Going Through the Motions

A weekly devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb

We all have those days when it seems as if we are just going through the motions. Everything on our “To Do” is completed but with little meaning and purpose. At the end of the week, we wonder where the last seven days have gone and hope to do better next week, although we probably won’t.

Although life does have its daily routines, we must guard against the attitude of complacency and rote obedience creeping into our relationship with God. The Bible warns us about the subtle danger of this sin which plagued Israel. The prophet Hosea is called to go to the Northern Kingdom and deliver God’s word to its citizens during a time of great spiritual decline. What crime were the people of God guilty of? First degree ritualism, deliberating pursuing a passionless and complacent walk with God accompanied by meaningless sacrifices, a spiritual felony! They were regulars at worship, sang the latest worship choruses (psalms), and knew the right answers, but their hearts were far from God. The LORD states, “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” The people were correct to bring offerings to God, He had commanded them to, but they failed to realize that true worship and faith must be accompanied by an attitude of repentance and obedience.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, “Only the Believer obeys, and only he who obeys believes.” The longer you are a Christian, the easier it can become to just go through the motions. Unlike Hosea’s audience, may we listen carefully to the prophet’s warning and ask God to gives us daily an undivided heart.