Few days ago when I woke up I had this thought drop into my mind as to “What is Heaven doing right now?” Although I have always thought about it especially since my dad went to be with the LORD.
Whenever we praise and worship GOD we join the multitude of Angels, Saints and the host of Heaven in worshipping the King of kings. But this particular day it was quite unusual and as I sat there for a moment of worship and asked the Holy Spirit, I was rather surprised of what the LORD told me.
When you praise and worship you connect with Heaven. Any given time the whole of Heaven is exploding with praises for GOD-24/7.
In Old Testament times people made sacrifice of animals, birds and grains to GOD. GOD gave clear instructions to Moses as to how the sacrifices should be in the Book of Leviticus. One of the common factor is that the sacrifice was to be without defect and spotless. The sacrifice offered to GOD was Holy.
If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. Levi:1:3
We no longer have to do that because JESUS became the Lamb for sacrifice and took away all our punishments on Himself once and for all.
But today GOD expects us to offer a different kind of sacrifice. Today we are going to see some of them. Bottom line the terms remain the same- Is your sacrifice the best? is it defectless? Is it Holy and acceptable in His sight? Is it a sweet smelling aroma to Him?
1.Sacrifice of Praise
15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. Heb:13:15
How do we stay connected to GOD while living in this earth? Its by our praises to HIM.
GOD dwells in our praises as it is written in,
But You are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel. Ps:22:3
So as soon as we start praising HIM, HE comes down and HE dwells in our praises.
The Word of GOD says that praises and thankfulness are sacrifices we offer to HIM.
Picture this with your eyes closed. GOD is sitting on the throne and when HE hears us praise HIM or in other words offer HIM sacrifices of praise, how does HE feel?
Firstly will it even go through the roof and reach HIM or does it fall off even before hitting the roof? or Is it a sweet smelling aroma in which HE delights Himself?
Is it pleasing to HIM?
The first offering ever made to GOD was by Abel and Cain.When we analyse both their sacrifices we see that Abel gave his best but Cain dint. GOD gives clear explaination to Cain as to why his sacrifice was rejected and also gave a warning. But sadly as we all know Cain didnt heed to GOD .
If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”Gen:4:7
When we are not in the right standing with GOD sin always waits to enter us. In the above verse door is the way into our heart.
Revelation:20:3 says Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
So before we offer praise let us analyse our hearts and minds.
Also when you praise GOD, do your thoughts focus on GOD alone or do you focus on other things.
As a mom of 2 kids, this has been my struggle. To focus and get my thoughts to align in worshipping GOD. Constantly our minds wander thinking about the cares of the world. And I personally feel those are the kind of sacrifices that GOD is not pleased.
Our sacrifice of praise should be from the heart and our thoughts aligned towards GOD.
8“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules. Mt:15:8,9
In the above verse GOD says that though people honour HIM with their lips yet their hearts are far away from HIM. When we offer praises today lets think about this, is it a lip service or is it from the bottom of our hearts?
GOD doesnt see like man does HE always looks at our hearts.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Sam:16:7
2. Sacrifice of thankfulness
Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me,
and to the blameless I will show my salvation.” Ps:50:23
Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Ps:50:14
A grateful heart is what pleases GOD and puts a smile on His face. Especially when HIS children thank Him for everything even if its bad.
Opposite of thankfulness is complaining. GOD hated it when Israelites complained in the wilderness. An entire generation missed their chance of entering the promised land because of their attitude of complaining.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”Colossians 4:2
Today lets devote ourselves to being thankful to GOD in all circumstance.
“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”1 Timothy 4:4-5
Everything GOD created is good and though we might not understand everything thats happening, one day we will see the bigger picture that it was all intended for our good. Its like the grey and dark shades in a beautiful portrait that adds to the beauty of the picture on the whole.
3. Sacrifice of a Broken Spirit:
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise. Ps:51:16,17
When we run out of words during our prayer time because of the pain and brokenness, don’t worry HE is even more closer to us.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.Ps:34:18
I remember when I had miscarriage I could hardly say a word during prayer. I used to just sit and cry. But that was the time I felt closer to the LORD, that was when HE spoke to me through visions and dreams encouraging me and pulling me out of my despair.
Always remember the times when you feel so numb as if you are very very far from GOD or you cant hear His voice, thats when HE is the closest to you. As close as hugging you and as close as going through the same pain that you are going through, literally carrying you through it.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
in burnt offerings offered whole;
then bulls will be offered on your altar. Ps:51:16-17,19
4. Sacrifice of helping the needy
16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. Heb13:16
Helping the needy is the kind of sacrifice that GOD expects from us. Its like one of the prerequisites as seen in the below verse,
33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; Mt:25:33-35
On the judgement day GOD will separate the sheep from goats and the reason is that, the sheep are the children of GOD who have been hospitable, they have helped the poor and destitute where as the wicked or the goat are those who didn’t help those in need.
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
For whatever you do to the poor and needy brothers and sisters, GOD says we do to him.
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. Is:58:11
5. Sacrifice of Obedience:
22 But Samuel replied,“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. I Sam:15:22
Loving GOD is obeying HIM. And we can do that by reading HIS Word and knowing what pleases HIM and what doesn’t.
“If you love me, obey my commandments. Jn:14:15
Lets make it our goal to love GOD and to offer a pleasing sacrifice to HIM.
May our praises be a sweet smelling aroma to our GOD when we praise and lift HIM up.
GOD bless ya!