I remember only too well the abuse I undertook as a child to get ready for church. My mother would make sure I was bathed, dressed in my best clothes, and that my hair was concretely rooted in place with that sticky blue gel we called “foo foo.” The final touch was making sure our fingernails were clean with the use of that “scalpel,” which would draw blood when the line was pierced between dirt and skin under the nail. And thus, we were presentable to the world and the church; we were in our Sunday Best!
Arriving at Church I could see everybody else was in the their finery as well. Nice clothes, suits and ties, dresses, nice hair, and maybe just a tinge of blood under their nails- perfect! They were in their Sunday Best too, and ready for worship.
Seems we are consumed with our attire when it comes to our Sunday worship experience, and although I am not against modest attire, I question if a little too much of our focus is placed on the externals. I wonder how many of us are content presenting the best externally, yet the state of our hearts, is, say, not so much. And that is really where the Lord desires us to be yielded. After all, the Lord is looking at our hearts.
How many of us are engaged in household brawls only to hit the “pause” button seconds before walking into the narthex, foyer, or anteroom? Who of us hasn’t shown up to church still somewhat tainted by the world, yet, presenting in all our hypocrisy, that we are spic-and-span in the eyes of God? Who hasn’t feigned exuberance, when church, and reverencing the Almighty may be the last place we desire to be?
1 Samuel 16:7b says, “for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
We think if we can just supremely look the part of a God-fearing saint, we can adequately deflect the onslaught of probing concern. We think if we can just play the part long enough, we can make it back to the security of our homes, and the comfort of delusion. And yet, to what benefit?
God doesn’t look well on these theatrics. Isaiah 29:13 says, “Then the Lord said, ‘Because this people draw near with their words
And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote.’”
This is spoken in a derogatory light in regards to these people, and woes apply to these people who would come to “worship” in this way. People are willing to parrot words, to mock God with pretend reverence. But the Lord is concerned with much deeper.
Who are we to think that we could hoodwink God? That maybe he will be so enraptured with our elaborate, yet insincere “praise” that the state of our hearts will go unnoticed?
May I suggest that we be less concerned about our attire and focus on the state of hearts as we prepare for worship. Are our hearts clean and ready to engage the presence of the holy Sovereign? Does the spirit which we bring into the worship experience represent our “Sunday Best”? And for that matter, why would we focus on that just one day a week? Shouldn’t our “Sunday Best” be 24/7?
Make sure your heart is prepared to give God your Sunday Best!