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Hollow Worship

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Today’s sermon gripped me to the point where I couldn’t sing the response song.

I felt hollow. I felt fake and I felt superficial. Words coming out of my mouth seemed meaningless. I was giving God lip-service.

The pastor preached on worship and brought out a passage from Isaiah 1:11-19

11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?” says the LORD.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

12 When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?
13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your evil assemblies.
14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts
my soul hates.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even if you offer many prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood;
16 wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds
out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong,
17 learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.
18 “Come now, let us reason together,”
says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.

19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the best from the land;

I am captured by verse 13 and verse 17. In verse 13, the Lord is accusing the people of meaningless offerings. In verse 17, the Lord declared what’s proper worship.

And the Lord speaked clearly. Here’s how you should worship..

  • learn to do right
  • seek justice
  • encourage the oppressed
  • defend the cause of the fatherless
  • plead the case of the widow

I was sitting there and wondering…when was the last time I did any of these? When my heart was gripped by these issues?

And my heart is heavy. Heavy in God speaking clear and yet my heart is not in the right place.

I do not know how else to describe it.

 I went to the prayer room and reflected on the sermon.

Does it really matter? I am not talking about just doing more or else. I am just wondering where my heart is at.

Next week, there will be another sermon. Another Sun Service. Then another one after that. There is a fellowship week in and week out. There is prayer meeting week in and week out.  My role as a Christian. Punch in and punch out.

I am just wondering…am I worshiping God as God directed? Or am I simply putting God in a box where I only ‘worship’ him to fit my own lifestyle? If I am too busy, I will ignore the issue.  What about the weak? Well, they are important but I am too busy doing my own thing, living my own life and pursuit my own happiness. The poor is an important issue as long as it doesn’t cross into my life. They are out there. Not here.

I was listening to Boundless Podcast yesterday and someone said: “when Jesus say to help the orphans and the widows I really think He means to help the orphans and the widows

…and so I am sad.

Christianity becomes a convenience faith. And the songs that I wish to sing are hollow. God sees right through it. Nothing but cheap words to try and uncover a deceitful heart.

And the saddest part of it…there is part of me that enjoyed this superficial worship. It just blends right in the crowd.

Sometimes I think what Jesus does is great. I love it. I love how He comes for the poor and help the weak. Though I only love Him for what He does. And I do not want to follow nor imitate. I just want to see…..

there is nothing I can do but repent…

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