It happens in churches all over the country every Sunday. Yes, we’re singing, clapping, playing instruments, waving hands, dancing, and saying we’re enjoying Jesus. But something’s wrong: God doesn’t have all of us; He only has that part of us that likes the song being played at the moment. Yes, we’re singing, but we’re angry. I’m standing up with everyone else, but I really don’t want to be bothered – with anybody. God hasn’t answered my prayer according to my schedule, so in protest I’m going to limit my praise. My hands are lifted in the worship experience, but my heart isn’t. There’s a name for that; it’s called false worship. Praise and worship are all about the heart. If our hearts are not lifted along with our hands, guess what? You’re missing out on the fellowship that Jesus died and rose again to give us. You’re missing that peace and joy that the presence of the Holy Spirit brings.
When we attempt to praise or worship God with the wrong spirit it really isn’t about God anymore, it’s about us. Many of us should really check our attitudes at the door on Sunday morning. Today’s text tells us that God knows our thoughts. Before we utter a word He already knows! God knows all of our ways; there is absolutely nothing we can hide from Him. So why do we think we can praise Him any kind of way? How are we so bold as to think God will accept our worship when our hearts are full of complaints and destructive criticism?
I challenge every believer today not to check someone else, but check ourselves. Be encouraged not to waste precious time by giving energy to those things that would render our praise to God ineffective. Surrender your heart to God and resist the enemy’s lie that God is pleased with half-hearted praise and worship. God knows a right spirit from a wrong one.
Be blessed, be encouraged, and. . .be real.
By Donna R. Patrick for Worship Leadership Consultants