Matthew 15:7-8 “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”
It is easy to spot the errors of others and declare them out loud. But are we willing to look at ourselves with the same clarity and honesty?
In the presence of His disciples, Jesus calls out the Pharisees for their blatant misuse of the scripture. He called them out for fashioning a religion to fit them, not what pleases God.
But what of us?
When we attend services, does our heart burn with the desire to hear from God?
When conviction comes (IF it comes), are you listening? Will we obey that which we hear?
Do we do that which know to be biblical, or do we justify our disobedience in a cloak of excuse and situational ethics to fit a lifestyle we are comfortable with?
To live for God and walk with Him takes first a willing mind.
2 Corinthians 8:11-12 “Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”
Paul is talking to the church at Corinth about giving. We must first understand that the first thing offered must be ourselves, then our possessions. When we are yielded and submitted, giving comes easily.
When our hearts are not engaged, we suffer such anguish because we hold to the things of this world and cannot see clearly things eternal. The Pharisees’ hypocrisy was born out of their desire to control God instead of the other way round.
Often, we fool those around us into thinking that we are spiritual when we are carnal and broken in need of healing.
We can hear that the need of the day is transparency, honesty, accountability, and willingness to be vulnerable. But can we lower our defenses enough to allow God to deal with us on that level?
Can we hear the voice of God as He desires to navigate our lives through the storms that seem impossible to us?
We all have a desire to be loved, accepted, and feel secure. Finding those to whom we can be truly open and vulnerable is risky. We don’t want to be hurt, but past experience tells us there is every possibility.
But not with God!
He assures us that we ARE loved, accepted, and secure. When we work to grow in our relationship with Him, it begins to infuse all other relationships. Honesty with God should make us honest with others. But that is not always the case.
We must not fashion our lives to suit us, but do and be that which pleases God. To follow any other path is selfish and self-serving. We must be like those who have said,
Acts 4:20 “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
What is seen and what is heard must line up with the scriptures. We must be people of the Bible to know what is the heart of God. Only then can we speak, live, move, and have our being.
Hypocrisy waits in the shadows to cloak our raw humanity. Yet, in sharing that raw experience, we find that we are not alone and see strength where we first felt weakness.
There is comfort when fear rises.
There is healing when the wounds go deep.
Get to God as quickly as you can with an open heart and a willing mind. Be like the apostle John who was always found as close to Jesus as possible.
Let the Light prevail!