"Going Through the Motions"

                It must have been very frustrating to God, to watch His people turn their back on Him following idols.  It must have just burned Him, to see the typical Israelite come and offer up his sacrifices to the Lord.  Although the sacrifice was full of hypocrisy and sin, it still gave them a sense of accomplishment that they had done something good.  If we know anything from our readings of the Bible, we know that the Lord doesn’t delight in the sacrifices; He delights in obedience.  The children of Israel were doing what many of us are guilty of today; they were just going through the motions.  Yes they made their sacrifices, but their heart was not in them.  As God says, through Isaiah the prophet, even the ox knows it owner and the donkey his home, yet Israel does not know God.   They knew Him, but they did not know Him, as in, understand, appreciate, respect, revere or love Him.  They had been too caught up in their own lives, too busy to have a healthy relationship with their Creator, and now they are just going through the motions.   As we continue to study this book of Isaiah, we see a loving God crying out for His people to come back to Him.  He loved them so much that He was willing to forgive them of their complacency, idolatry and hypocrisy if they would just return to Him. Yet, if they refused, they would pay the price that the Lord would require.  "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 1:18-20).  Although this message is centuries old, the words still carry meaning to us today.  Maybe you too have been so caught up with your own life that your relationship with the Lord has suffered?  Maybe you have found yourself going through the motions with your faith?  If such is the case, “reason together with the LORD”, go to Him in prayer right now and ask for the forgiveness of your sins.  Then be willing and obedient to serve Him with a heart of love and humility.  After all, without Him, we are nothing.
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