Idle worship. No, that's not a typo. I'm not talking about "idol" worship where people devote their praise and prayers to statues or other false gods. I'm speaking of going through the motions of worship without truly having our hearts in it. Look at a few definitions of the word "idle":
* of no real worth, importance, or significance
* frivolous; vain
* meaningless; senseless
* futile; unavailing
Sound familiar? I know I sometimes commit "idle worship" during my daily devotions. I want to spend time with the Lord. I know I need to spend time with the Lord. But I have the hardest time shutting everything else out. My thoughts run rampant with things to do and places to go. I find myself unfocused and stumbling through my devotions just so I can be done and get on to "the important stuff."
Other times I have trouble at church on Sundays. Being the church pianist, I have a lot of responsibilities including playing before the service, congregationals, choir, special music, offeratories, fellowship times, playing after the service, communion, etc. This requires a lot of time and concentration. To keep things flowing, I try to make sure I have all the necessary books and music laid out ahead of time. When others involved in the music program are not prepared, it causes me to be unprepared as well. I don't like to be unprepared. The more unprepared I feel, the more frustrated I become. When the service time arrives, I'm annoyed, irritated, and not in the spirit of worship. I do my part. I play the songs. I smile. I act like everything's fine, but inside, I know that my worship is not sincere because my heart is not right. I'm joining in the worship, but it is a futile attempt.
Today's post is a warning to all of us. It's so easy to get distracted by other things that we find ourselves merely going through the motions when it comes to our worship time. Let's be careful. Let's make sure our worship is sincere and heartfelt. If it's not, we shouldn't even bother. God commands us to not use His name in vain. Let's make sure we don't use our time with Him in vain either.
I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. - Psalm 9:1