Monday, January 14, 2013


 “Quit your worship charades.
I can’t stand your trivial religious games:
Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings—
meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more!
Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them!

You’ve worn me out!
I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning.
When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way.
No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening.

And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody.

Go home and wash up.
Clean up your act.
Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I don’t have to look at them any longer.

Say no to wrong.
Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
Go to bat for the defenseless.”         Isaiah 1:13-17  Message Bible


Let’s look at Isaiah 29:13;

The Lord says: "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 made up only of rules taught by men.”

Our lives need to be lived in worship, worship needs to be a way of life, and worship needs to be more than words from our mouths, but something truly from the heart.

A.W. Tozer wrote "It is possible to worship God with our lips and not worship God with our lives. But I want to tell you that if your life doesn’t worship God, your lips don’t worship God either".

In Isaiah 1 we are seeing God speaking to the people of Israel, but referring to them as Sodom and Gomorrah.  He’s also referencing the different traditions of Jewish worship. 

Now the problem God is having is not with the rituals themselves.  He was, in fact, the One who instituted most of these rituals Himself, but the problem was with those who were performing these acts of worship.

We see that made clear in Isaiah 29, they were worshipping God in word, but their hearts were not in it. They sang and they sacrificed, but they did not worship. They fasted and they feasted, but they did not worship.

Why? Because their hearts were far from God and their lives did not reflect a true heart of worship.

We were created to worship, not just in word, but with our lives. We see this in 1 Peter 2:9, " You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." 

Worship needs to be our lives. Our lives need to be worship.  In the church today, I believe that we need to see a worship renewal; a worship revival; a worship renaissance, if you will.

 What do I mean by that?

For a lot of people, the word worship is synonymous with music.  Music has become an emotional ritual with many believers.  Music can be divisive.  But worship unites!

Musical tastes come and go, but music is not the only form of worship. Worship is not only about music.  Music can be one form of worship, a facet, an outlet, but it is not the only type of worship.  What’s important is worship is eternal and it is constant.

So what is worship?   The other side of worship I am referring to is and can be interwoven with music, but true worship is our response to experiencing the presence of God.

It involves all the ways in which we can respond to Him, all the ways that we can praise Him by what we do and say.  It is all the ways we can demonstrate that God is worthy of all praise and glory and honor and power and might.

Unfortunately, like in Isaiah’s day, we have lost some of the essence of worship. Our worship has become empty. As the prophet said, we worship God with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him.

We have all seen people who never enter into worship in church, they barely move their lips if at all.    Our lives outside of church reveals our heart of worship by the way we live, speak and reach out to others.   Our lives should be a constant worship of Jesus Christ!  

When live in disobedience, lies, deception, repeated sins and bitterness we are unable to live a life of worship.  Our desire is not to worship but rather to live by our flesh and that is the lifestyle we see the prophet referring to in Isaiah 1.

Stephen Charnock, a 17th century Puritan said this about worship: "Without the heart, it is not worship; it is a stage play; an acting part… We may be truly said to worship God, though we [lack] perfection; but we cannot be said to worship Him if we [lack] sincerity".


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