Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. - Genesis 1:16-17
I'm reminded today that the LORD detests false worship. False worship that comes from a heart that is more concerned about "show" than "substance". False worship that is done as a ritual - a box to check in the day. False worship that is all about me and not about others.
In Isaiah we see the LORD state it as plainly as he can to the people of Judah. He tells them to stop bringing their false worship - He calls it a charade - and tells them he is not interested in sacrifices or burnt offerings. He is only interested in the alignment of their head, heart, and hands.
He is looking for them to love those around them. He is looking for them to stop their disobedience. He calls them to transformed thinking - moving from "I can do whatever I want and then ask for forgiveness later" type thinking. I don't think he could be much clearer:
- Stop sinning
- Do good
- Seek justice
- Help the oppressed
- Defend those that have nothing
- Fight for those that helpless
My life is the greatest offering I can put before the LORD. When align my head, my heart, and my hands to His perfect will, then he promises to bless me. In the end, this is all we have to give - our lives, let us each do it as an offering of worship.
Forgive me for coming to worship you out of obligation and ritual. Forget my false worship, do not listen to memorized words. Instead, Holy Spirit hear the cries of my heart - hear my innermost desire to be in alignment with your will. Help me to obey your call to obedience and service and love. Jesus, be my advocate before the LORD and help me to answer his calling to love others. Show me how to do this each day! Amen.
- Have you ever ended a time of worship and realized I've just been following everyone else?
- Have you given your entire life over to the LORD so that it truly is an offering?
- What opportunities exist in your organization or community or family to serve in the way the LORD talks about in Isaiah 1?
Make it a great day!