In this sermon, I challenged our church to consider: How God-honoring is our worship In 43:22-24, God weeps at how bad their the nation’s worship was.
Yahweh expected to be called upon and counted upon. This tears at the heart of our individualistic mindset. We want to be able to accomplish things on our own. God, however, wants us to call on Him. It is not an ego trip. When we cry out to him we are acknowledging our inability to be God and accomplish all that He can accomplish. It is, for us, an expression of our humility, our understanding of our need, and creates an endearing relationship of love with God.
Just the opposite had gone on. The Israelites has worn themselves out trying to accomplish life on their own. In doing so, they were too worn out to rely on God. Life does that to us. The more we try to do on our own, the less time we have for God… And, the more tired we become. We burn the candle at both ends, not depending on God to provide us what we need to deal with life. In that activity, we act no different than the pagans.
God does not have excessive liturgical demands on us. We simply do not worship as He desire. We create rituals and practices that do not please Him, though they might draw a crowd. What God wants is a people with whom He can have fellowship because their character reflects His own.
God has not enslaved his people with endless ritual. However, His people have attempted to enslave and weary God with their sin. The nation was trying to use the ritual to trap God into delivering their own desires. They were worshiping God in an attempt to obligate God. Do we not often do the same? “God, I go to church every time the doors are open, why are you not giving me the desires of my heart?” “Why are you not answering my prayers?” “Why are you not listening to me?”
What about your worship? Do you rest solely upon God as an act of worship or are you attempting to provide for yourself and worry about all the things the pagan’s do? Don’t wear yourself out. Rest upon God! Rely on His provision. It is indeed an act of worship to cry out in dependence.