Shut The Doors To Worthless Worship

Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. —  Malachi 1:10

It's a sad day when believers don't realize their worship is empty and meaningless. When we show up for worship, we go through the motions of worship, but the worship is worthless. This is an oxymoronic statement because worship means "to give worth." So what's happening in this situation is believers are giving "worthless worth" to God.

But before we get too quick to judge, what if you and I were complicit in participating in worthless worship?

Here is how I see this playing out in our time. The people of a given church gradually take their focus off giving worth to God and exchange it for giving worth to their own needs. Churchgoers verbalize these needs, which are focused on themselves. We hear rumblings about the style of worship, the type of teaching, and the nuances of the programming. As this persists, it begins affecting people and spiritual leaders. The leaders unaware of this diversion will grow concerned about the people's concerns and give into them. Being the servants they are, they will bow to these concerns to meet these needs but, over time, discover their efforts are no longer focused on the pleasure of God but focused on the pleasures of the people. Then one of two things happen to our spiritual leaders, they either become exhausted by pursuing the pleasures of man, or they become narcissists driven by their pleasures. But there is one thing they are not concerned about — God's pleasure. And God is not pleased with this. He would rather have us shut the doors than continue the vain escapade. But the problem is no one realizes the problem.

So this week, I want you to assess yourself as you gather at your church. Be brave and ask yourself these two questions: Are you coming to get something for yourself? Or are you coming to give something to God? And if all your thoughts and criticisms are about you getting something, then address the issue of your heart. Set them aside. Give to God. Give him your very best because the only reason to gather for worship is to ascribe worth to God. If not, then we should just shut the doors.

ASK THIS: Are you coming to get something for yourself? Or are you coming to give something to God?

DO THIS: Give God worth.

PRAY THIS: God, forgive me for not bringing you my very best. That is going to change.

PLAY THIS: Here I Am To Worship.

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17 thoughts on “Shut The Doors To Worthless Worship

  1. David Josker says:

    God, forgive me for not bringing you my very best everyday. With your guidance and love that is going to change.

  2. Trent says:

    Good one today. Judging by the comments, it spoke to a,lot of people. I am encouraged to put my own struggles on hold Sunday mornings. I shall do my best to put them in the hands of God and have faith that He shall handle them. Then I shall be freed up to give the best of myself to God and be ready to spread His blessing to the others around me who may need it. Praise God and spread the light.

  3. Ryan says:

    I have been quite convicted lately when it comes to the lyrics of the “worship” songs that are being sung in church. Not all Christian music is worship music, and it seems we are confusing that in the church today. We tend to sing songs filled with references to ourselves (what we have done and what we will do) rather than praising God for who He is and thanking God for all He has done. Our focus is wrong so often. Our worship is more than song, but we would be in a much better place if our worship was filled with “How Great Thou Art”!

  4. David Stenquist says:

    Kind of a paradox you have presented here, and I think the tension in that paradox can answer both questions. If we come to give something to the Lord, we will leave fulfilled and blessed. I try to practice this daily, not just Sundays. If I start my day by praising Jesus and all He has done for me, the blessings of a loving wife, great friends, an income, a home, you name it, I end up with a day filled with gratefulness and joy. Still sometimes a struggle to be in this mode, but well worth humbling myself to achieve this. Blessings, men!

  5. Cory D says:

    Spot on Vince. This is a trap it seems I am constantly battling. I want to go to church and feel good when I leave. Then feel disappointed when that doesn’t happen. A shift in my focus to the Lord needs to happen. Perhaps I need a pre-church warmup like football teams to set my heart on the goal line.

    • Chris Caliguire says:

      Yes Cory, try that! For some reason I struggle to get up at 5am in the past year, which you see from all of my missed Monday meetings. But when I was in that rhythm I would do the same on Sunday mornings, coffee, read, watch a TV sermon and be so ready to sing and be friendly by the time I arrived at service I really didn’t care about anything but loving the Lord because I was ready to worship regardless……

  6. Marko says:

    But I am not being fed at that church so I have to leave it. But what is the reason I don’t feel fed? Am I giving my worship to Him when I go? Good thoughts for me to ponder Brother Vince! When I attend a Mass, am I only going to receive the Eucharist? You are challenging me Vinnie! I need to go with a grateful and worshipping heart, eager to receive Communion to be filled with His Presence so I am fueled up to go out and serve Him in every single minute of every day. And that service will fill me as well. Great calibration for me Brother! Thank you and may God bless you and your ministry!

    • Michael Roberto says:

      Worship music has a profound effect on me. If it’s too loud it hurts my ears. I left a church over that. If it’s too slow with no change in tempo at all it leaves me depressed. I go to such a church now. They feel it’s meditative. To me it brings me really down every Sunday. I want to be the way that’s suggested here but I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle.

      • Marko says:

        Hey Roberto. Try Flatirons Community Church in Colorado. We watch it from MD every weekend when I get back from Mass. We went there in person just before COVID hit. Some music is a little loud and they do cover songs from time to time, but the worship music is very upbeat and not loud but well done. And the preaching is Biblically based every weekend, challenging us to live the live Jesus wants us to. Give them a try.

      • Chris Caliguire says:

        I’m my personal opinion I’m there to please the Lord and offer a humble offering. America likes to make singing entertainment. I like music to mimic scriptures. In the OT most didn’t have reading or writing capabilities and would put what they heard to song to help them recall and tell their neighbor. So if my Church, or even radio artists, are putting a little guitar, piano, to scripture, I love it! If the basis is a musical show that’s more about personal improvement and happens to mention God, I am not a fan. I ENJOY going low, sometimes even cry during the slow scriptural music to remember that I worship a capital G God and am so undeserving of His gift. Just my personal thoughts…..

        • Mike Roberto says:

          Thank you Chris. I agree. It is however as I stated it’s meditative music every week. No songs about joy or gladness and the Bible tells us to make Joyful music to the Lord. It’s the constantly sad melodies that get to my heart and leave me depressed week after week. I’m not saying there is no place for those songs. I am saying that a healthy mixture is more conducive for me to function. I mostly attend my church online now so I don’t hear the music. The Pastor is both a friend and a great teacher. I want to be with God’s people but I deal with some severe emotional issues and that music has caused me problems.

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