Guard Your Steps

by Glenn Seaton

The wise man wrote, “Guard your feet as you go to the house of God, and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools” (Eccl. 5:1 NAS). This verse  furnishes a text which suggests the care which one should take as he seeks to serve and worship God. The word “guard” suggests the careful conduct one should display as he performs religious service. Worship is serious business and should be viewed seriously. Let’s notice some ways in which we can “guard our feet” in the house of God.

Listen

The text warns, “draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools.” The words of the preacher are aimed at formalism, religion of form but of little heart. When we come together, do we come together to listen, to learn, or to just “go through the motions”? Religion that is only outward is the worship of a fool. Our worship may be according to truth but if it is not from the heart, it is evil! Cultivate good listening habits which solemnly recognize the seriousness of worship before God.

Reverence

Our conduct in worship should be consistent with the sanctity of the things we do. Thoughts of the Divine Being should put a hush on every spirit (see Nab. 2:20; Zech. 2:13). Hardly a service goes by when there is not some talking, sleeping, or some other action which reflects thoughtlessness in worship. Can the church grow numerically or spiritually when such things are not only tolerated but common? Do we come together for the better or for the worse?

Dress

It seems we are losing our idea of “wearing our Sunday best” to worship services. These days it is not uncommon to see casual attire worn by adults as well as children to every service. I do not mean to advocate a dress code. However, I want to leave the impression by my dress that worship is a special occasion and one of utmost importance. Granted that God is interested in the heart and not so much the outward appearance of a worshipper, but doesn’t the dress of an individual reflect the heart of that person? What does your dress indicate about your worship? Careless? Indifferent? Irreverent? If you do not think dress is important, ask your preacher to preach in blue jeans and a T-shirt the next service.

The Cure

No doubt there needs to be more preaching on what it means to worship God in a proper way. The many examples of the Old Testament make it very clear how careful the Israelites were as they came to worship. Second, there needs to be training in the home concerning worship. Children taught to listen and to be reverent will surely profit spiritually. Have you discussed with your children their manner of behavior in the assembly? Third, our problems in regard to irreverence would be fewer if adults would “guard their feet.” Often the shameful, thoughtless behavior of adults is worse than the young.

Remember, guard your feet!

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