S (Scripture) – Mark 7:5-9 “The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, ‘Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?’ And He said to them, ‘Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’
Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, ‘You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.'”
O (Observation) – Lord, it is possible to honor You with our lips, but keep our hearts far away from You. It is possible to worship You on Sunday, sing all the right songs, raise our hands and proclaim You as Lord of our lives, but then continue to follow our own selfish desires the rest of the week.
A (Application) – You call us into an intimate relationship with You, built on faith and trust, deepened with vulnerability and yielding to Your Holy Spirit’s leading. You will not force Yourself on anyone, but if we are seeking the abundant life that You promise in John 10:10, we must recognize that it only comes from a genuine relationship with You…not a casual history of church attendance. Going to church is a wonderful thing, but in and of itself, does not draw someone into maturity as a Christ-follower. It’s all about our hearts – are we desperately seeking You and Your kingdom? Are we crying out for You and desiring Your wisdom? Are we beating to Your rhythm, wanting to do nothing else other than be in sync with You? Or are we so caught up in our own agenda that we don’t even hear You when You speak?
P (Prayer) – Heavenly Father, thank You for all that You are, and all that You promise. You desire for us to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and not by our flesh. When we walk by the Spirit, we will see Your fruit in our lives – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We will rise above our circumstances, because we will be living by Your supernatural abilities. When we walk by our own flesh, far from You – honoring You with our lips, but not with our hearts – we miss out on this victorious life. Father, may You call us all into a deeper relationship with You – draw us closer, and help us to claim Your promises for our lives today.