Going Through The Motions

Going Through The Motions

 
Read Zechariah Chapter 7
 
Zec 7:4 Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: 5 “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for Me that you fasted? 6And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?
 
Every one of us have at times just “gone through the motions” of worship. None of us are 100% into every worship service or every moment of bible study. Because we are imperfect humans, it is very hard to have a fully engaged spiritual mind all the time. But the people of Zechariah’s time had a problem worse than that. They were going through the motions all the time. Their hearts were not with God, their only thoughts about worship were in regard to the legalistic aspect of serving Him. They performed all the duties required of them, all the while that their hearts were far from God.
 
Many today are doing just that – going through the motions of worship. Once again we’re going to pick on the gay church and “gay Christians.” There is a sense of duty, attending church, singing the contemporary songs of today, and believing that those activities satisfy the requirements of their relationship with Christ. They are doing all the right things in that respect, and falsely believing they can live their lives any way they wish. That’s exactly what the Israelites were doing in this chapter of Zechariah.
 
Zec 7:9 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’ 11 “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. 12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by His Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry. 13 “ ‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the LORD Almighty.
 
They “would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by His Spirit.” The gay Christian simply refuses to hear God on the issue of homosexuality. When any man decides that he will not consider some aspect of God’s instructions, refusing to abide by one of His directives, there is nothing he can do in the form of worship which will please and honor God. A man’s heart must be determined to follow Christ, God, and His Spirit, in complete totality.
 
Naturally, none of us will ever totally accomplish that goal. However, we must retain our resolve to pursue the goal. We must continue to battle our same-sex desires for as long as we live, no matter how often we fail to live perfect lives. There must never come a time when we decide we are going to live a gay life and hope that our attempts to live for Him in other areas of life will somehow make the scales weigh in our favor in God’s sight. Our Father reads our hearts rather than our actions. Our desire to obey Him has to be more important to us than how often we go to church, read our bibles, or sing songs of worship and praise.
 
I must admit that sometimes, my desire to obey is more “have to” than “want to.” That’s not good either. But it’s better than completely ignoring His call to repentance and His call to live holy, pure lives. We cannot “stubbornly turn our backs and stop up our ears.” We must always “listen to the words that the LORD Almighty” has given us. They are words given to us by a Savior who loves us more than we can ever imagine, and they are given to us for our benefit, not His.
 
Prayer: Lord, we ask for Your forgiveness for all the times we have gone through the motions of worship, and at the same time been fully engaged in sin. There have been times that each of us have been guilty of the same things the Israelites did. Continue to work with us with compassion and understanding, as we attempt to live our lives for You and pursue holiness. Thank You for being merciful to us.
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