Yesterday we were challenged to be consistent in taking our “daily bread”. We were to munch into our toast in the morning, or dip our bread into our soup at lunchtime and remember the bread of life – the word that nourishes our souls.
So, while I was eating my porridge, I was reading the open chapter of Isaiah. God was challenging His people about the “meaningless offerings” they were making to Him. They were fulfilling their religious obligations, but just going through the motions. For all their elaborate prayer rituals and their sacrificing a million bulls, they were not connecting with God at all, and they seemed totally unaware that they were not connecting. They were ticking off the boxes on the worship “To Do” list but nothing was making any difference in drawing them nearer to God, or opening up to them all the resources God had made available.
Meaningless means “lacking any significance, without meaning, purpose, or value.”
I can’t think of anyone that hasn’t done the ticky box routine in church on a Sunday at sometime in their lives. I have turned up, sang the songs, listened to the sermon, said amen at the end of the prayers – but through it all there have been times when I haven’t drawn any nearer to God, or found access to all that God has available for me.
For the people of God in Isaiah, it was not happening simply because they didn’t know God, or if they did they had turned their back son him. They were rebelling against his authority. Their acts of worship were not born out of a relationship they had with God. It was all “lacking any significance, without meaning, significance, purpose, or value.”. Although they seemed to have all the externals off pat, nothing was happening internally.
Nothing was happening internally because internally they were not switched on! Their hearts were empty of true devotion.
If I am just going through the motions on a Sunday, ticking the boxes in terms of external involvement, but my heart is empty of true devotion I am not going to draw close to God or find access to all the resources He has made available
Worship is meaningless if I am not changed and transformed in some way that I reflect a better picture of Jesus. It is meaningless if the window to God’s storehouse of resources remains stubbornly shut and I am left bearing wounds and welts and open sores that are not being bandaged and soothed. When I exit the church door, and enter the workplace, there needs to be some blurring of the lines between what is sacred and what is secular – all is sacred. The passion I bring with me to encounter God in church on a Sunday, has to be the same passion that I bring with me to encounter God in my workplace each and every day of the week. And what I experience of God from Monday to Saturday must be a part of what I bring with me on the following Sunday.