Bible Study Blog

Lip Service

by Brandy Webb

The other day I was thinking about what am I doing with my faith? It all started from a scripture in Isaiah. God is speaking to Isaiah in regards to Jerusalem because of all their sins, and He makes a statement in verses 13 that kind of hit home to me (emphasis mine):

Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words

And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote

I don’t want to honor God with repetitious traditions and lip service. I want to have a pure heart. Now, I know some may say, “Well don’t worry, Judah and Israel had fallen away with their idolatry and sins, and we are different.” Well, I am human so I am not much different than the people of the past. Plus, we know that all “Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Since the Scriptures Paul is speaking about can only be from the Old Testament, because the New Testament wasn’t around yet, I’d better take heed to God’s warnings to His people. This warning is for our instructions also.

Do we sometimes just go through the motions in worshipping God? The old saying is true, “Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk.” When I was younger I thought it was just so easy; all I had to do was go to church. Now that I am older, I realize that “going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile” (quote by Billy Sunday, The Man and His Message).

God wants our hearts and souls. That is why Jesus was so frustrated with the Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees. They kept the Sabbath and Holy Days, but He points out that they are exactly what Isaiah prophesied about: They were only worshipping God with lip service; their hearts weren’t in it (Matthew 15:7-9).

I don’t want to stand before Jesus and have Him say I don’t know you (Matthew 7:23). Maybe I am being a little hard on myself, but I believe that it is good to self-examine, especially when a scripture makes you look harder at yourself in the mirror. Thankfully, I do know that my Savior can forgive me. We are in the midst of God’s Holy Days, and I just want to make sure that my heart is worshipping God. I don’t want to worship Him just because I know who wins in the end; I want to worship God because I love Him with my whole heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). In order to do this, I must discern what God’s will is for me (Romans 12:2). I must also grow Godly fruit that I can share with others (Galatians 5:22-23), serve others (Galatians 5:13), live a life of love (1 Corinthians 13), live by faith (Hebrews 11:6), and be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

I want to give my whole heart to God and to sing Him praises every day, whether it is a good day or a bad day. I am willing to walk humbly with Him, to do justly, and to love kindness (Micah 6:8), so that, hopefully, in the end I will hear Jesus say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”