They genuinely didn’t believe in their hearts. Some people go to church to feel better about themselves or because they are told they have to. God wants a genuine relationship with you and He wants you to believe from the bottom of your heart…so much so that you will do ANYTHING to live for Christ.
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. (James 2:19)
Jesus said in the Bible, regarding the religious people of the day (known as the Pharisees), that they were men of tradition and that their motives were not honoring to God. He says in Matthew 15:8, quoting from what Isaiah prophesied, that the people were worshiping God in vain because their hearts were not genuine and they were just following man-made rules. (vs.9)
These people honor me with their lips, but THEIR HEARTS ARE from me. (Matthew 15:8)
This is not easy, and of course we all fall short and make mistakes. God knows that. The question is, Do you have a broken, humble, contrite spirit and a repentant heart? Many people claim to believe, but sometimes it’s obvious whom people serve. You cannot serve yourself and God. You cannot serve both God and money or God and the world/people (Luke 16:13). You have to choose. That’s the beauty in a relationship not religion. There is no forcing you to believe. You choose your life here and its blessings or curses and you choose your eternal future by who you serve on earth. Remember, the demons even believe and they shudder (James 2:19), so there’s more than just “saying” you believe. Your lifestyle will reflect the heart of the matter, just as it says in Romans 10:9.
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ONLY THE ONE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:21-23)
It seems like the precondition of true faith is a pure heart, wholeheartedly seeking God and worshiping Him in truth. When we truly honor God with our lives, although we are flawed, we will see a reflection of whom we worship by how we live. Regardless of how many times you read the Bible or go to church, do you have a humble heart that sincerely wants to know God more through Jesus and the Word? I write this article to encourage you to evaluate and examine your faith, not to scare you if you are in the faith. But we all need to examine our lives and the fruit we are producing. Let’s ask ourselves, “Is the lifestyle I live reflective of a true worshiper’s heart?”
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24) How can we really honor God? Let us ask and pray that the Lord will give us all wisdom in how to execute this in our daily lives and also that we will have pure hearts fully devoted to the Lord. Do you want to see God?
Then let us purify our hearts and ask the Lord to purge us of anything that is hindering our walk with Him.