I have some favorite words. I'm sure you do too. There are a lot of words I like for the way they sound, like STEADFAST! What a great word! I want to be steadfast. There are other words I like because of what they represent like "breakfast." I'm a big fan of breakfast - any time of the day. I also like the word meat because... well... I like meat! And when you put certain words together, it's even better - Breakfast Meat! Are you hungry yet? As I think it over, it's more than mere words that bring me elation, but rather it's what they represent. If I had to choose between the word "breakfast" or eating a REAL breakfast that was sitting right in front of me, I'd pass on the mere word and dive into the eggs, waffles and bacon!
Substance is always preferred to mere words. It must be this way with God, too. We talk a lot about worship, but is it the word or the concept that we love or do we demonstrate to God how much we love Him? We love to sing about worship, but do we worship? Does our worship have substance? Just as I prefer a real breakfast to the mere mention of the word, God's desire is that we truly worship Him rather than just talk positively about it.
Reminds be of a parable:
"What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' And he answered, 'I will not,' but afterward he changed his mind and went. and he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, 'I go, sir,' but did not go. Which of the two obeyed his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you."
We understand that it is not enough to say that we love God and will obey Him. We have to actually OBEY Him. Worship is loving God. How does God expect us to show our love? Obedience. The words Worship-Love-Obedience are meant to be used together. Take away any one of those words and worship becomes something less than substantial - mere words.
We seek to obey because we love God. We need to be careful that love rather than duty drives our obedience. Duty has its place, but love is God's greatest command. "Love the Lord your God with all you heart and all our soul and all your mind." (Matthew 22:37) "Let love be your highest goal!" (1 Cor 14:1)
However, if we say we love God, but do not obey Him, the Bible calls us liars!
If someone claims, "I know God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
I don't mean to be harsh, but there are only two things we can do as people who claim to know Jesus.
Holy God and my Father, I desire to be a true worshiper, though I know that I have failed to obey You so many times. Other times I have obeyed out of duty and hated it because my love was for myself and not for You. And at times I have merely gone through the motions of worship with my mind disengaged from Your presence. Forgive me for my half-heartedness. And help me so that my Worship and Love show through in Obedience and my Love and Obedience make complete my Worship and let my Worship and Obedience demonstrate my Love for You. amen.