Have you ever celebrated a birthday, an anniversary, a retirement, a Valentine's Day when you felt the people were just going through the motions? You could sense that they really didn't care about you. People may have brought you gifts or showered you with the appropriate trinkets, but they didn't seem to have their hearts in it at all. It didn't feel very good did it?
God doesn't think so either. He doesn't like it when we try to give our sacrifices to Him without giving Him our hearts. Psalms 51:16-17 says, You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. God doesn't get impressed when we just go through the motions. He is looking for people who really want to please Him.
Do you ever catch yourself checking off your Christian duties? You went to church this week, read a Bible verse every day, even put something in the offering plate. Now you can think you are a good Christian. The real question you need to ask is, Does God think you are a good Christian? Have you really thought about God when you were doing those Christian things?
The worst atrocity of Christians’ lives is Sunday morning worship, especially the singing. If we were really paying attention to the words we are singing in worship, most of us would need to be singing, God I wish I could say that I love you the way this song goes. God just doesn't give much attention to our playing around with Christian living. He wants real hearts.
Some of us who think we really love God may be surprised of what God thinks of our prayers. Jesus told a parable for this reason. In Luke 18:9, Luke explains, To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: He went on to tell about a Pharisee and a tax collector who went up to the temple to pray. The Pharisee listed all his good works before God and thanked God that he was not like the tax collector who shared the temple space with him. The tax collector simply prayed; God, have mercy on me, a sinner (Luke 18:13). Jesus said that only the tax collector left that temple justified.
Have you been going through the motions, or do you really love God? Others may not be able to tell the truth. God will know.