There are many different ways a person can be disobedient to God. However, one common thread that seems to run through those decisions is the idea that we do what we want and do not consider or give preference to what God wants.
Several of the deadly doctrines that have been discussed on this second page in previous months are things that man wants to do, that sound better to us, or in our minds are easier to follow. But just because something is what we want or what we think is easier to do, does not make it correct.
As we consider our specific title this month, it would benefit us to notice, first of all, that it is entirely possible to be sincere, but wrong. Two ideas that correlate with sincerity are the ideas of being genuine and thinking or believing from the heart.
A modern example would be a man who has a family history of colon cancer and begins to have chronic pain. After waiting months to visit a doctor and then refusing a colonoscopy, he finds out too late that he has inoperable colon cancer. Despite his genuine feeling that it could not be cancer or truly believing with all his heart that this could not happen to him, he is now faced with a terminal illness.
In the Bible, we read in Genesis 37:12-36 of Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery but presenting Jacob, their father, with Joseph’s bloody tunic. This leads Jacob to surmise that Joseph must be dead. And, Jacob genuinely felt as if Joseph were dead. He believed in his heart that this was true and it showed in his fervent mourning (Genesis 37:34, 35). But no matter how strongly Jacob felt, Joseph was not dead.
When it comes to both physical/earthly matters and spiritual matters, a person can be sincere but also be wrong. To be sincere is an admirable characteristic, but as we have noted, that does not matter as we make a determination about whether something is in keeping with God’s word.
A second helpful consideration for us is that we realize that God certainly cares. His care for mankind is shown in that He cares for His creation; and certainly we, being made in His image (Genesis 1:26), are worth more than birds or grass (Matthew 26:30). He showed His care and love by giving “His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Or as Peter simply says, “. . . He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Not only does God care for us in a general sense, but He also cares about what we do. As Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21, emphasis added, jmd). The man who built his house on the sand, which then had a great fall, is compared to a person who hears the words of Jesus and does nothing (Luke 6:46-49).
One final consideration that would be helpful to our discussion is to see that when God gives instructions, He expects for them to be followed exactly and completely. In Numbers 20:1-13, Moses learned this lesson when God instructed him to speak to the rock so it would yield water. Moses instead struck the rock and he faced the punishment of not being able to lead the children of Israel into the land of promise.
We have seen that to be sincere, genuine, or heartfelt does not mean a person is acting in accordance with God’s will. We’ve also noticed that God cares what we do and that what we must do is follow His instructions exactly.
Does all of this apply to our worship? Absolutely! If it applies to speaking to a rock, or building an ark (Genesis 6:22), or conquering a heavily fortified city (Joshua 6:1-27), then it most certainly applies to our worship.
Worship is one of the great privileges of being a child of God. As Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Our worship is to be directed to God, done with the proper attitude (in spirit) and according to God’s word (in truth).
We see in the examples of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-5) and Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-3) that God has always given divine instructions for how to worship Him and that He expects for those instructions to be obeyed.
Unfortunately, in this article we do not have the space to properly discuss the attitudes and aspects of our worship to God the Father. However, I do hope that we understand the importance of finding out what God’s desire is and obeying it. If God is the object of our worship, it should be about what He says, not what I feel is correct or what I want! We should be sincere in our worship. But our sincerity should be matched with truth.
— Joel Danley