And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote. (Isaiah 29:13 NLT)
The people claimed to be close to God, but they were disobedient and merely went through the motions; therefore, God would bring judgment upon them. Religion had become routine instead of real. Jesus quoted Isaiah’s condemnation of Israel’s hypocrisy when he spoke to the Pharisees, the religious leaders of his day (Matthew 15:7-9; Mark 7:6-7). We are all capable of hypocrisy. Often we slip into regular patterns when we worship, and we neglect to give God our love and devotion. If we want to be called God’s people, we must be obedient and worship him honestly and sincerely. (Tyndale Study Bible)
As a believer, the toughest thing for me has always been to learn how to rely on God wholeheartedly.
In the dog-eat-dog world in which we live, we often find it difficult to rely on God due to lack of faith on our part, without even realising it. You see, the Bible says all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed, and we will be able to move mountains.
Just as the scripture says, we tend to do things out of habit. It’s in everything we do. We all have specific practices from the time we wake up until the time we go to sleep. The coffee routine to the time you leave for work. Then, when we are at work, we have methods as well. You can’t expect a different result if you’re putting in the same effort as before.
It’s easy to slip into routines in all we do. My advice to myself is to put my heart and soul into everything I do. Try to maximise your potential in everything. I can’t think that God does not expect excellence from us in everything we do to His glory.
At church yesterday I prayed for a new believer. My advice to him was open his heart and trust God to do the good work in him.
“Lord, I pray that You will produce excellence through me, that I may be a star that shines for you. Give me the vision and strength to not just to be there, but wholeheartedly worship You. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen”