Yesterday was a great day. I was energised and felt really buzzy. I had a good chat with my friend Kay and it was so refreshing to hear her heart and laughter. She has been such a tower of strength during my walk and the Lord has used her time and time again to encourage me. Thank you Jesus for funnels that are faithful and confident in their walk with you.
The Israelites would bring sacrifices to God in order to make atonement for their sins. They sought forgiveness and in doing this restored the relationship. I read Leviticus and was amazed with the number of sacrifices required and the rules for offering these sacrifices. Young Jewish boys could recite the first five books of the Bible/Torah by the age of twelve. Not recite in order, but on demand.
Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice and we no longer have to build altars and sacrifice and animal to receive forgiveness and restoration. God has made restoration and forgiveness more accessible. God has given us a way of approach, “I (Yeshua) am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father but through Me.”
In Malachi we read that the Lord is dissatisfied with the attitude with which the Israelites bring their sacrifice. The people brought their offering to the priest and the priest would sacrifice on their behalf. What was happening was that the Israelites were not bringing the best to the priest and the priest was accepting this, he was comprising his position. This compromise, we often hear, “She’ll be right mate.” was mocking the majesty of YHWH. The attitude of “Not all good, but it will do.” or “Just a spot here and there, but it will do.”
I find myself shaking my head in judgement at the nation, thinking, “How silly of them, how could they? What were they thinking?” It is during one of these thoughts that the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Oh, and do you ALWAYS give the perfect offering of worship, devotion and time?” Let me think about that. Offering? Well, Jesus has redeemed me and I know I’m saved by His blood. I believe and testify that He is the Messiah, Son of YHWH. I can approach Him any place, time for anything. I’m all good. Am I though??
In the reading we read that YHWH is angered by the LACK of respect that the Israelites show Him. He is angered by the casual attitude way of worship, the rituals that had become habits and ruts in life. God is not pleased with half-heartedness and the lack of care given in presenting the sacrifice. These people bring a substandard offering but expect supersized blessings.
We bring half-hearted worship and expect things to fall into our lap. We rush through devotions and as we close the Bible we shut our minds to His Word as we face the busyness of the day. Yet we expect Father God to answer prayers, becoming despondent when He does not answer immediately – how long did you stop to listen?
When Yeshua was in the garden, He was on His knees sweating blood and He asked His Father, “If this cup can but pass me by, yet Your will not Mine.” Soon after this an angel appeared and strengthened Him. Ever had an answer like that before? I have but I still had to go to my chemotherapy and radiation sessions. I was strengthened, He carried me and I received grace everyday, but I had to walk the journey.
In today’s society we praise a child for saying ‘thank you’, ‘excuse me’, ‘please’.. general manners. I think that manners matter to YHWH too. It is all about respecting the Creator. Do we really respect the King of Kings? I think many people have lost their fear because life is just too easy. We get away with things because everyone is too politically correct. Strange they are pc in front of you, but they rip strips off you behind your back. We are presenting substandard sacrifices to the King.
We arrive at church, ready to go home. We hope the sermon is short because the garden needs attention, shopping needs to be completed, the house needs cleaning or the ironing is piling up. We sing “How Great is our God.” while we are wondering about earthly issues – our lips move but our heart is divided. What is your heart offering? Do you sit and criticize the worship, the pastor and the message? Do we enter the building and leave the same way? Paul tells us that this is like a man who looks at his reflection in a mirror and forgets what he looks like. When you look in a mirror and notice something not right we naturally fix it, be it hair a whisker or parsley in teeth.
How is your devotional time? Is it a quick, rushed ten minutes of a list that is prayed, followed by a quick verse? Or do you put aside, sacrifice quality time. Enough time to come into His presence and sit at His feet. Time enough for the Father to talk to you and for you to hear Him. Time where you push through prayer and allow the Spirit to reveal God’s Word to you. Is your time with Him an habitual ritual? I have to do devotions to stay in His good books? You see, this is disrespectful, it is giving God your left over time, left over energy. We are told to love Him with all our heart, mind and soul – undivided. Jesus tells us to come to Him and He will give us rest. Mary sat at the feet of the Saviour, she received from Him. Martha could have done that too, but she was too aware that if she did not present her human best effort it would not go down well, pride. Jesus told her that Mary had taken the right choice. Mary recognised that spending time with Jesus was more important than what others would say about the presentation of a meal.
Who is your time with God about? 90% you and 10% worshipping His name? I know that we are supposed to give our tenth, but that is earning not spiritual growth. Quality matters to YHWH, not quantity. He desires your full and undivided attention. I know we all have jobs (God-given), homes (blessings from the Father) and families (more blessings) and these things need attention, but prioritize. We read, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and ALL things shall be added unto you.” This speaks of not only physical things, but most importantly of the spiritual tools to bring glory to the King.
Verse 17, “You have wearied the Lord with your words.” Bring an honourable act of worship to God. Adjust your heart before you approach the Almighty God. Sing His praises with true meaning, thinking of Him and putting aside yourself. Take up your cross before you approach the throne. Don’t let your time with Him be crippled with the burdens that you are dragging around. Don’t be deafened by your inability to shut out the noise of the world and hear His voice – take time to listen.
If you are singing and dancing to Him, do so with a contrite heart. Don’t sing songs that have no meaning or don’t make sense – be selective in what you sing to the King. In Revelations we read of simple songs that are sung to YHWH, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty’. Put aside your TV remote, laptop, iPad, iPhone (they all start with I???). Pick up His Word, become quiet and soak in His love for you. Receive His rest and peace that is freely available – sit at His feet. Open your eyes, look outside and see His glory in nature. Whatever you do, do it unto God and not man. Don’t try and serve God with human rituals and habits, He is far above us and nothing we do can bring Him the glory and honour He is due.
Give YHWH the best of you, give Him quality time and song. Sacrifice your will to honour Him. He desires the worship worthy of a King. He is to be awed and esteemed above all. He is and was and is to come. We fear Him, not because we are scared, but because we respect Him. I fear my principal – I want to give him my best in my teaching practise and representation of the school I work at. I am not scared of him, but I respect him and want to do right, want him to be proud to say that I am on his team. This is the fear we need to have for YHWH, fear that is based in respect, fear that is healthy and brings a desire to serve, worship and want to be called, ‘My loved servant, whom I am well-pleased with.’
Nobody can change your attitude, you need to do that with the help from the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth. Don’t blame the worship team, the air conditioning, the sound team or pastor – they are NOT your sacrifice or worship. Your heart, soul and mind are your vessels of worship and sacrifice.
What will you bring before your King? What will you lay on the altar of praise? But by the blood of the Son can we approach the King of Kings. Chosen ones, the bride of Yeshua.
Oh Lord, may my worship and prayer be pleasant to You. May my deeds and motives be pure in Your sight and bless You. You are omnipotent and awesome and I want to fear You, I desire You to be proud of me and say of me that I am your servant and that You are well-pleased with me. Amen