The Lord said: These people approach me with their speeches to honor me with lip-service — yet their hearts are far from me, and human rules direct their worship of me. Therefore, I will again confound these people with wonder after wonder. The wisdom of their wise will vanish, and the perception of their perceptive will be hidden.
– Isaiah 29:13-14
Jerusalem’s worship looked right. It sounded right, smelled right, and was well-informed. But they did not fear God. You cannot teach reverence. It must be infused through the meeting of a great person. Literally, this passage says, “Their fearing of me is a taught command of men”.
There are many areas of my heart that are still fearing God only out of what I’ve heard about him. There are also people who are my disciples who are in a position where I can tell them they should fear God more than they do all day long, but there’s no way they’re going to if God doesn’t show himself fearable. That’s the way it should work. God says in response to the way Jerusalem is worshiping, “Therefore I will confound these people with wonder after wonder…” Jerusalem doesn’t truly worship? They’re just going through motions taught to them by men? God will confound them over and over until he gets the true worship form them that he deserves. He will do the same with those he has given to me to shepherd, and that’s the way it should be. Otherwise, my disciples would think highly of me and my teaching styles or my knowledge. But God will cause the wisdom of the wise to vanish in light of his majesty.
Lord God, the way I lead is not an effort to make a name for myself. It’s a means of giving my name away. Forgive me for feeling too elated when I’m complimented for my ministries, and consequently feeling too broken down when my ministry leads me directly into belittlement. Thank you for revealing that if I am feeling smaller due to the people I’m leading, it’s because the God I’m seeking with them is infinitely larger than I am.
This post is part of my Weekly REAP series. I’m posting these from my personal journal to share what God is teaching me, and to give some practical examples of the REAP method. I didn’t write any of these with publishing in mind, so forgive me if they don’t always wax eloquent. Here is some more information on the REAP study method.