Christian Devotions

Empty Worship

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:  ~~  Isaiah 29:13   (KJV)

Many people in this country attend church regularly. If the door is open, they are there. We tend to assume that people who are actively working in church are somehow super spiritual.

That isn’t necessarily the case. This verse should bring us to examine our motives and our hearts.

These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught. (NIV)

What constitutes a heart of worship? Where does God rate in our schedules and our scheme of things? Is He, in fact, first? Or is He just an afterthought?

When do we seek Him? Daily? Hourly? Moment by moment? Or do we just call upon him when we have come to the end of our selves and need emergency intervention?

God tells us specifically that He doesn’t care about the trappings of worship, that worship is an attitude of the heart. Only when our hearts long for Him above all else can we worship in spirit and in truth.

Father, God,

Fan the flames of hunger for You in our hearts. Show us that seeking You, Your face and heart, not just Your helping hand, is the way to eternal contentment.

In Jesus’ most precious name.


First published in Garment of Praise  6 July 2009.


Comments on: "Empty Worship" (2)

  1. vondaskelton said:

    Judith, I remember when I finally realized the reality of grace and our Savior who provides it, this verse about people coming near to him and honoring him with their lips was a powerful truth that helped change my heart and mind. It’s one I’ll never forget! Thank you for the reminder.


  2. Thank you, Vonda for stopping by and adding your perspective. You are, as always, right on.


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