For many of us, we forget so quickly that in the things of the kingdom, the condition of our hearts matters a lot. I don’t mean this from the medical or health perspective. What I mean is the sincerity of our hearts when we are doing anything, especially kingdom-related things. Last week, we talked about guarding our hearts. Everything we do, particularly our service to God, must be from the sincerity of our hearts.
“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness…”Jsh. 24:14 ESV
Whatever we do, as believers, which is not done from the sincerity of our hearts is hypocrisy and is very much detestable to God. The Pharisees are a perfect case study for this. When Jesus was on earth in flesh, He always chastised the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and eye service to God. They knew the principles and the laws off-hand and were strict about adhering to it but the state of their heart was wrong. They were drawing near to God with their lips while their hearts were somewhere far away. (Matt. 23:27-28; Mark 7:6)
What God honors are our devoutness and sincerity, not really our actions because such sincerity shows our faith. Ask yourself, have I been sincere in my service to God? This is probably why Apostle Paul got that life-transforming, soul-saving, encounter with Jesus. Unlike the other Pharisees, his actions were in sincerity. He was a devout and zealous man. (Gal. 1:14)
As much as God is concerned about our service, He also wants it done in sincerity. Remember, true worshippers worship in Spirit and in truth…that is, sincerity (John 4:23-24). You can deceive men by putting on a show but God knows those who are true to Him. In the book of Numbers, God gave His people a list of days to celebrate in honor of Him (Num. 28). Later in the book of Isaiah we see how detestable these celebrations became to Him (Isa. 1:13-14), possibly because these people were no longer honoring Him from their hearts but from their lips alone. What should have been a devotion became a ritual.
Do you pray from a sincere desire to communicate with God or do you pray because you heard prayer gives power? The power is a byproduct of the prayer and should not be the essence of it. Do you study your bible to genuinely know him or do you do it to tick off an item on your to-do list? Yes, make it a habit to ensure that no day passes without you studying your bible but do not turn it into a chore. And it goes beyond things like this. Even in our payment of tithes, giving to the needy, and all of that, are we doing it from our hearts or are we turning God into an investment scheme?
Sometimes, we are guilty of this without even knowing. The Holy Spirit within every believer is there also to bear witness to us. He tells us when we are steering off the path. He guides us so that we do not make mistakes. God works in us through the Holy Spirit to not just do His good pleasure but to also desire it, and this, of course, produces sincerity in us. (Php. 2:13)
Moreover, the word of God is there to always help us. The scriptures inform us that the word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword and it pierces through the soul and spirit and judges the thoughts and attitude of the heart. Therefore, it helps us evaluate the state of our hearts. It is like a mirror with which we can see better our hidden intents and errors that we may have overlooked.
Prayer: Dear Holy Spirit, help me such that all that I do comes from the sincerity of my heart.
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