June 24, 2015 Leave a comment
“…its smell was pleasing to The Lord.” Leviticus 8:21
A lot was on my mind this morning as I prepared for a time of reading and meditating on God’s Word. I was grateful to God. Tomorrow marks a year since the mild stroke that attacked me about a year ago. How I was doing – what I had lost and what I had gained. I was thinking about my weight, which I struggled to loose, in which God had granted me victory over in the first five months, and over which, I was now experiencing painful defeat. What was the use of fighting anymore? Nothing had really changed. I was singing, presumably to God, but my heart was elsewhere.
“Jesus answered, unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.” John 13:8
Suddenly a vision split through my mind as out of a terrible horror movie. I saw a woman, a ghostly woman with an upturned face as in worship, hands held before her, she opened her mouth as though to sing, and instead, a cloud of flies, black flies, hundreds of them streamed out of her. I was rebuked, I repented. I was raising unholy fires before God, and He had shown me exactly what He thought of it.
“You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit, since you have not yet reached your resting place and the inheritance The LORD your God is giving you…Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offering anywhere you please. Offer them only in the place The LORD will choose…” Deuteronomy 12: 8, 13-14
We read through the books of Deuteronomy, 12 and 13 today, and what I got from God, was that He takes the lead in worship. I must present myself, in totality. He is not impressed by anything else, even if we are thinking of Him in a grateful way – He will show us where, and how to love Him and adore Him, by The Holy Spirit. God had been talking to me about repairing broken altars – His in my live, and in the lives of those around me, in His Kingdom. Many other things were taking His place in our lives, primarily the chase after the cleverly elusive Shilling. We were hungering for this more than for God. We felt that having it would solve all our problems, and the lack of it, was blamed on God, and for the many aches we were experiencing – just like last year, same time.
Then the entire family gathered before God at the end of the day. And as we would have it, God led us again to the theme of sacrifice, this time in Leviticus 8. I wondered what this sweet smell was. God taught me through my children. My life, our lives are an act of worship…one continuous act. Sometimes we worship God, in the best of times. But many times… God narrowed in particularly to the way I give. He has emphasised to me, that a man can only receive what is given to him from heaven. But His ‘challenge’ was, what happened with the messenger. How do we handle being message bearers from heaven to the man or woman. This broke me.
“But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:2
Much of the time, our altars are so broken, and we perceive the errand on God’s behalf as an injustice. The person we are being sent to is undeserving in our eyes, they do not conform to our ideals of what they as servants of God and recipients of His grace should. Sometimes we create stories about them, stretch threads, pick at these, to convince ourselves that God will overlook our half-hearted at best, and no hearted service to Him…because after all…they are offensive to us. So we give only part of what we have been sent to give, with a thorough put down to the recipient, that makes them weep and not rejoice over the gift they have received. Because it was wrapped in hateful insults to their integrity. And we turn away, and try to worship God, but we are like rotting flesh, giving off a stench that has cuddled into vermin that flows incessantly from our bellies.
“Our offering to God is this: We are the sweet smell of Christ, among those that are being saved and among those that are being lost.” 2 Corinthians 2:15
This message has been, for me, long. And I have a hunch, a strong one, that God is not done with it yet. But as I share what He has given me with someone, I hope that we would take time to go before Him, like Elijah did on Mount Carmel, and repair God’s altar in our lives. That His Fire would come from heaven and consume both us and our giving, because we have been found pleasing to Him, and that we would give off, a sweet smelling aroma to God in heaven, and the world around us.
“So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as living sacrifices to Him. Your offering must only be for God and pleasing to Him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship.” Romans 12:1