I grew up in the church, never wandered from the church, still in the church and love all things church. As part of our worship experience, growing up, we memorized creeds, forms of prayer, bible verses; sang hymns over and over they stuck in our heads. Knowing all the right things to say, songs to sing and responses to give, regularly attending church services are all outward signs of being a Christian.
Though this is all well and good, there is always the danger of paying lip service to godliness or maintaining a “form of godliness” (2 Tim. 3:5) and actually not living it out. It is possible to recite hymns and creeds and sing worship songs accompanied by all the right gestures by rote and on autopilot. We may of course be able to impress neighbors and strangers alike with these impressive actions and words but of course we cannot fool God. He had this to say of the Israelites, The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” Isaiah 29:13
God has made it clear in scripture that He takes no delight in hypocrites. He is more interested in what is in our hearts than what is outside. That is not to say He does not care about the fruits we bear. In fact, the condition of your heart determines the quality of the fruits you bear. If your heart is right, your fruits will be good and delightful to God. God wants both our lips and heart to be aligned, to be in agreement.
This morning I entreat you to reflect on your worship, your lifestyle and your walk with God. Are you hypocritical in your words and deeds? Do you worship God with both your lips and heart? Are you hot, cold or lukewarm? From Jesus to the church is Laodicia, “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16.
Jesus in His day always lambasted the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. They knew what the law said, paid outward tribute to it but their hearts were far away from God. We are called to love the Lord our God with (all our) mind, soul and heart and that requires that we worship in word and deed. Let’s worship with both lips AND heart.