This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. ~Matthew 15:8
Being devoted to someone implies giving all of your heart to that person. For instance, in marriage, it is implied spouses are devoted to each other with no consideration of allowing anything to come between them. A devoted person is completely committed. The testimony of a devoted person tells others where that person’s heart is. Whatever we are devoted to, we give our time, energy, effort, ki and best. Jesus made a powerful and convicting statement about feigned devotion.
There is the hypocrisy of a feigned devotion.
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” A feigned devotion knows all the words and lingo to make other people think they are devoted. They say “they are Christian”; they say that “they read their Bibles and pray”; they say they are “loyal.” However, upon close examination, feigned devotion is nothing but lip service. They are half committed or less. They read their Bible occasionally. They pray only when there is an emergency and they need God to bail them out. They attend church as long as church does not interfere with their personal plans. They have lip service, but their hearts are far from God.
There is the halting in a feigned devotion.
There is no progress or fruit where there is disguised devotion. The practice of a disguised devotion is a waste of time. It is doing things religiously and not responsibly. Fellowship with God is impaired. A feigned devotion masks the fact that there is disobedience and non-compliance with God. Traditions are preferred over truth. The Word of God is secondary to personal opinion. Right practices are re-written to suit individual tastes. In effect, nothing constructive or productive can be done for God. Prayers go unanswered. Progress is delayed. Nothing fruitful and lasting is accomplished.
There is the healing from a feigned devotion.
We must be truthful with ourselves and with God that our practices do not match up with God’s Word. We must confess that we have sinned. We must confess that we have been disobedient. We must come to God with the desire for a clean heart and life. We must repent and turn from having a heart far from God. The healing comes when we seek forgiveness and restoration. It is sustained when we obey God from the heart and keep his commandments. It is sustained when we live by priority and not by preference.
A feigned devotion hurts God, us, and others in our lives. Is your heart far from God? Are we living our lives under our own set of rules instead of the Word of God? Are we guilty of talking a good talk, but in vain we do worship? Are we more committed to the commandments of men than we are the commandments of God? Decide this morning to move a distant heart towards being a devoted heart! Draw nigh unto God and he will draw nigh unto you.
Have a devoted God morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezekiel 21-22