Martin Gramatica played for the National Football League as a kicker for Indianapolis, New England, Dallas and New Orleans. He was on the 2000 Pro Bowl squad and has a Super Bowl ring.
From his college days at Kansas State University, the Argentine-American was known as ‘Automatica Gramatica’ for his superb accuracy. In his day, it seemed almost impossible for him to miss a field goal or extra point. For him, adding points to the scoreboard became almost ritualistic.
While automatic field-goal kicking may be a desirable trait in the NFL, automatic worship to God is not. Yet, Judah had become automatic in its relationship with God. In Jeremiah 7:21-26 the Lord condemned the sacrifices Judah had been giving in almost mindless repetition.
God told them, ‘Consider this: When I spoke to your ancestors after I brought them out of Egypt, I did not merely give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices. I also explicitly commanded them:‘Obey me. If you do, I will be your God and you will be my people. Live exactly the way I tell you and things will go well with you.’ But they did not listen to me or pay any attention to me. They followed the stubborn inclinations of their own wicked hearts. They acted worse and worse instead of better,” (Jeremiah 7:22-24 NET).
Their worship had become about offerings and sacrifices and not about devotion from their hearts. That devotion they gave to pursuing their wealth and living.
Are we becoming automatic in our worship? Has devotion to God been stamped out of our hearts so that we are more interested in our own pursuits? If so, we must repent and change. We must give to God our whole heart devoted only to him.
The psalmist wrote, “How blessed are those who observe his rules, and seek him with all their heart,” (Psalm 119:2 NET).