I need God today as much as day one. Probably more. I think this is a truth which fuels worship. It runs contrary to the self-righteousness which holds God at a distance. The truth is I am desperate for God today. I need him today. In real-time. Now…
13 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.
14 Therefore once more I will astound these people
with wonder upon wonder;
the wisdom of the wise will perish,
the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
Jesus quoted from Isaiah in Matthew 15 when speaking to the Pharisees and teachers of the law. He challenged them because of their hyper-focus on washings and the traditions of the elders, instead of pressing into finding the heart of God. Their hearts were far from God and very close to the rules and regulations of religion.
Worship cannot be based on human rules we teach. Worship is matter of the heart in action. It is a heartfelt response to God for his presence and power and promise. God’s response to religious rule following is to astound us. His response is to shame the supposedly wise.
Hmmm… how often do I fall into that category? How often am I wise in front of myself and the world and about to be shamed by God?
God says through Isaiah, “The wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” No wonder the Apostle Paul said, “I determined to know nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified,” (1Corinthians 2:2). Knowing more than that is risky.
The more I know the less I know. The older I get the more loosely I hold my convictions on rules and ritual. I know Jesus. I know him crucified for me. I need that today as much as day one. I think this is a truth which fuels worship.
It runs contrary to the self-righteousness of first world Christianity in which we hold God at a distance and reject desperation for God as weak or over-emotional. The truth is I am desperate for God today. I need him today. In real-time.
I don’t hold pride in my rule-following or adherence to ritual. In fact, if anything, I am more acutely aware of my stumbling as the Holy Spirit convicts and nudges me toward my Father.
Lord I need you. May my heart find yours.