I have always admired athletes that compete with ENTHUSIASM, JOY and FOCUS. You know…the guys (and gals) who play hard even in practice, workout after the game and “leave it all on the field”! Whether they are professionals on a national stage or kids on the local soccer field, everyone roots for the guy or gal who “gives it all they have”! Conversely, I get a little irritated by guys who cheat (steroids, stealing signs etc…) and the guys who offer half-hearted efforts on the field of play. It leaves us all feeling disappointed and even angry. Ultimately it also fills the athletes themselves with a sense of loss and regret at “what could have been”.
Likewise, half-hearted worship or simply “faking it” leaves both the believer and our Lord…dissatisfied.
(Matthew 15:8-9) 8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.
Half- hearted worship is cheating! Really… we are cheating ourselves, cheating God and ultimately (like all cheating) … we suffer for it. Here is what that can “look like”:
- WE get “bigger” – GOD gets “smaller“
- We lose PASSION for the things of God.
- We GRADE the service. The message, the music, the length etc… all comes in to play when we cheat at worship.
- We lose INTEREST. Singing is ONLY WORSHIP if we are PASSIONATE and FOCUSED on the object of our worship!
- We get CYNICAL about church as a whole. If God is not worthy to be worshipped then why bother with the “whole thing”?
- We WORSHIP OTHER THINGS INSTEAD OF GOD. The truth is that we all worship something. For some it is money, for others sex, for still others it is their children. Whatever is the thing we sacrifice the most for…THAT is the thing we worship.
- We start ARRIVING LATER and LATER to the service because “I really only get something out of the preaching”
Like sports, worship requires ENTHUSIASM, JOY and FOCUS to be fruitful.
- ENTHUSIASM: FOR the thing worshipped.
- JOY: IN the thing worshipped.
- FOCUS: ON the thing worshipped
Lord Grant that I would cut through the “cheating” and “half-hearted” effort and WORSHIP YOU PASSIONATELY, HAPPILY and with determined FOCUS!”