Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?'” Zechariah 7:4-5
The people had come to Zechariah asking if they should continue to fast as they had while they were in captivity for seventy years. When he presented that question to God, He asked if they were really fasting for Him during that time. In the next verses God accuses them of mourning and fasting only for themselves and not for Him.
Very often people do many things that appear to be good and done for the right reasons. Wealthy people give millions of dollars every year. It may be that they are doing it for the right reasons, but often it is more for a tax write-off, then out of love and care for the people. In this way it is done out of personal, selfish reasons.
In the church, the same type of action occurs. People who claim to be believers in Jesus, pray and give money…in public, but at home never take time to pray. In the church they will sing songs of praise to God, but at home listen to and sing songs that do not honor God at all.
Most of what is done is about appearance, just like the Israelites. They would fast and pray, but it was all about themselves looking good, or attempting to get God’s favor. People often do things in church to make themselves look like a good Christian believer. No one wants to be seen as they really are.
No matter what is done in the church, it should be done out of love for God and love for others. This is whether it is praying, worshipping, teaching, preaching, or serving in some other way.
As you do the actions that you do, ask yourself why you do them. Are those actions for God, for others, or for yourself?
Your focus of all that you do, should be for God’s purpose. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Every action that you do should mirror those of Jesus–to seek and save the lost. Your prayers should be for God’s will to be done, not just to meet your own desires.
Why do you do what you do?
I pray today that you will do all things for God; that you will act according to God’s desires; that you will pray for God’s will, not your own desires; and that you will be a witness to this world.