With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
I’m first in line – yep, that’s me! The one yearning to follow the rules because I’m a rule follower to the core. This trait can be both a strength and a weakness at times. Sadly, there are millions just like me who attempt to apply this trait in pleasing God. However, I’m here to tell you that this is impossible because there is not one worldly thing I can bring to God’s throne worthy enough to receive sanctification; instead, I must bring my heart.
What will it take? Will God be happy if I bring Him ten thousand rams? What if I brought Him one hundred vats of the finest fragrances the earth could supply? Will that be enough? Wait! – I’ve got it! He must like precious elements so I’ll bring Him tons of gold; that most certainly would impress Him, right?
Please forgive my sarcasm. However, do you know what I really envision when we speak of such things? I see God shaking His head and saying these words…
“I created all of those things, and they are obedient to me because even the rocks will cry out if praises are withheld from your tongue. However, there is one thing I created that you must choose to give up yourself – your soul. Whenever that occurs, you no longer live and my Son, Jesus, lives in you. This is the only pleasing sacrifice worthy enough to receive my acceptance. The rams, precious fragrances, and elements are already mine, but you must choose to give me your heart. Without this self-surrender, you remain lost and your worldly gifts are worthless.”
I’m afraid millions of us are churning the sanctification jar
hoping our efforts will turn into acceptance.
“I don’t want your sacrifices—I want your love; I don’t want your offerings—I want you to know me.
~God doesn’t want your “rams;” He wants your surrendered love.
~God doesn’t want your money to fulfill a duty; He wants a relationship.
So…Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with Your God. Remember, it’s never about you or the “things” you can bring. It’s all about the one thing you can’t live without – Jesus!
Challenge: What are you offering to God? [Things, rituals, or yourself]