As we fulfill the Lord’s requirement for our bodies and our souls, our spirits are liberated to enter into a fellowship with God—a fellowship even more wonderful than that which was lost through the fall. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:17, “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” The implication is clear. The redeemed spirit can now enjoy a union with God that is close and intimate. It is the spirit alone, however—not the soul or the body—that can experience this direct, intimate union with God.
It is primarily through the act of worship that our spirits enter into this union with God. In John 4:23–24, Jesus said, “The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.…God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Jesus made it clear that true worship must be an activity of our spirits.
In the contemporary church, there is little understanding of the nature of worship, mainly because we do not discern the difference between the spirit and the soul. Worship is not entertainment—that belongs in the theater, not the church. Nor is worship the same as praise. We praise God with our souls, and it is right to do so. Through our praise we have access to God’s presence. But once we are in His presence, it is through worship that we enjoy true spiritual union with Him. To be able to worship God in this way is the goal of salvation—first on earth, then later in heaven. It is the highest and holiest activity of which a human being is capable. Worship, however, is possible only when the soul and the body come into submission to the spirit and in harmony with it. Such worship is often too profound for words. It becomes an intense and silent union with God.