I was studying tonight for awhile, and I began to read the first chapter of Isaiah. I read it in the KJV, the New American Standard and The Message. When I got to verse 13, I had to go back and re-read it over and over again. It shook me for a moment, and then as clear as crystal, I could hear God say, “It is time for real worship!” Read this portion of scripture from Isaiah out of The Message, “Quit your worship charades. I can't stand your trivial religious games: Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings-- meetings, meetings, meetings--I can't stand one more! Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them! You've worn me out! I'm sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning. When you put on your next prayer-performance, I'll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I'll not be listening. And do you know why? Because you've been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody.” I know at times you can lose the meaning through the different translations, but also, you can get a better understanding as well. And what I am getting from this is that God is tired of us doing the same old thing, over and over and over again. He is tired of us playing church. He is tired of us coming to “worship” on Sundays, and then forgetting about Him the rest of the week unless there is a meeting or something of that nature. He says we have been tearing people to pieces and our hands are bloody. WOW! And the thing is, I understand that. We tear people to pieces with our words, with our judging them incorrectly, with not greeting them because they appear different from you or that they do not have the same economical standing as you. If you stand by and watch sometime, you can see people in church gawk at you because of your weight, you are either too big or too skinny, too dark or too light or not light enough, to raggedy, not clean enough, and in doing all of that, we are missing out on God, we are not worshipping Him as He desires us to do, with our whole hearts.
God is tired of the churches being social clubs; He is tired of churches being a place where people gather just to discuss the things that happened throughout that week. When we walk into the house of the Lord, the first and only thing that should be on our mind is WORSHIP!!! I hear people come to church at times and complain that they did not get anything out of the service, but then I wonder, are they coming with the expectation of hearing from God? Are they praying that God will speak through the man or woman of God on that day? If you do not put anything into the service, then you can not get anything out. If you are not coming to worship, then what are you coming to do? God also said in His word that the prayers are just performances. He is letting us know that the prayers are not heartfelt, there is no substance, and there is no real petition to the Lord. He does not want our prayers to be rehearsed, He wants us to cry out to Him, to diligently seek Him, and He wants us to meet Him at the altar, have an altar call, and cry out to Him. God inhibits the praises of His people. God wants His spirit to dwell within us; He wants us to worship Him, to love Him, to praise Him, to honor Him. God wants us to have His characteristics. He does not want us to walk around with blood on our hands. We need to repent from tearing people down, we need to repent from having bloody hands, we need to repent from not doing what God wants us to do, we need to repent for not worshiping, for not praising Him, for not loving others the way that God loves us, we need to repent for loving conditionally instead of loving unconditionally. Psalm 99:5, Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool; He is Holy! God is worthy to be praised. Worship Him. God desires to answer our prayers, we need to be cleansed from all unrighteousness, we need to cry out to God and just tell Him that we are so sorry for not living according to His word, that we are so sorry that we ask for forgiveness and still continue on doing the same thing. We need to ask God to forgive us for drinking, to forgive us for lying, to forgive us for cheating, to forgive us for stealing, to forgive us for killing, to forgive us for backbiting, we need forgiveness, we need to repent, let’s stop playing church, let’s stop pretending to worship…..it is time to be real…..it is time for real worship….playtime is over….it is time to be about our Fathers business.
Well said. This is too true in too many church and in the life of the people there. I pray that as others read this we will see the need for change and press in with a heart open to all He says. Thanks, Joyce