I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. (Amos 5:21-24)
"God dislikes mere outward conformity to His requirements. He requires inward reality." (Responding to God's Faithful Intervention - Minor Prophets - Part 1). Once again, we see that God does not just want us to "go through the motions". He wants us to be sincere in our offerings and our worship. Just as the Israelites would reap the punishment for their lack of genuine worship and praise, so will we. He wants us to incorporate him into our lives, not just write a check or show up Sunday morning for service. He wants to hear our voices lifted in song. He wants us to praise and worship him everyday - not just on special occasions. He wants our loyalty and our humility. He wants us!
Many of God's "followers" are no different than the followers of a blog or a newspaper column. The read, they digest, they sip their coffee and that's it. They do nothing to change the course of their lives and offer nothing more than an opinion of what they've read. There are those who will find fault no matter what is written, and they take ever opportunity to spin their ugly impressions of it, showing others how moronically stupid they really are.
God calls us to repent, to change and to move forward. He places people in our lives to help us reach that path of righteousness. No, he does not expect us to be "perfect" - he expects us to try! Force yourself to do something for God today - something that is a true sacrifice, not just a token "I gave that up for Lent" offering. Make it a sacrifice of the heart. Make it the "perfect" offering to show how much you love him and how grateful you are for his gifts to you. Don't make excuses for why you can't; find a reason that you CAN! If you're having difficulty with that one, I can offer a suggestion...what better reason could you have to sacrifice something that is so dear to your heart, so all-important to your way of life that is greater than the sacrifice of Calvary? Jesus gave his all for us - every fiber of his being, every drop of blood in his veins, every breath that was within him - he gave it all for us!
God is calling you. Offer him more than your favorite beverage; give him more than the tip you leave your waitress, truly praise him, from your heart, with the songs you sing. Talk to him in prayer (really talk to him, don't just utter memorized words). Give freely to him what he has freely given to you - make him the center of your life 365 days of the year starting with today! Don't just conform - integrate him into your life completely and make your sacrifice a worthy offering of love, honor and praise!