Friday, August 16, 2013

The Beginning Of True Worship: A Circumsized Heart

My Bible reading time is getting so good. I'm so close to The New Testament that I can taste it but the journey has been astonishing, slow paced but full of meditation. As I read through the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel there was one similar focal point that I tuned into: God was telling these anointed men that what He most desired was the heart. The Lord went on to pour out prophecies about how He planned to recapture Israel's hearts, how He desired for His people to circumcise their hearts. God gave them so many literal examples and symbols for what true worship really was but they (with an exception of a few) never got it. The prophet Samuel understood this when he reprimanded King Saul for choosing sacrifices over obedience. David got it when he sang in one of his Psalms about how he finally realized that The Lord takes no pleasure in sacrifices and offerings, but instead, delights in a broken and contrite heart. For a while God used these literal expressions as a shadow of the true meaning of the beginnings of worship. Before anything else, God desires to have our hearts in His hand, because to give someone your heart is to give them all of you. Change came and God was behind this transformation, ready to reveal to all that what He was trying to do this whole time was win over their hearts. The few men that understood this did life with God: walked with Him daily, invited The Lord to be where they were, and followed The Lord wherever He wanted them to go. It's so easy to recognize a move of God when you spend intimate and public time with God. In your secret place as well as the grocery store, church, between classes, at work, and during lunch conversations. This is a picture of what doing life with God is and it all begins with a rendered, devoted, circumcised heart. You see, a circumcision removes the natural protective covering and what God was saying was this: for a while guys I asked you to circumcise your children because I was giving you a picture of what I really wanted and that was for that wall in your heart that you use to keep me out to be removed so that I could come in. God wants to come in to our hearts and dwell there. Worship first involves us giving our hearts over so that His Spirit may dwell there. When Jesus came He later gave the next revelation and that was this: guys, the temple was a symbol for a long time but now I've been sent by my Father to tell you that when I leave His Spirit will now not just be with you and in He's gonna be upon you because your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Lord tells us in The Book of Daniel that God is the revealer of mysteries and that He is.

(Ezekiel 11:19-20) I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.

My favorite example so far in The Old Testament of what a circumcised heart looks like would have to be in the life story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they're put on the spot and about to be thrown into a burning furnace because they refused to worship anybody/anything else but their God. I mean, I felt empowered as I was reading this.

(Daniel 3:17-18) "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. 

God loves and honors that heart that has let Him completely come in to the point of living a life that screams: My God is the living God and He can do anything for me but even if things don't work out the way I envision I will still love Him and keep my heart open to Him. God just can't resist this genuine heart because we were all created the same fierce and bold potential to love. This is the beginning of true worship that is born from doing life with God.

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