling, so be honest with Him. Ask Him to forgive you, ask Him to help you overcome. Talk to Him about your fears. Talk to Him about your insecurities. Those things about your spouse that frustrate you, talk to Him about those things. But don't talk to Him and then leave it there and let them build. Talk to Him and ask Him to help you to overcome and to love despite the irritations.
Beloved, we need to worship in spirit and in truth. And truth, Jesus said, let's look at the verse again. "But an hour is coming and now is when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth". What is truth? Truth is when something is seen clearly and accurately. So when you're allowing God into your life as you are, not pretending that you're somebody you're not; not just by talking in religious language. But truth is truth. Truth is when it's clear. It is what it is. It's authentic. So to be in a relationship of spirit and truth, you're gonna need to be completely transparent with Hashem, with Father God, through Yeshua. And talk to Him about everything, let Him in. And the more you talk to Him the closer you'll get, the deeper He'll come in, the more He'll be able to help you and transform you and empower you to overcome and go on to the next level.
Verse 24, "God is Spirit and those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth". The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming. He was called Christ. When that one comes, He will declare all things to us". Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He". This is a powerful statement. For myself as a Jewish person to lay claim to this statement that Jesus made, to stake my soul in this statement that Jesus made; For me as a Jew to stake my soul and my heart and my mind and my life in this, means that I am absolutely, beloved, swimming up stream, going up stream. Because for myself as a Jewish person, I am in such a minority in the Jewish world, because as many of you know, the Jewish community as a whole, overwhelmingly, has not believed that Jesus, that Yeshua is the Messiah. But Yeshua said to this woman at the well when she said the Messiah was gonna come, Yeshua said, "I who speak to you am He".
He claimed to be the Messiah. And many of us have heard that famous saying by CS Lewis concerning Yeshua, "Either He was a liar, He was a lunatic, or He's the Lord". Yeshua plainly said, "I who speak to you am He. I am the Messiah. I'm the prophesied Messiah that the God of Israel promised to the Jewish people and I'm the Savior of the world. I'm the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh to the Father but through Me". Yeshua's claims were plain, distinct, clear, and exclusive. Either He was a liar, He was deceiving people and He knew He was. He was a lunatic. We've got people in our psychiatric hospitals all over the world that think they're the Christ, they think they're the Messiah, they think they're the Savior. He was a lunatic, or the third option, He was who He said He was.
And we're gonna see, beloved one, in the next chapter, John 5, all the witnesses that tell us that Yeshua wasn't a liar. He wasn't a lunatic. He was the Lord. He was the one who He said He was. John the Baptist pointed to Him, "Behold the Lamb of God". And then the Father's voice spoke, "This is My beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased". And then the works that Jesus did, healing the blind, causing the lame to walk. Then the scriptures themselves pointed to Jesus. Jesus is the Messiah and His claims on your life and my life are exclusive. We die to our self and make Him Lord of our own life. Jesus said, "Unless we pick up the cross and deny our self to follow Him, the Mashiach, the Messiah". He said we cannot be His disciple.
See a lot of people, we say we believe, but there are different types of belief. And some of us have confused saving faith, Biblical faith, with a faith that is superficial and doesn't save. You see James told us, "Even the demons believe and tremble". It's not enough to believe that God exists, or even that Jesus is the way. The demons believe that, That faith doesn't save. The Bible tells us later in the Gospel of John that Jesus said to those that believed, they already believed, but Jesus said to them, "If you continue in My word then you are truly disciples of Mine". It's not enough to believe He's the Messiah. We have to believe He's the Messiah in such a way that it reorders our life, that it turns us upside down, that we forsake everything to follow Him, that He becomes the focus and the object and the center of our life; He becomes the one and the thing that we're pursuing in life.
Jesus said, "I am the Messiah". So it's not enough to say, "That's fantastic". It's like a stake in the ground and it's like, what are you and I gonna do about that? If He is the Messiah what are we gonna do about it? Yeshua is calling for a complete reordering of our priorities. He's wanting our life to be turned upside down. When the disciples, when the Apostles when out and preached the Gospel in the book of Acts, the scripture says they turned the world upside down. That's what has to happen in their life. There needs to be a revolution, a revolution of our priorities that starts with a revolution of our desire. We pursue Him, because we believe He is the Messiah. He is the one that will give us living water. And as a result of that we begin to hunger and thirst after Him and pursue Him, regardless of the cost.
Remember Jesus said to the man that wanted to follow Him who was a man whose father had just died and he came to Yeshua and he said, "I'm gonna follow You. I want to follow You". He said, "But first let me go bury my father". Jesus said to Him, "Let the dead bury the dead. You follow Me and preach the Gospel everywhere". And He said, "He that begins to follow me and looks back is not worthy of Me". You see beloved, when Jesus said, "I that speak to you am He. I'm the Messiah". It's not just a claim to celebrate and move on. It's like, what are you and I gonna do about it? You see the cross has been staked in the ground. Yeshua hung on that cross. His arms open wide. The blood fell from His hands and His feet. The spear went into His side and the blood was shed.
And now we have a choice to make, to make Him our Lord, to decrease like John the Baptist said about Him. "I must decrease, but He must increase". To make Him Lord and begin to pursue Him, putting His will first, letting Him reorder our lives, letting Him recreate us, because we become new creations in Him. Old things pass away and all things become new. We can either do that or we can stumble over Him, missing the point and ending up getting to the end of our lives where we thought we believed in Him and He says to us, "I never knew you". And those that Jesus spoke of in the parable, in the Gospel, He said, "They're gonna come to Him and say, 'Well Lord we did all these good works in Your name. We did all these things'". Jesus said, "I never knew you".
How could that be? Because they never really gave their hearts to Him. Jesus said, "Straight and narrow is the way that leads to life and few that be there find it". And this narrow road, beloved, it has to do with swimming upstream. It means when you walk down a narrow road, it's hard to walk down a narrow road. It's not just that few people take the road, it's that it's hard to walk down the narrow road, in the original language. You're swimming upstream, you're coming against opposition. And so we close today considering Jesus' words when He said to the woman, when she said, "The Messiah is gonna come". He said to her, "I that speak to you am He". I leave you with that statement. What are you gonna do about it? Will Jesus truly be your Lord?