“And the Lord said: …. these people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men” – Isaiah 29:13
One of the first questions you’re going to get asked in college is, “Why did you decide to come to Alabama?” This is especially true if you’re coming from a few hundred miles away. You already know the answer though, so don’t sweat it. Maybe you’re here because you love football (Roll Tide), or because you love the fact that football paid for your scholarship (also Roll Tide). Whatever reason has brought you to The University of Alabama, this is a decision that you’ve probably thought about a lot. I certainly did.
Why don’t we question our reasoning for everything in life like this? From simple things like meal choices to more serious things like why we struggle with certain sins? When was the last time you stopped and really asked yourself ‘Why am I doing what I’m doing?’
The people in Isaiah 29 clearly didn’t let their reasoning reach their hearts. Whether it was for appearances or social gain, they chose to outwardly honor God while inwardly being far from Him. Their reason for worshipping God was foundationally wrong, and therefore dangerous to themselves and others.
This applies to everything in the Christian life. Why should a Christian want to be different than the world? Not because we’re told to be so, but because God has changed us with His grace and made us desire differently. It’s easy to have good actions with selfish intentions, but when your heart is focused on what truly matters, your actions will follow.