They hide the persons, but nobody in forces to hide their light

It is devoted to worshippers - true seraphims of LORD

A True Sacrifice

Autor: Kudryashov Kyril
Translator: Lesya Ulinets (NY) - many thanks for your disinterested aid

When talking about worship as of sacrifice, I would like to clarify what needs to be enclosed into the term "sacrifice" according to the Scriptures. Some time ago, I started to take notice that there are certain things in church which I am doing automatically, by habit. Either I am dropping an offering into a basket, giving tithes, performing a psalm; I absolutely stopped meditating about the true meaning of all these actions.

Maybe some Christians think that the actions they do or better to say the actions they are stirred to do in church, itself are already a sacrifice pleasing to God. Is it so?

Ps. 51:18-19; Hosea 6:6, these Scriptures open to us what God really expects from us, what He calls sacrifice. I always thought that the Scripture in Hosea 6:6 is stirring us to manifest mercy to each other. It is not so though. I simply did not understand the word "mercy" correctly. To manifest - does not only mean - canceling punishment, but it also means to show hearty warmth of feelings, to show love and tenderness. In this Scripture too, God says that it is not our sacrifices that He wants to see, but our relationship to Him. Sacrifice, which is deprived of our relationship is not more than just religious tradition which does not have any value in the eyes of God - "these people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away" (Mat.5:8)

God once brought my attention to 2 Cor.12:14. I think that by writing of "I do not seek yours but you", Paul expressed the secrecy of God's desire to see the relationship of our hearts and not our actions and sacrifices. It is natural that the right relationship will be producing an appropriate fruit in our lives. We should not concentrate on our service though, neither on our actions and sacrifices. This is God speaking to us: "Marthas, Marthas, you care and bustle about many things, when only one thing is needed I do not seek yours but you!" God does not need our service, He needs us. The same as for Mary, the center of our attention has to be Jesus. It is not our worship that is important, but to whom it is predestined. It is not the process of the service that is important but what stirs us to participate in it. What do we feel towards God, when we bring Him a sacrifice?

I was always taught that I have to worship independently of what happens in my soul. It is true just partially though. Sometimes we really have to break through in worship independently of our experiences. I do not think though that it brings joy to God to always see how His children are trying to worship with their teeth clenched and their tight fists. Also, the end aim of such breakthrough is an acquisition of such experience as peace, joy, true thanksgiving, and love towards God.

There is also another extreme, when we are digging inside of us, trying to find a positive attitude towards God in order to later back out from it in our worship. Particularly, getting stuck on our own emotions and feelings makes it impossible for us to truly worship.

Maybe you will consider these steps to be useful in entering into the heart of worship:
  1. Tell God honestly about your feelings or if you want about your numbness. Sometimes it is really a better way than the one described above "brake through". God deals honestly with those who are honest. In other words, He reveals Himself to those who are also ready to open their hearts.

  2. Ask that the Holy Spirit would help you to leave all of your negative feelings and emotions, and concentrate on the Lord. Ask that He would touch your heart. Remember, that our love towards the Lord is only an echo on His love towards us. It is us who respond mutually and not Him.

  3. Concentrate on God and on God alone. Concentrate on everything that has to do with Him, on what He has done personally, on who He is. I am sure that in some time, you will be able to honestly tell God about your love towards Him. Concentration on God does not bring its fruit only in worship. It helps us to always guard a right position before Him.
Try to never worship, give an offering, or do something else for the Lord automatically, by habit, or because you were told to do so. We have to express our love towards the Lord and not to play it because He said: "I want mercy and not a sacrifice".

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