Are You Worshiping God in Vain?
Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying: ‘these people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ (Matthew 15:7-9)
The prophetic declaration of Isaiah hundreds of years ago is relevant to the Church right now. Many people are worshiping God in vain.
It is sad but true! And the saddest part is that many do not care.
The church buildings are filled with people who meet to worship and praise God.
They lift their hands to the sky. They sing, pray, cry, scream but for many, their hearts are not in their worship.
They are giving God only lip service because their hearts are far from Him. Their hearts are with their treasures.
These treasures are located in their secular business or place of employment where they make their money.
Their treasures are found in their luxurious houses and apartments that generate income.
Their treasures are in the large, expensive vehicles that they drive.
Their hearts are on the social media wondering how much likes they will receive for the beautiful pictures that they just posted.
In recent times, it is now okay to take a selfie inside the church to encourage friends to attend the service.
It is easier to take a lovely picture in church and post it on Facebook than to go into the byways and hedges to invite people to attend church.
The social media is deleting the personal impact of relationship. No one calls you on the phone anymore; they text you.
We do not greet and support each other; we “whatsapp” cryptic messages or send you a postcard.
We do not visit each other; we do not fellowship together except outside churchyard.
We hardly pray for each other!
Instead, we send chain messages via Whatsapp with empty promises of blessings if shared.
We compete with each other and often post our dinner dates and whereabouts on Facebook for the “grudgeful” people to see that we are enjoying ourselves.
All too quickly the days roll away and the weekend creeps upon us suddenly and once again it is church time.
We dress in our new beautiful “Sunday best” with a well-coiffured hairdo, and we rush to church hoping that we will receive a blessing from the Lord.
However, when we walk through the entrance of the church, we sit in the pew with the group of people whose feathers matches ours.
Which group do you belong?
Do you belong to the “Mete” who gossips and criticize with their eyes?
Or are you among the “holier than thou” who always sits on the platform and only speak in tongues?
Perhaps you are part of the group who is “set apart” for righteous works, so you do not mix with the publicans and sinners.
Are you part of the “Marthas” – those who are always busy with the instruments, music and church functions?
Are you just a “bench warmer” in the church hoping for some entertainment or a good laugh?
Do you attend church to please your spouse and to get rid of the nagging?
Are you part of the silent observer – the “watchman” who sees the church in disarray and hope that God will drive out the hypocrites and save the righteous.
Do you sit among the widows who dedicate their life to prayer and fasting for the manifestation of the sons of God?
But the story continues…
Once again we begin the routine praise and worship – giving God “lip praise.”
We listen to the scream of the preacher’s words, and we grunt now and then in agreement, but we are still burdened by our problems, so we go to the altar again for deliverance.
The pastors and ministers pray for us one more time, and yes, the evil spirits are driven out leaving a vacant space in our heart.
But, as soon as we return home, the bad spirits are sitting on the sofa waiting for us.
They quickly bring a few more companions and jump right back into their dwelling place – your empty heart.
In vain many of us worship God! When will we learn? When will we gain wisdom?
If only we could receive the fullness of God!
If only our stony, traditional hearts could turn into pliable flesh!
If only, if only, we could love as Jesus loves!
Additional references: Luke 10:38-40
How can we make a difference in the church? Share with us your thoughts.