Matthew 15:8 (ESV)
This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
Have you ever found yourself sitting in church, listening to the sermon, and suddenly your mind begins to drift? Or perhaps you are in the midst of singing praises to the Lord and you discover that your mind isn't focused on the words that your mouth is uttering? Or maybe it's during the service that your mind is suddenly bombarded by the myriads of things on your to-do list or the things you accomplished during the week. Meanwhile, you aren't hearing a word your pastor is saying!
This text hits home: "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." (Matt 15:8) Aren't we often times filled with heartless lips? Our lips are singing to the glory of God, but our heart is far from what we are actually saying? Are we really giving God the glory or are we cherishing another illicit lover who prevents us from enjoying God's company?
Imagine a boyfriend (or a girlfriend) who tells you: "Whenever I am with you, I can't stop myself from thinking about this other cute guy (or attractive girl). For some reason I cannot concentrate on what you are telling me." Would you continue dating that person?
This kind of double-mindedness can get worse! Imagine it invading the core of our relationship with God. What would happen then? James is quite clear about this: "When he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does." (James 1:6-8 NIV )
Ouch! That sure hurts! Is it possible that our double-mindedness keeps us from experiencing God fully in our lives? Is it possible that our prayers are not answered because we are too busy thinking about something other than God's promises? Has doubt crept up in our souls because we let our hectic circumstances dictate our life? Has stress overrun our faith?
Dear Lord, Help our attention remain on You. Help our thoughts not wonder when You are talking to us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.