Let me stop you right there, I know how ridiculous that sounds. It’s not that I am self-centered; it’s just human nature for us all to be self-conscious. I realize that is it absurd to assume that somebody cares about me so much that they watch me mow my lawn to give me tips, or that people in traffic are so bored that the accuracy of my lyrics becomes their primary focus. But I know I am not the only one that worries about these things, right?
The most outlandish aspect of this whole thing is that I don’t act as though God is watching me. And He is. All the time. Yet, I go on and skip my daily quiet time every now and then. I’ll read a Facebook status and make an unfair judgment about someone I consider a friend. I go to church and sing along with the worship songs while I plan out the rest of my afternoon. I bow my head to pray while I ponder an idea for a blog post. I put on a show like God doesn’t see exactly what am I doing.
Do you ever experience this? Do you ever catch yourself going through the motions just so things will seem like you are doing the right things?
What do you think God sees when He watches our worship services? I hope that He feels loved and knows that our worship is genuine, but I find it hard to believe that is always the case.
I recently stumbled upon a song by Jon Foreman, the lead singer of Switchfoot, that deals directly with this issue. The song is called “Instead of a Show” and a video of the song is below. But before you listen, take a moment and read the scriptures below that inspired the song. Then leave a comment with your reaction.
Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations — I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. (Isaiah 1:13-17 NIV)
I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! (Amos 5:21-24 NIV)