Isaiah 29:13-14 The Master said, “These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their hearts aren’t in it. Because they act like they’re worshiping Me but don’t mean it, I’m going to step in and shock them awake, astonish them, stand them on their ears. The wise ones who had it all figured out will be exposed as fools. The smart people who thought they knew everything will turn out to know nothing.”
I like the way the Message has translated this because it makes it a much more vivid image. When I read this at first, I thought of several people right away, but then I stopped and thought about myself. Am I this way? Have I ever acted the part but didn’t mean it with my heart? The answer is yes. I can’t think of a specific time or place, but I know that I have had to fight distractions and outside influences so much in the last 20 years that I didn’t always win. I ended up acting righteous and focused on Jesus when in my heart I was really planning or thinking something different. It’s easy to do, but I’ve found that when my heart is in the right place, it’s pretty easy to fight, too.
Let me explain. Every morning I start my day by quoting several helpful scriptures to get me focused because I am not a morning person and I know I have to get my mind right before I leave the house and face the day. On some mornings, I start with my scriptures and focus on the words I’m saying. Those are usually really good days, and I am more in tune with what God shows me that day. On other mornings, I let my mind wander while the words are coming out of my mouth. Those days have become very few between each other because I have found that I am left feeling empty for the rest of the day and I struggle to maintain positivity.
I have learned to keep a watch on my mind when it decides to take a trip during my scripture time. It’s like a puppy that can’t stay on the trail and starts sniffing off into the unknown woods and I have to grab hold of the leash and pull it back to safety. But, I have found that on those days in particular, I am especially blessed. I get to go through that day with a feeling of grace and accomplishment because I didn’t allow my mind to veer away from what’s really important to my heart.
I don’t go through the day making gestures and comments to everyone I meet about how much I love God and what He has done for me. There are times when that is totally inappropriate because the person I am talking to is not receptive. Nope. I already know I’m not a preacher and frankly I’m glad not to be. What I would like to be able to do is to show others that a real relationship can be had with God. That He’s not some imaginary friend that I talk to with no response. I would like for others to experience His direct presence. That, my friends, is the coolest thing in the world (and anywhere else) and it can all happen in the privacy of your own home with no audience at all. When your heart’s in it, the rewards are so much more than anything another person can give and there’s no reason to show off at all.