One of the problems that the prophet Isaiah faced in his time in Israel as a prophet was religion.
Religion was a huge problem for him as a prophet.
Yep, religion. How? Why?
Listen to what he says today in chapter 1: 12-18:
“When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
What was happening was this. The people were keeping the rituals of religion. They were going to the appointed holy days. They were keeping the festivals. They were offering sacrifices. They were “doing” the “right” things.
Except they weren’t. They were keeping the rules of religion. But they weren’t keeping the heart of faith.
They weren’t treating others with love and respect. They weren’t seeking God. They weren’t chasing after justice. They weren’t showing God’s love to all.
They were just going through the motions.
And that’s a dangerous thing. Because going through the motions can confuse religion with relationship.
God doesn’t want us to be religious. He wants us in a relationship with Him. And when we are in a relationship with Him, He takes care of the life of religion with Him.
Today, don’t just go through the motions. Really seek after Him with all you are. And, you will find Him.
And in finding Him, we will have all that heart and our life can desire. And we find the life that we are desperately wanting.
Today, chase after Him. Today, find life!
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