Week 32: the false/true worshiper

“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.”

Am I a false worshiper? A dishonest worshiper? 

God asks us to be honest with ourselves. Because when we are, we can begin to be honest with him. To cease being false worshipers. I can in the very least be a true worshiper by being honest about my heart’s condition. The true worshipers are not the ones who follow all the “correct” expressions of worship but who choose to be vulnerable and honest about their condition—whatever it may be. I am a true worshiper when I confess that I am utterly lost and unfeeling in my attempts of worship. I am a false worshiper when I deny the reality of doubt and tension and brokenness in my worship. The true worshipers are honest about their condition. The false worshipers are the ones who are not.

True worshipers may be the ones who close their mouths instead of open them. Ones who sit still instead of dance. Ones who close the book instead of open it. Ones who keep silent instead of shout. Ones who know they love God but are unsure of how to show it. Ones who live in the doubt and tension and brokenness of their condition without attempting to hide it.

In secret, some of us might be saying: “God, you know how much I love you. This much I know to be true. I just don’t know what it looks like anymore. I don’t know how to love you, because all the ways in which I ‘should’ love you have lost all their meaning. I feel nothing. I find no meaning in the words, in the prayers, in the songs, in the gatherings… There is nothing there for me. What do I do with this? Where do I go from here? I don’t know what’s changed. I don’t know what’s different, what’s happened, what’s brought me here. But the only worship I can give you is my honesty—of emptiness, doubt, tension, and brokenness.”

And I believe that this is what God desires from us, more than anything. 

Are you a true worshiper? Am I?

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

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