The Body of Christ is a priesthood (Revelation 1:6), and the function of priests is to minister unto the Lord. Our first responsibility, then, is to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). It is necessary to emphasize this fact, because it is not a revelation to many Christians. Many are only geared to the receiving mode. They seem to think that God is obligated to bless them and their interests. It takes some growing up into spiritual maturity for one to become aware that his first concern must be worshiping the Lord. And it takes even more growing up before it becomes the joy of his heart. It is one thing to know that worshiping the Lord should be first; it is quite another thing for it to become first in your heart. The mechanics of worship aren’t difficult, but real worship is. When you really set your heart to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, your flesh nature will be your greatest opposition and it takes a lot of dedication to cross the grain of your flesh.
Do you understand what it means to worship in spirit and in truth? To worship “in spirit” means to worship with/from your spirit in His presence. And to worship “in truth” is to worship in Christ, for He is “Truth” (John 14”6). When you worship from your soul-life, which is how most Christians worship, you do not touch God. God is Spirit (John 4:24). Therefore, worship must flow from spirit to Spirit. That is why Jesus said, God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). And in verse 23, Jesus said, The Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is looking for a people who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Ecclesiastes 9:8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.
When the Holy Spirit says to not let your head lack ointment, He is not speaking of your physical head that sits on your body. The Holy Spirit speaks to the Body of Christ, and the Head of the Body of Christ is the Lord Jesus. He is the Head (Lord) of the Body (Church). (God) hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church, which is His Body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all. Ephesians 1:22,23. When we worship the Lord (our Head) in spirit and in truth, we are pouring ointment upon Him. The ointment is the holy anointing oil. In your submission to His Lordship, your spiritual worship ministers an anointing to Him. Worship Him in spirit and in truth; let thy Head lack no ointment!
Matthew 6:17 But you, when you fast, anoint thine head, and wash thy face.
“Thine Head,” as before, is referring to your spiritual Head, the Lord Jesus. If you fast correctly, it will be a ministry unto the Lord; it will be an anointing unto Him. Usually, people fast (from food) in order to get something they want from God. That is not the kind of fast that the Lord has chosen; it does not minister unto Him. I suppose that fasting from food has some merit. I understand that the body tends to throw off poisons at that time. The proper fast, though, will “anoint thine Head, and wash thy face (presence).” It will minister unto the Lord and have a cleansing affect upon your spirit. The poisons in your spirit, so to speak, will be thrown off. Isaiah chapter fifty-eight tells us what kind of fast is chosen of the Lord.
Isaiah 58:1-5 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show
My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.
3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and Thou see not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou take no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exact all your labours.
4 Behold, you fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: you shall not fast as you do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?
Outwardly, it seemed that they were fasting for all the right reasons – seeking the Lord daily, delighting to know His ways, etc. (verse 2). So why would the Lord not acknowledge them (verse 3)? Then the Lord responded saying that their motivation wasn’t right. They were pharisaic in nature (verses 4-5). It was not the kind of fast that God had chosen. Then in the rest of the chapter, He describes the fast He has chosen and what it would mean to them.
Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
The fast that God has chosen is not a fast to gain something for self or to look super-spiritual. Rather, it is a fasting of self; it is laying down your life, even as the Master did (John 10:11). The Pharisee looks to be blessed and to receive; the desire of the righteous is to be a blessing and to give. Jesus said, Be a minister…be a servant…even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:26-28). That is the true fast!
Isaiah 58:7 Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?
The Lord gives four directives in this verse in describing the fast He has chosen. (1) Deal your bread to the hungry. Literally feeding the hungry will not satisfy this directive. He is speaking of ministering the Bread of Life to those who are hungering after the Lord (2) Bring the poor that are cast out to your house. The house here is our dwelling place in Christ. We must bring “the poor” or “the cast out” into the Body of Christ. And, if you can receive it, there are many Christians who have been “cast out” by the religious spirit and need to find their place in Christ. (3) When you see the naked, cover him. The Holy Spirit is speaking of those who need to be clothed in Christ. Dress them in the spiritual garments of the Lord. (4) Hide not yourself from your own flesh. The Pharisees had a wall around them, shutting out everyone else. They were only concerned about themselves. They would bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers (Matthew 23:4). Do not hide yourself from your own flesh; open your heart to them. I heard someone say recently, “It matters not what a person looks like or smells like on the outside; on the inside he is still a man.”
Isaiah 58:8-9 Then shall your light break forth as the morning and
your health shall spring forth speedily: and your righteousness shall go before
you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rereward.
9 Then shall you call, and the Lord shall answer; you shall cry, and He shall say, Here I am.
Forsaking yourself and preferring others is God’s plan for you. Take no thought for your life…but seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:25,33); that is the fast the Lord has chosen. Then thy Head will lack no ointment.
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
There is no unity when each person only thinks of himself; self-centeredness divides. The Body of Christ has many members, and all the members of that one Body, being many, are one Body (I Corinthians 12:12). Each member is not a Christ in himself, but in their oneness with the Lord together they become Christ. There is only one Christ, but we become members of Christ in our oneness with the Lord and in our submission to His Lordship. The Body of Christ cannot function if divided. Therefore, the Holy Spirit says, How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! If you understand this, you will also understand why sectarianism is so ineffective.
Psalm 133:2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.
Aaron, being the high priest of Israel, foreshadows our High Priest the Lord Jesus Christ. Now we see that it takes more than just worshiping as an individual to pour ointment upon our Head. We must worship as members of the Body of Christ. There is a way in which our individuality is swallowed up in the Body. We are missing something when we only think of ourselves as individuals. The same is true when we are only conscious of our local church involvement. We must have an awareness of being members of the whole Body of Christ. That is what it means to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Worship on the Kingdom level is like the precious ointment poured upon the Head and runs down even to the skirts of His garments.
Garments clothe the body. So when the Holy Spirit says that the precious ointment is poured upon the Head and then runs down upon “the skirts of His garments,” He is saying that the precious ointment poured upon the Lord by our worship also runs down upon the Body of Christ. Worshiping the Lord in spirit and in truth ministers unto the Lord and the Body of Christ. Let thy Head lack no ointment, and you will also rain down blessings upon the Body of Christ.
Copyright © 1997 by Henry DuBose