Listen: O Come All Ye Faithful
Read: Isaiah 29:9-16
When does worship happen? I suppose we might answer, congregational worship happens every Sunday as we gather. I think that is reasonable, but the staggering reality is that not all congregants are truly worshipping. For our benefit, as we think about worship here, let’s use our Christmas Carol to help us define what we mean by worship. “O come, let us adore Him”. To adore God is more simply understood to be passionately loving/worshipping Him with our heart, mind, and actions.
Let’s further illustrate the idea of worship as adoration with the passage we read in Isaiah 29. The prophet here is recounting God’s words as He saw the hearts of His people being “far from Him” despite their religious words and actions. Jesus, in Matthew 15 quotes this passage from Isaiah because the Pharisee’s were faithfully religious but they were not truly worshipping. Their hearts had become “calloused”, “gross”, “dull”, or we might say their hearts did not adore Him.
We should all be careful as individuals to take inventory of our own hearts. As we come every Sunday, is our motive to adore Him? Daily, as we come to God in prayer and/or Bible reading, is our motive to adore Him? Think of adoration as a fire. This is a common metaphor. We talk about our love for God being “hot or cold”, and being “on fire for God”. William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army, is credited with saying, “The tendency of fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart”. Amen. Let’s ask ourselves, is the flame of my adoration blazing or flickering?
So what do I do? Let me give you three thoughts. First, give thanks to God who has already begun to stir your heart. Second, spend time focused on who Jesus is and all He has done. Third, immediately begin doing everything with this disposition of heart.