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 based on merely human rules they have been taught." Isaiah 29:13
We can sing meaningful worship songs in beautiful harmony ... with hearts far from God.
We can stand attentively during the reading of Scripture ... with hearts far from God.
We can say the Lord's Prayer in spoken unison ... with hearts far from God.
We can recite the amazing truth of the Apostles' Creed ... with only our mouth and lips.
We can give our money to the church ... even lots of it ... with hearts far from God.
We can take the bread and the cup ... with our minds on something other than the great sacrifice of Jesus.
We can attend church every weekend ... motivated by guilt instead of worship.
We can serve the poor ... with hearts far from God.
We can take care of widows and orphans ... out of obligation instead of spiritual service.
We can read the Bible every day ... only to check off our daily reading assignment.
We can say a prayer ... while our mind is wandering.
God is never impressed with people who come near Him only to show others their spirituality. God is not impressed with recitation of mindless liturgy. God is not impressed when our worship is based on a set of traditions and rules that produces words from our mouth but nothing comes from our heart.
Saying prayers, singing songs, and reciting creeds is not worship if our heart is disengaged. Jesus said that true worshipers worship God in Spirit and in truth "for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks" (John 4:23). Are you the kind of worshiper God is looking for?
Father, help us to be the kind of worshipers You seek. Don't allow us to say words disconnected from our heart. Don't allow us to go through religious motions. We desire to keep our worship fresh and our hearts engaged. In Jesus' name. Amen.