True Worship Of Our True God
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1 ESV
“And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'”” Luke 4:8 ESV
The above two verses of Scripture have been a couple of verses that I have known, loved, and attempted to live by for many years.
The words of Jesus recorded in Luke’s Gospel are in reference to the words of God given to Moses for the Israelites, as shown below.
“It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth”. Deut. 6:13-15 ESV
Often times, I believe it is easy to go through actions and motions we are so accustomed to. It appears, and we may even believe we are worshiping God in our life and lifestyles, but are we serious? When Scripture says to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, how about in our daily lives, outside the “church” setting, do our actions still show a true worship of God, or are we following a formula, or acting as we think we should to please others, or to impress others, rather than doing what God would have us do, in the way He would have us act.
A number of these thoughts came to me recently, and I have been pondering them for days, whether to write them down, and share them, or even how to share them, so I am hoping it will be understandable, and make sense.
Historically recorded in 1 Samuel chapters 4-6, the Philistines had captured the Ark of God and had it for seven months, during which time it was sent from town to town of the Philistines because troubles hit the people in the towns, and all the men were inflicted with tumours.
Finally, the priests and diviners of the Philistines decided to send the Ark away, believing that it may have been the God of the Israelites who caused this problem of the tumours on the men.
They attached a cart, with the Ark on it, to two cows who had just had calves, and sent the cows on their way. If the cows returned to where their calves were, the Philistines believed the tumours were then a coincidence, but if the cows kept going to the land where the Israelites were, the Philistines then believed that God had caused the tumours.
Below is the passage declaring what happened next:
“Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. And when they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, they rejoiced to see it. The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh and stopped there. A great stone was there. And they split up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 6:13-14 ESV
So, the cows walked directly to the Town of Beth-shemesh, where some of the Israelites were, and the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and all was well, right?
“And the Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the box that was beside it, in which were the golden figures, and set them upon the great stone. And the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices on that day to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 6:15 ESV
Not Quite well:
No one was supposed to look into the Ark of God, as they had been told that by God, through Moses and Aaron.
These are instructions God gave to Moses and Aaron regarding the Ark of God.
“but deal thus with them, that they may live and not die when they come near to the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in and appoint them each to his task and to his burden, but they shall not go in to look on the holy things even for a moment, lest they die.” Numbers 4:19-20
“And he struck some of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they looked upon the ark of the Lord. He struck seventy men of them, and the people mourned because the Lord had struck the people with a great blow.” 1 Samuel 6:19 ESV
We also read in 1 Samuel 6:13-14 earlier that the men burnt the cart and sacrificed the cows that were pulling it.
At original reading that sounds great, everyone is so happy the Ark has been returned, they offer the cows as a sacrifice, and worship God right then and there.
There are a couple things to note here as well. Sacrificial animal offerings to God are to be male animals, and these were two cows that pulled the cart into the town. Secondly, these animals walked right up to the men in Beth-shemesh, then they killed them and burned them, these animals were not a sacrifice from these men at all, they were not giving up anything of themselves or their belongings in what they called a sacrifice to the Lord.
3 “If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD.”
Jesus Christ gave His Life, and shed His Blood as a sacrificial offering for our sins, each and every one of us. He gave everything, He held nothing back, so we may have Eternal Life.
With the Gift of Eternal Life, our Lord Jesus has also given us His Spirit to guide us, teach us, enable us to live a Godly, Christ-like life.
1 Peter 2:5
5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
As mentioned, Jesus Christ gave His all, how much of our “all” do we give to Him? In our daily lives, whatever we are doing, wherever we are in life, do we truly present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our Spiritual worship.
Do we give unto God from what we have, not just from what is available? Thinking of the cows that pulled the cart, when they were used, it cost the men at Beth-shemesh nothing. We are to offer our pure, unblemished lives as a sacrifice to God daily in all we do, as our Spiritual worship.
We are to worship our Lord, the only True and Living God, in all things at all times. We are to place nothing ahead of our God.
In this world we live in, there are many things, controlled by many sources, that attempt to draw everyone away from the True God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the True and Living Saviour of all who will call upon Him in the world.
One of the greatest things that the enemy of our souls wants to grab from us I believe, is time.
Do we give God our time ahead of other things, or is our time like the cows that came into Beth-shemesh, available at the moment, and nothing has to be given up, so we use our free time and look good?
In all things, pleasing God by obeying him, in worship, in service, in all actions, is to be done by us at all times, rather than pleasing ourselves or others, and imitating worshipping God.
I realize this is long. I hope it has been understood. As I have been preaching here to myself, my hope is it may create some thinking in other minds also.
Thank you to any who read this, and God’s Blessings.