God is happy with us so long as we attend church regularly, sing psalms to praise Him, and donate to church activities...or is He? Does our church activities alone please God, or does He require something else from us? We can learn the answer to this question by seeing how God Himself feels about religious rituals without a godly lifestyle to back it up.

In ancient Israel, people regularly performed religious rituals that God had asked of them. Each day, after they fulfilled their ritual requirements, they resumed their normal lifestyles, which consisted of bribery by the judges, dishonest dealings by merchants, adultery by men and women, and even murder by kings. While committing all such sins, they felt immune from God's judgment because they had performed all the necessary rituals. Certainly, God must be pleased by their pious customs, right?

Wrong! This was how God Himself responded to their religious yet ungodly lifestyles:

"What are the multitude of your sacrifices to me? I have had enough of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed animals. I don't delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of male goats. When you come to appear before me, who has required this at your hand, to trample my courts? Bring no more vain offerings. Incense is an abomination to me; new moons, Sabbaths, and convocations: I can't bear with evil assemblies. My soul hates your New Moons and your appointed feasts. They are a burden to me. I am weary of bearing them. When you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you. Yes, when you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves, make yourself clean. Put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes. Cease to do evil. Learn to do well. Seek justice. Relieve the oppressed. Judge the fatherless. Plead for the widow." (Isaiah 1:11-17, WEB)

Yes, our religious and worship rituals are all vain to God if we do not obey His commandments or do His will. Our religious performances will not and do not grant us permission or the right to live our lives however we want in rebellion to God's will. When we go to church on Sundays and lie and cheat on our employees, friends, and family during the other six days of the week, would God nod and smile just because we have paid Him respect on Sunday? If we think our religious obedience alone make us God's good buddies, then we must think again!

Do you truly want to worship Yahweh? Then worship Him the way He wants to be worshipped. Worship Him in His way, not in our way, however clever that may be. For proper worship, heed God's words:

"I am Yahweh your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way that you should go. Oh that you had listened to my commandments! then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea." (Isaiah 48:17-18)

Worship should be the life we live, seven days of the week. Seeking justice for the wronged, caring for needy family members, and showing respect to others equally, are all forms of worship that God desires from us. When we do such will of God, we glorify Him. This is true worship.

So whether we eat, or drink, or whatever else we do, let's do all to the glory of God! (1 Corinthians 10:31) Amen.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Shirley Cheng (b. 1983) is a blind and physically disabled award-winning author with twenty-seven book awards, proclaimer of Yahweh God's good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, Bible teacher, founder of www.Ultra-Ability.com Ministry, summa cum laude graduate with Doctor of Divinity, motivational speaker, poet; and author of nine books (including "Do You Love Jehovah?"), contributor to twenty-five, and an editor of one. Shirley has had severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since infancy. Owing to years of hospitalization, she received no education until age eleven. Back then, she knew only her ABCs and very simple English; other than that, her book knowledge was non-existent. However, after only about 180 days of special education in elementary school, she mastered grade level and entered a regular sixth grade class in middle school. Unfortunately, Shirley lost her eyesight at the age of seventeen. After a successful eye surgery, she hopes to earn multiple science doctorates from Harvard University. http://www.ShirleyCheng.com

Do you have questions about the Bible? Something you don't understand? Do you need a bit of guidance in developing a relationship with Jehovah? Then Shirley would like to help you! Please contact her via her site at http://www.shirleycheng.com and she would be more than glad to do her best to answer your questions! Never hesitate to ask questions, for no question about the Bible is ever too small or stupid.