The Danger of Vain Worship (Matthew 15:8) - Radical

The Danger of Vain Worship (Matthew 15:8)

“This people honors me with their lips but their heart is far from me. In vain do they worship me.”
– Matthew 15:8

What a picture. What a convicting picture that it’s possible, it’s possible to honor God with our lips while our hearts are far from Him. That it’s possible to worship in vain. Just let that soak in. And let’s ask ourselves the question, are we guilty of this? Am I guilty, are you guilty of honoring God with my lips? Think about singing songs at a church gathering when my heart is far from the Lord. In vain, that’s worship in vain.

So God we pray that this would not be true of us. God, don’t let us be a people who honor you with our lips while our hearts are far from you. May our affection for you be true and authentic. May our lips, our songs, our words be a true reflection of what’s in our hearts. God, please keep us from hypocrisy, like Jesus is warning against here in Matthew Chapter 15. Or to help us not to be casual and trite in worship, saying things, going through the motions, even in praying.

Matthew 15:8 Reveals the Danger of Worshipping Apart from God

It is possible to worship God in vain, with hearts that are far from Him.

Lord, I about to pray right now. Lord, help me not to pray just saying some words with a heart that’s not fixed on you. I pray for that for people who are listening to this, that you would help them not just to listen to this while their hearts are turned far from you. God, we need your help. We need your help to avoid, to flee hypocrisy. Or we don’t want to be hypocrites. None of us wants to be a hypocrite.

This Verse Calls Us to be True before God

We want to be true and authentic before you. So do a work in hearts continually. Draw our hearts continually toward you. Turn our hearts to trust in you, to love you, to exalt you, to glorify you. And as we do then, may our songs, may our prayers be a accurate reflection of your work in our hearts. And may it not be said of us, oh God, that we worshiped you in vain. May we worship you in spirit and in truth as you deserve to be worshiped. Keep us, oh God, we pray, from hypocrisy. Help us to worship you authentically. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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