In Worship… “Beware of Just Going Through the Motions”

On this New Years Day during my time of “coffee with the Lord” I read a passage during my Bible reading that convicted me of times I may have drifted into mindless worship, empty liturgy, meaningless ritual… you know what I’m talking about – “just going through the motions” in worship.  When that happens God is not pleased – it is an affront to our Lord and Savior!  In fact, it can be (and often is) just plain hypocritical!

Here’s the passage, spoken to God’s people, that brought me conviction…

“Hear the word of the Lord! … Give ear to the teaching of our God! … ‘What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.  When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts?  Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.  Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.  When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen!” (Isaiah 1:10–15 ESV)

I NEVER want to “just go through the motions!”  I never want to cover up lukewarm spirituality or a sinful life with half-hearted participation in worship or acted out sincerity.  Here are the very words of Jesus our Savior on the issue… “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit [i.e. from the spirit / energized by the Holy Spirit] and truth [truly, authentically, in keeping with Truth] for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth!” (John 4:23-24 ESV)

I gotta tell you I felt some conviction this morning as I thought about the character of some of my worship! … But I rejoiced at the Lord’s assurance to the guilty worshippers in Isaiah 1…

“’Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool!” (Isaiah 1:18)  Praise the Lord for His forgiveness!

Just let it be said, with His help and the reminders He brings by His Spirit, I intend to “Worship Him in Spirit and truth!”

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