In Vain They Worship Me


“I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.” A.W. Tozer

  • Worship is the thermometer of the heart – it measures our spiritual condition.

  • Worship is not just singing – it involves thankfulness, obedience, and adoration…

Romans 12:1, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

Corporate Worship – worship is simply a reflection of what’s been going on in our heart all week.

MATTHEW 15:6-9…“you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”

  • VAIN: producing no result/no change; useless Going thru the motions

This sermon may hurt, but it’s going to help . . . Prime The Pump

When worship changed for me – boring, come in late, too emotional

It was boring because my mind was focused on the “things of this world” – I didn’t have a lifestyle of worship.

  • CORPORATE worship simply reflects PRIVATE worship

The BEAUTY OF BROKENNESS: A hard heart must be crushed. A prideful heart must be humbled. A self-reliant heart must be broken BEFORE true worship can take place.


  1. Abundance Can Prevent Worship: Our blessings have become a curse. Our abundance has created apathy. Our comforts have kept God at a distance.

  • Don’t despise circumstance that make life difficult – they “prime the pump”

  1. Psalms 100:4, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” Psalms 59:16, “But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.”

  1. A Lack of Joy Prevents Worship – a bitter, angry heart can’t worship


  • …Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence. For the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered.Psalm 71:23

  1. A Sidetracked Mind Prevents Worship: Finish Romans 12:1 with vs. 2

  • We cannot live like hell all week and expect to worship God today. We cannot fill our mind with darkness all week and experience powerful worship. We can’t love the world all week and expect to love God on 1 designated day.

  1. Failure to Truly Experience God Prevents Genuine Worship – Isaiah, Paul, Pentecost

… “Break Every Chain – I hear the chains falling”

  …“Amazing Grace – how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…”

     …We Will Not be Shaken –

        …The famous telegram, “Saved alone.” – “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

  1. The LEPER worshiped him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing…”

  2. A synagogue OFFICIAL worshiped Him, “My daughter has just died…”

  3. The HEART-BROKEN MOM worshiped him, “Lord, help me my daughter is vexed with the devil.”

  4. The DEMONIC ran and fell on his knees and worshiped Him.


“In Vain They Worship Me…”

  • This is why we do the bare minimum.

  • This is why their is a lack of passion.

  • This is why we can move our lips on Sunday morning, but ESPN has…

  • This is why we say that right things here, but unload at home.

  • This is why just a handful of people show up for prayer meetings…

  • This is why many don’t like heart-felt, emotional worship…

Context is Pride and Phariseeism – I can understand why the lukewarm person who is not walking with God doesn’t worship Him, but I can’t understand the person who studies and reads the Word.

  • “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him” (John 4:23).

You have the truth, but does God have your heart? A Heart of Worship

  • Example of the man who left our SERVICE

Al Whittinghill – “Without the heartbeat of prayer, the body of Christ will resemble a corpse. The church is dying on her feet because she is not living on her knees”

Without the heartbeat of worship, the body of Christ will resemble a corpse. The church is dying spiritually because worship has become formality instead of focused adoration: “…in vain they worship Me.”

Whether you participate or not, the heavens declare His glory: “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” ~ C. S. Lewis

CLOSING THOUGHT: 5. Besetting Sin Prevents Worship:

“Clear The Stage” – Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze / If that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols / Jerk the pews and all the decorations, too Until the congregation’s few, then have revival. / Tell your friends that this is where the party ends / Until you’re broken for your sins, you can’t be social / Then seek the Lord and wait for what he has in store And know that great is your reward so just be hopeful / ‘Cause you can sing all you want to And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song.

Take a break from all the plans that you have made, And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper, Beg him please to open up his mouth and speak, And pray for real upon your knees until they blister, Shine the light on every corner of your life, Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open, Then read the word and put to test the things you’ve heard, Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken, ‘Cause you can sing all you want to… And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song

“Give Us Clean Hands” – Who may ascend…

  • Worship team come up – Prayer is ON HOLD till the end –