In the presence of God
Listen to the word of the LORD, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel! This is what the LORD says: “What did your ancestors find wrong with me that led them to stray so far from me? They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves. They did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us safely out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness— a land of deserts and pits, a land of drought and death, where no one lives or even travels?’ “And when I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its bounty and goodness, you defiled my land and corrupted the possession I had promised you. The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who taught my word ignored me, the rulers turned against me, and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal, wasting their time on worthless idols. Jeremiah 2:4-8 What kind of relationship do you have with God? Was it founded upon knowing Him as your Lord and Savior? Engaging in religious activities apart from having a real fellowship with God is empty ceremonial. This is what God was addressing through prophet Jeremiah from the text. They were contented in engaging in rituals and traditions that they do not care anymore if they are still worshiping the One true God. As long as they knew they have done their obligation to attend religious activity that was enough for them to stand before the Lord and claim that they have fulfilled their duty to God. Until they found themselves straying away from God and they started to engage in worshiping idols. They did not care anymore if they are still worshiping the One that set them free from bondage and has been with them even through times of trials. They ignored the absence of God in their religious activities. Christianity is about experiencing a growing and intimate relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not just about keeping sets of doctrines and beliefs, habits to maintain and practices, and sins to avoid. Everything that we do and encourage others to do including our family, should be intended in enriching our relationship with God. You are not just fulfilling an obligation but you are expressing your desire to grow in your relationship with God when you worship Him. When you spend time with Him, whether in your personal devotion or together with other believers, listen to what is in our Father’s heart. It is possible that you will take part intended to glorifying God and yet missed out on His presence. Do not just settle for a mediocre Christian life where you are not concerned if you will experience His presence or not. When God is present, the difference will be significant.