13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
How often do you think God wonders or believes if our attempts at worship are heartfelt or worthy of Him? The Bible talks about worshipping God in Isaiah 29:13-15 and how the Israelites had become complacent in their worship. They thought they could hide (or fake) a heart of worship, yet God knew their hearts were not in it even though they were going through the motions of worship. He knew it wasn't real.
This passage made me start to contemplate my own attempts at worship and how I can't hide anything from God. He knows my heart and whether I have surrendered all of the things in my life over to Him when I come to His feet to worship. Why would my heart EVER not be ready to worship the God of the universe? Oh, I can think of lots of things but I will narrow it down to two broad topics - obedience and focus.
Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord!
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
3 who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
4 You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.[b]
8 I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!
This passage in the Psalms speaks to me about surrendering to obedience and following God's commandments first and foremost before I can even attempt to fall at His feet and feel worthy to worship Him. I don't want to be ashamed or feel the need to try and hide something from God. The fact is I can't do that anyway but I'm sure I have been guilty of doing exactly what the Israelites did in Isaiah 29. There are many forms of worship, and I will let the other ladies tap in on some of those but God was speaking to me about what is required before I can even think about true and honest worship...pure and simple OBEDIENCE.
The second step I know I need to work on daily is FOCUS and by that I mean truly focusing on God when I am in His presence to worship. We live in such a fast pace, multitasking world these days that often we can lose focus or not truly focus on anything at all! We are most likely trying to do three or four tasks all at once and not concentrating on any one thing. Especially as women, we pride ourselves in being able to do laundry, check emails, texts and any other forms of social media, all while listening to music and working on some sort of project we might have going. I don't think God is as impressed with our multitasking abilities as we are when it comes to trying to "fit in" worship or quiet time with Him! We are called to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher (or Perfector) of our faith.
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”
God is worthy! I want to work in my own heart and life to focus on Him and to come before Him and give Him all of the glory and honor He deserves. I am challenging myself and you to take a look at the two steps I have touched on today - obedience and focus. I think these are two of the first few steps to truly being in the presence of the Lord with a heart full of worship.
"When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without heart." Lamar Boschman