“Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”
“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)
Is there meaning behind what you do in your worship?
How is your heart? Is it still in it? Are you in love with God? These questions may get to the heart of the matter. We are called ‘Children of God’ (Gal 3:26) and yet at times we act like we are mere acquaintances of God. I will admit that there have been times when my heart just hasn’t been in the worship service that I am attending. Have you been to that point?
Setting the stage:
You get up and prepare for the Sunday Morning Service. You put on your ‘church clothes’, comb or brush your hair…and make sure everything is in place. On the way out the door you grab your Bible, which may have been resting in the same spot since last time you went to church. You get in your car or van and race to the church because you are nearly late…someone cuts you off on your way to the church building. Then you get to the church and find all the ‘good parking spots’ are already taken. So you finally reach the front doors of the church building in a huff, slightly irritated and just a little bit disheveled…but you still have your Bible in hand.
When you finally sit down in the pew as the service is about to start, you suddenly realize you didn’t eat breakfast…great one more thing to think about during church. You stand when they tell you to stand, you sit back down when they tell you to sit, and all the while you are staring at the clock thinking about what you will do with the rest of your day. You barely hear what the pastor preaches on…the first joke in the introduction was funny but after a while the sermon just becomes the mumblings of that teacher on the t.v. show ‘Peanuts’…”Whah, whah, whah, whah, whah.”
The Heart of the Matter:
Hopefully your worship doesn’t look like that! But if truth be told I would almost bet that you have had those Sundays. My question to you is “why even go to church then?” If we aren’t emotionally, physically and intellectually there in the first place, why even show up?
There are a lot of people out there who go to church but fail to actually show up. It’s unfortunate, I’ve been there, and it happens. It makes me wonder sometimes if we aren’t acting a little like the Pharisees of old. We’re all about the ritual of worship…we all know the right songs to sing and the right ‘Amen’s’ to proclaim at any given time in the service, but our hearts are just not in it.
Dare I prod us all for a moment: If we just show up for worship on Sunday mornings (or whatever day we attend church) but we aren’t really there…aren’t we a little like the Pharisees that Jesus talked about that were all about cleaning the outside of the cup but not too serious about cleaning the inside? (Luke 11:39) Now I’ve probably stepped on a few toes with that one…but I have to confess…I’ve done it too!
I’ve been just as guilty of showing up for Sunday service and said all the right things and gone through all the right motions and yet my heart has not been in it.
This isn’t some sort of guilt trip that I want to lay on you today. I don’t want us all to think that we’re awful people by any means. But what I do feel as if God wants from us all is not our ritualistic church attendance. Or our ritualistic methodology…or even our ritualistic uniform/church clothes that we wear so that we fit in. What God wants from us is our hearts. He wants our worship, our undivided attention. He wants from us authenticity in the songs we sing, the scriptures we read and in the sermons we hear or the sermons we preach. HE DOES NOT WANT OUR LIP SERVICE! He never did!!!
He wants to make us holy, set apart people for Him! We can’t just settle for cleaning the outside of the cup and keep up appearances of something that isn’t true on the inside! God wants us to be real, to be vulnerable people before Him. He calls us all to genuine fellowship with Him. The kingdom of God begins within our authentic worship of a God who has poured out His unmerited favor on us. How can our hearts NOT be in on that?
To the pretenders out there STOP PRETENDING! Either get on with real worship and adoration of God or just get out of the way! To the luke-warm believer: MAKE UP YOUR MIND! Don’t settle for a skim-milk type of passion. Don’t stop at just being a ‘ok’ in your faith…we all have to grow and mature! Get on with it! To those of you who are ON FIRE FOR GOD: Don’t let your flame go out! Keep burning for the rest of us so that we have something to aim for!
Don’t fake it. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Don’t suffocate your fire with distractions, worries and things that have no eternal worth!
REMEMBER: Have passion, clean the inside of the cup daily, and walk with God…He longs for you to do so!