We worry so much about what we look like on the outside that we often neglect the things that are on the inside. Or, we think that if we dress up the outside well enough, that others will not notice what is on the inside. The reality is that God does not look on the outward countenance of a man (woman), but on the inward motivations of our heart. So much of what we see being done under the title of “religion,” or “church” today is simply an outward display of pseudo Christianity. This display has nothing to do with a deep relationship with God, but simply an outward display to make it appear that we have that relationship.
It is amazing that no matter how much things seem to change, they really remain the same. In the days of Jesus, the strongest opponents of His earthly ministry were the religious leaders, not the Romans. He faced pressure all throughout His ministry from those you would have thought would have been waiting in line for His coming! He chastised these religious leaders often throughout His teaching. He encountered a group that challenged the fact that his disciples ate with unwashed hands. The Bible says of them: “For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders” (Mark 7:3). That last phrase caught my eye this morning … holding the tradition of the elders …
I wonder how much we do today because it is the tradition of those we want to please? It is not always a long standing tradition that is a tradition. There are many churches today that are doing things in their normal service time that are what is considered the “norm” among religious leaders today. I often wonder how much we are following the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and how much we are following other men? Jesus warned these people with these words: “Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honoreth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me’” (Mark 7:6).
Make a note … God is not interested in what you say, sing, or do. He is far more interested in what is in your heart that is motivating your actions. You see, the traditions of men do not come from your heart; only those things directed by the Holy Spirit. Today determine to walk completely led by the Spirit of God, and see what wonderful things He will do in your life today!
“Be calm, cool, and corrected” – Unknown