DELIBERATELY PURSUING GOD
THE SACRIFICE AND THE SPECTATOR
Those who know how to value God’s gracious presence will be more fervent in their prayers and more serious in their walk. These are the faithful one’s that have received a glimpse of understanding the difference between “making” a sacrifice and “being one.” Our intentions are supposed to be established on His will and His blessings are directly connected with our obedience. It is His Kingdom and His spiritual principals. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may PROVE what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
Each day our lives are filled with choices about yielding our plans because it is God’s desire that we become a “walking, breathing” spiritual offering. But what many fail to remember is that each and every sacrifice will either be accepted or rejected depending on whether the individual knew God personally or was trying to serve Him their own way. Does this mean that even some worship is in vain and not accepted? I am afraid so. Trusting in God’s righteousness to save us and receive eternal crowns is not the same as trying to “work” our way to heaven and “earn” His favor as a religious legal duty. I am reminded of Cain and how his offering was rejected in Genesis chapter 4. Many do not understand the powerful illustration of this true story and how it is used by God to reveal the mysteries of His uncompromising principals. Allow me to quote Arthur W. Pink in his commentary, “Gleanings in Genesis.” “In bringing his offering, Cain denied that he was a sinful creature under the sentence of divine condemnation. He insisted on approaching God on the ground of personal worthiness. Instead of accepting God’s way, he offered to God the fruits of the ground which was cursed. He presented the product of HIS OWN TOIL, the work of his own hands, and God refused to receive it.
We must constantly be aware of the difference between our fleshly, earthy “ministries” and God’s direct commands. Working night and day to impress Him (or others) has no influence or spiritual power unless we are directly connected to His will. The smells of burning flesh and incense of the ancient world was performed as a legal “work” of mans obedience to God’s word. Today our sacrifices are based on faith and the motives of our heart. Without him we can do nothing but make a lot of noise – but with God there is divine power to change the world. The Church is not just a place to WATCH others make their sacrifices or form critical opinions and judgments about how some are trying to sacrifice their lives. The spectator has a haughty attitude that can destroy the church with the “leaven” of gossip. But the sacrifice will discover their place of ministry and pray fervently for the revelation of what they are to be so that Jesus can do His work “through” them. True disciples will enter into God’s sanctuary filled with His anointing and are ready to release their love into the body. We should be prepared to minister with our gifts and pour out our adoration to the Lord, as the level of power, signs and wonders are determined by the amount of pureness and faith in the hearts of the people. If we humble ourselves in reverential fear before His throne He will come and bless us with the Majesty of His presence.
Stop for a moment and consider what we sing about. Every week we cry out for His refining fire and purification process. We say we want His fire to fall down and burn up our carnality. We promise and confess that we desire to lay down our will and to be completely sold out to Him. We say how we want to be sacrificed on His brazen alter and how we want to go into the Holy of Holies. (The sacrifice really desires to be changed – the spectator just hears a song. The sacrifice is hungry and thirsty for God’s truth and His presence – the spectator is sleepy and hopes for a short sermon). We sing about Jesus blood, being filled with the Holy Spirit, resisting sin, living in the secret place of His presence, being victorious, doing miracles in the Name of Jesus, touching the face of God, seeing His glory and on and on. But have you ever thought that many just don’t get it? You are absolutely right! People will always have a passion about the things they are serious about! There must be an awakening! People will have a life-changing moment only when they see themselves in God’s plan and believe it is true. When someone becomes consumed with a desire nothing can stop them! But what flips the switch that brings this spiritual illumination? Until we have a personal encounter with God about each aspect of the Christian life we will continue to go through the motions in that area. Without revelation there is hesitation and the spectator will never know the difference.