Read Isaiah 29:13-14
And the Lord said: "Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden."
• Is your worship sincere?
• Is your heart set on God?
• Are you truly seeking Him--desiring to know Him, love Him, and serve Him?
God despises manufactured worship. Empty words. Mechanical motions. Repetitive lists of man-made rules. A focus on art with little regard for the Artist. How can any of this be considered worship?
Isaiah delivers the Lord's rebuke in chapter 29. He points out that--in spite of polished words that sound right to the ear--Israel's heart is in the wrong place: "The Lord has said: 'These people praise me with their words, but they never really think about me. They worship me by repeating rules made up by humans' " (verse 13).
Motive makes the difference. God-centered worship that's expressed from the heart is the kind He desires. Isaiah reveals some ways to make our worship authentic: (1) Verses 6-12--revere the Lord, remembering that He is all-powerful. (2) Verses 13-16--praise God with a sincere heart, focusing every thought on Him. (3) Verses 17-24--trust that God is the source of hope, believing the He will set things right in the world. Remember, "A clay dish doesn't say to the potter, 'You didn't make me. You don't even know how' " (verse 16).
Lord, you deserve my praise. Show me how to worship you with a sincere heart, not just repetitive words. Help me to praise you with the right motives. And when I'm bogged down and distracted by the ways of the world, draw me back to you. Remind me that you are the Lord All-Powerful. In Jesus Name, Amen.