As Christians, we may think that we worship God in Spirit and truth, but do we really? Do you worship God out of compulsion or do you worship Him from your heart? Do you offer praises just to remove some kind of guilt?
Do you praise God publicly just to appear godly and please others, or do you get your best worship in when you’re alone, say, behind closed doors? These are some important questions to keep in mind as you read this article.
Praise and worship is a way of Christian life. It’s not superficial; it’s more than sprinkling or squeezing in praises to God every time we talk with Him. Our reverence to God must be genuine and He knows when we’re just flattering Him instead of truly praising Him. One of the many things that come along with being saved is that our affections for Christ gets higher and higher, thus our praises for Him grows stronger and more genuine.
Flattering God is when someone gives Him praises just to make Him feel good and get blessings, not because they truly mean or feel what they say. But this goes beyond just words. It can even spill into our actions: doing routine ‘religious’ practices such as going to church every week, reading the Bible every day, sitting through your gospel music playlist when you don’t feel like listening or worshipping—in other words, doing it “just because.” A flatterer does these things because they only know it will please God…but their actions are empty, there’s a lack of love there (1 Corinthians 13:2).
But shouldn’t we please God at all times? Yes! But we must please God and obey Him because we love Him and desire more of Him, not because we want His rewards.
So let’s see what shallow praise looks like in the Bible:
“The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.” ~Mark 4:16-17
I said earlier that compulsively reading the Bible every day out of compulsion may be shallow worship. One may read the Bible just to appear holy but how much of the Word are they applying to their lives? It’s pointless and vain to read the Bible just to look good and please others. We must digest the Word and get to know God intimately and know how to truly worship Him!
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.” ~Matthew 6:5-7
“But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” ~Luke 6:49
“When you come to worship me,
who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?
Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts;
the incense of your offerings disgusts me!
As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath
and your special days for fasting—
they are all sinful and false.
I want no more of your pious meetings.
I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals.
They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look.
Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen,
for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
Wash yourselves and be clean!
Get your sins out of my sight.
Give up your evil ways.
Learn to do good.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.” ~Isaiah 1:12-17
The Israelites became very rebellious and were even guilty of vain, repetitive worship. This worship meant nothing to God because it was selfish and empty of love and feeling. There are Christians who are also guilty of the same kind of worship. They think it’s routine and they tend to put on a show in front of others but their hearts are not where they should be: focused on the Lord!
“And so the Lord says,
“These people say they are mine.
They honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
And their worship of me
is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” ~Isaiah 29:13
And He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ ~Matthew 22:37
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” ~Psalm 51:10
We must keep our hearts prepared for worship. Ask God to remove anything in your spirit that is worldly and selfish so your praise and worship can be pleasing.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” ~Psalm 19:14
“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heaven!
Praise him for his mighty works;
praise his unequaled greatness!” ~Psalm 150:1-2
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” ~Matthew 5:8
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” ~Romans 12:1
Genuine praise and worship is the beginning of intimacy with God. Worship and prayer is the key into God’s heart and will. You may know God, but do you really know Him? Get to know God more and more every single day through prayer, worship, and reading His Word. Do these things not to flatter Him but because you LOVE Him and really want to know Him more.
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” ~John 4:23-24
With all the crises going on in the world right now where do you stand in your faith? Where do you stand in your worship? Is it true worship for false, vain worship? We’re living in the final hour and God is looking for TRUE WORSHIPPERS to enter His Kingdom. Are you one of them? Or will He deny you at the gates of Heaven? God does not accept flattery!
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ~1 Samuel 16:7
This verse is put here just to say that God looks directly into our hearts and not only our outward appearance. If God looked at your heart right now, would He be pleased?