‘ Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. ‘
Isaiah 58:2-3 (ESV)
It would seem that by their actions that God would answer them favorably. Yet, their hearts were far from God. Their actions were hollow displays of piety. Isaiah is sternly warning us that God takes no delight in things we do just for show and lack the heart behind it. We should question our true motives for drawing closer to God. Are we looking to “check-in” with God, without the intent on following what He says? It is like coming to church to get a stamp on our “Christian Stamp Card” but still living as nothing has changed. If we really want Him to notice us, He is calling for us to obey Him with a genuine heart that seeks to live a life that honors Him.
I need to weed out insincere and self-glorifying activities out of my life. There are times that my heart has been not behind things that I do for the Lord. Prayers that have been said where my mind was on something else. There are devotional times where I am distracted from reading the Word of God. I think I need to:
1) Take away any distractions that will draw me away from my focus upon God. Put away my phone, read my paper Bible verses on the phone, or even get out of the house.
2) Center on God. Centering my thoughts and heart on Him when I approach Him in prayer and worship. Before coming before the Lord, I need to calm my thoughts and heart before approaching Him.
Jesus, you deserve my whole worship and praise. You deserve not just heartless or thoughtless actions, rather glorifying and heartfelt praise. I ask for your forgiveness for the times I did things just for the sake of doing them rather than being intentional about serving You. Thank you for your patience with me. I am so grateful for your mercy and for your love for me that is higher than the heaves! Thank you for clearing my name of sin as far as the East is from the West. I love you! Thank you, Jesus! I ask of this in Your Precious and Loving Name, Jesus! Amen!