Our motives are important when it comes to God. He does not desire routine action, or religious habits that have no substance to them. God does not want us to obey Him out of a sense of duty. The story of Israel is one where God has been wooing them so He would gain their loyal heart.
It is very easy to fall into habits and our heart is not in it. So, we come to church, because we have to. We pray because we have to. We serve because we have to. We give because we have to. We love people because we have to. God wants to move us from “have to” to “want to”. How does this happen?
Remember what is most important! God has been good to us and has made the first move to love us, forgive us and bless us. All He wants in return is our whole heart. Israel religiously fasted but their hearts were not in it. God told them the light they shine by doing good to help others and, not by the religious duties they perform, would show their heart. Don’t misunderstand: should we have the spiritual disciplines, “Yes.” And, everything we do for God, in public and private, should be done with our whole heart.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Isaiah 60:1-62:5; Philippians 1:27-2:18; Psalm 72:1-20; Proverbs 24:11-12