Don’t Go Through The Motions
The people of Taiwan really love to travel. And you can’t blame them. The island of Taiwan is less than twice the size of the State of New Jersey (our Nation’s most densely populated state), yet it’s got three times its population. And most of Taiwan is mountainous, forcing the majority of its inhabitants into urban and industrialized areas. So, there’s a big desire among the Taiwanese to get away and travel abroad.
But international travel to and from Taiwan has shut down since mid-March 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. And it’s really getting the Taiwanese people down.
As a way of “scratching their itchy foot” the Songshan Airport in Taipei began a “fake flight” service in July 2020. This service allows people, who are desperate to travel, to experience all the “joys” of going through check-in, security, boarding procedures, safety instructions, and a quick snack before disembarking. But the plane never leaves the ground. It doesn’t taxi anywhere. It doesn’t even depart from the gate. The flight crew goes through the motions of a flight with the Airbus 330 passengers, but there’s no real flight. The fake flight only gives them a momentary sensation of going somewhere.
This fake flight service reminds me of too many congregations. It mirrors what many people are doing by attending church. They’re going through all the motions of “being a Christian.” They’re attending services, singing songs, bowing their heads for prayer, and performing some token service to politically correct causes.
But there’s no personal relationship with God – or any real desire to be reconciled to Him. There’s no remorse for sins or a plea to God for a clean heart and a clear conscience. There’s no suffering of persecution for Jesus’ sake. There’s no concern for winning the lost to Jesus. For “who are they to judge others?” And there’s no divine work of sanctification in their lives, preparing them for eternity in Heaven. These congregations only want the trimmings of a righteous life to assure them that they’re good people and are headed for “a better place.”
Jesus stated that, on Judgement Day, there will be people who claim to have done all kinds of good works “in His name.” But Jesus will tell them, “Depart from Me. I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23). They have “the appearance of godliness, but they deny its power” (2 Timothy 3:5).
But it’s not only spiritually dead congregations who go through the motions of worshiping God and being reconciled to Him. True believers in Jesus can resort to just going through the motions as well. Just read Jesus’ message to the church of Ephesus – a church that was very busy “serving the Lord.” Yet it was neglecting its own personal relationship with Jesus. Their love for Him was no longer the motivation for their service. As a result, Jesus accused them of forsaking their first love (Revelation 2:1-7). May God save us from such a dry and passionless existence!
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, one day I will stand before You face to face. I will appear before the very Jesus of Nazareth who once walked the earth, died upon the cross for my sins, and rose from the dead to accomplish my redemption. Please prepare me for that day. Keep my eyes, my faith, and my passion focused on You. Please do Your miraculous work of sanctification in my life to prepare me for eternity in heaven. And please make me an instrument of Your peace, healing, and salvation in the lives of others. Amen.