Phoning It In
“. . . this people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Mark 7:6
A familiar phrase “going through the motions” is often used to describe someone who is doing the right things, without real reason behind it. One’s actions say all the right things, but their spirit is not in it. That’s phoning it in!
It was this same heartlessness which Jesus confronted in the religious leaders of the day. Mired in a multitude of laws, observances and ordinances, they had fallen into absolute bitterness and decay. They had become hyper-focused on the priority of practice, but there was no passion.
The heart is what God notices, not high-minded holiness. With the bowing of our heads, we may look contemplative, or by bending our knees, onlookers might assume we are devout, we may end our prayers with a confident amen, but all these together don’t make us a true worshiper.
God’s eyes look past all our spiritual commotions, and ask us to worship from the heart. What He asked of us, is to give Him our heart.
We must not settle for taking our bodies to church and leaving our heart at home. To our neighbor, we might be the example of a Godly life. All the leaders at your church may believe you are the best. But it all means nothing in God’s sight, if our hearts are far away. He knows our thoughts, motivations and intentions of our heart.
Applying the same scrutiny to our devotional times, would serve us well. It doesn’t matter how fluent and fancy our prayers are, if our heart and life don’t go together when the heart wanders from the bended knees. But it’s all for nothing if the heart isn’t in it. God knows what our real motivation is and rejects our offering.
Prayers from the heart are what God loves. Prayers from the heart are the only ones He loves to hear and answer. We might stumble through at first, but if our prayers come from a right heart, God understands. A submitted heart is a delight to God.
Set aside your inner Pharisee, and imagine how God feels when you phone in your faith.