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A couple of weeks of ago I was playing with a friend’s dog who loves to chase a tennis ball; well Jake will chase most any ball if you throw it for him in fact!

After I had thrown the ball for him a couple of times I took the ball, gave it a good wind up, and threw it hard, though I never let go of the ball. Jake ran and looked and ran and looked everywhere for that ball. As far as he was concerned I had thrown the ball and we were playing! After he did that for a few moments I learned that he would continue that way until he found that ball so I threw it again for him and he brought it back again and again.

Though I had not even let go of the ball; though we were not really playing the game; Jake was convinced that it was real. Though he thought we were playing the game, we had just gone through the motions. I am terribly afraid that just as those worshipping Yahweh in Israel go through the motions of worship, devoid of the coming power of the Holy Spirit, often so do we.

For the nation of Israel the promise of the rebirth, renewal, and revival that the Holy Spirit will bring is indeed great and impending, and even happening right before our eyes; when they shall be awakened to the reality that Messiah has already come; that Jesus offers life to those who will receive it.

How much more does it burden this Pastor’s heart that we who are called Christ’s Church, we who have received the promise of the Holy Spirit, so often live spiritual lives devoid of His power? I invite you today to ask yourself, “Am I going through the motions in my spiritual life?” Do I trust in my national or familial heritage more than in Christ alone for salvation?

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