Pretend Worship

Worship to GodI’ve used the phrase: “Fake it till you make it”. I confess that I’ve pretended to worship before, because I was supposed to worship. I’ve pretended because others were watching. It’s been several years, but I have since learned the value of being genuine before the Lord. I have learned that He knows my heart and “pretend worship” doesn’t really help things. I have also learned that the Lord really hates hypocrisy. Pretend worship is really hypocrisy. I’m at a place in my journey that the more I learn about the Lord the more I’m drawn to genuine worship, wonder and awe of Who He is and I’m humbled that He would love someone like me.

One of the more disturbing passages in scripture is when Jesus is taken before the Jewish leaders in the wee hours of the morning for a “pretend trial”. He is then taken to Pilate, who was governor, but also a “push over”. Pilate releases a murderer and turns Jesus over to the Roman soldiers for execution via crucifixion. This scene disturbed me. Check this out…

16 The soldiers took Jesus into the courtyard of the governor’s headquarters (called the Praetorium) and called out the entire regiment. 17 They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head.18 Then they saluted him and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” 19 And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. 20 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. (Mark 5:15-20 NLT)

This mock worship really nailed my heart. These soldiers didn’t know that the One and Only Son of God was the object of their mockery. They went the extra distance to put on a good show. They were clearly sarcastic and playful, but this scene really disturbed me. I felt convicted of my pretend worship. I remember times of being angry and hurt at God. I felt like He could have protected my loved ones from sickness and suffering. I now realize that I was looking at my circumstances in light of honoring me instead of trying to honor God regardless of my circumstances. My genuine worship should happen because of Who He is NOT BECAUSE of what He does for me. Pretend worship is really self-worship. Pretend worship reveals a diseased & corrupt heart.

I want to come before the Lord in Awe & Wonder for all that He is and all that He is doing in me and in others. I can’t make my worship about music or anything to do with me. It is ALL ABOUT HIM! I believe genuine, true worship is about surrendering my heart before Him to be used by Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Follower or Faker

What can I do? picture about regretI will confess that I’ve been through periods in my life when my faith was shaken. I struggled to believe everything I said I believed. Thankfully those times are way back in my rear view mirror. They were still pretty intense and scary for me. I am so thankful that the Lord was patient as I worked through that time of struggle. I’ve said many times before that I believe that my behavior comes directly from my heart. My heart can be diseased and deceived by sin. Sin is smooth and sometimes subtle as it sneaks into my heart. As I follow the Lord daily, it’s way easier to see the sin that seeks to entangle me and tear me down. I am in such a different place today and I really want to stay faithful digging into His Word for direction and guidance for my life. I find the Lord’s heart in His Word.

As I’m journeying through 1 Kings, there were three different kings of Israel and 2 different kings of Judah. I found it interesting how they were introduced in scripture. After telling their name, they told of their parent or ancestral heritage, and then they told the length of their reign. The next descriptive line told the real story of their life. Check this out….

33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned for twenty-four years. 34 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit. (1 Kings 15:33-34 NIV)

11 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done. (1 Kings 15:11 NIV)

When my life comes to an end, I will have answered the questions as to whether I’m a follower or a fake. I do think that there are lots of people who fake their faith and when it’s tested, they fold or fall on their face. I have learned to lean hard into my faith when my struggles with sin are the strongest. I need the Lord’s help to resist and flee from temptation. I need His Wisdom to run from stupid choices that seek to destroy me. I want to be known as a man who followed the Lord fully and was faithful throughout my days.

If you know me and are a friend, I hereby give you permission to challenge my faith journey. You can ask me the hard questions. You can challenge anything and everything I do. I would rather you ask those questions and challenge my behavior to my face than to whisper that behind my back. I really want to keep growing in my faith and my obedience to the Lord. I really do make every effort to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord in everything I do. I want to be a trusted, devoted follower of God not a fake follower.

Pressing On!

Dwayne