Friday night is "youth-group" night for our family. All 9 of us drive to our church to hear a great Bible study, and praise God with music. This past Friday a brother shared on the hypocrisy that sometimes follows our praise. How humans are so easily accepting of other things that don't necessarily appear replace God, but somehow make it to the worship altar alongside God. Almost like we come to church, then check off the "God" box in our to do list for the week, then move on with our week, never returning back to the sacred time of worship that Sunday morning.
Most people haven't heard the story of Micah, in Judges 12. Micah was a sick man, the Bible tells us that he stole money from his mother, and when he offered it back to her, the mother then made two idols from the silver. (What a random response!) After Micah had his two little silver idols, he turned his house into a shrine, and trained his sons to perform priestly duties to these idols.(Verse 5) Then along comes a Levite, and Micah offers him a yearly pay if the Levite will stay and perform priestly duties to God. After all, Micah wanted to please as many gods as possible. Micah was sure that the LORD would bless him because of his considerable act of worship. (Verse 13) How nice that Micah considered Yahweh in all this. He opened a slot right next to his other idols, and placed an altar to God. The Levite, who should of known better, was compliant, and along with Micah, they both lived on. God did not prosper Micah.
What can we learn from this?
The "worship" that Micah offered God was a mockery of real worship. God is a consuming God, and cannot work properly if there are other idols in His place of worship. Whenever we come to worship God, but are focused of other things, we are not praising God with 100% of our heart. If we expect God to be really praised with our worship, it has to be for Him alone. If we expect for God to change us through worship, it must be worship to Him alone.
Being worried of what others think of us while we worship is hypocritical. Not being "in the mood" for worship is hypocritical. Having a wondering mind during worship is hypocritical. I even believe that letting the music "get us in the mood," or "draw us" to worship is hypocritical. Worship is like walking on water. When we have our eyes focused on Jesus, we continue to move closer to Him, but the moment something els catches our attention, we begin to sink.
When we worship God, it should be a "you and Me" moment. That time cannot be shared with anyone, or anything els.
I would love to hear your thoughts! :)