I find myself frustrated with something. I read something that has disturbed me for a few days. And for two days, it has been gnawing at my heart begging me to understand.
Quit your worship charades. I can’t stand your trivial religious games. 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. Clean up your act.
This passage is from Isaiah 1:13-17 [the Message]. I am still disturbed. Is this me? Yes I understand Isaiah was not directly this specifically to me, however it still applies. Am I this person? Do I treat worship- my lifestyle as a Christian- as a performance? Is it just a game to me? Does it matter at all. If I truly believe in Jesus, if he has truly changed my life, it should make a huge difference to how I live. It would be genuine and authentic. It would not be a charade. I would be different. Yet I find that I am not that different than who I was. I absolutely believe in Jesus Christ and what he lived and died for. Yet I still struggle with this internal battle.
I want to change. I want to be different. I want to quit the games of church and religion and actually make a difference in this world- starting with my own life. This verse basically says that God will not listen to our prayers because we’ve been tearing people to pieces and our hands are bloody. Maybe physically, but more than likely it is not physical. With our words. Gossip. Slander. Hate. Profanity. If I actually want to change this world and make a difference in the lives of others, I must learn to filter my words, my conversation, and even my actions. I need to clean up my act. You need to clean up yours too. It cannot be about a charade or a performance as a Christian, but a genuine encounter with Jesus and the desire to grow closer to him. That should affect all areas of our lives.