DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-04-04
WRITTEN AT: Astatula, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Numbers 28:1-4
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give these instructions to the people of Israel: The offerings you present as special gifts are a pleasing aroma to me; they are my food. See to it that they are brought at the appointed times and offered according to my instructions.
3 “Say to the people: This is the special gift you must present to the Lord as your daily burnt offering. You must offer two one-year-old male lambs with no defects. 4 Sacrifice one lamb in the morning and the other in the evening.
APPLICATION: Have you ever attended a church that still practices burning the sacrifices called for in God’s orders to Moses? For most of us, we would probably stay far enough away from such a church, for we might consider this sacrificing gory, or the smell too potent to be anywhere near to, and we might even want to question God’s sense of smell! So what might this whole practice be all about? I believe that when the people laid an animal on the fire – its flesh and all it’s inner parts, it represents us laying our lives bare before God and sacrificing everything we might consider ‘good’ in this life, as we ask God to accept us just as we are without one plea. Surely there is nothing sweeter to God than when we empty ourselves on the altar of sacrifice, and ask God to fill us with more of Himself to fill the emptiness and void left by the world. Here are two reasons, why this might be a sweet aroma to God:
-*- First, because it sets us free. God knows that sin is only pleasurable for a season (Hebrews 11:25). Consequently, whenever He smells the burning of the flesh, it’s sweet to Him because He knows the one making such an offering is set free. “To be carnally, or fleshly, minded is death,” Paul writes. “But to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (see Romans 8:6). Do you want to really live, to have abundant peace? Then put your flesh on the altar and be set free.
-*- Secondly, putting my flesh on the altar not only sets me free, but it lets me see. It lets me see God. Moses was one who desperately desired to see God. “If Your Presence doesn’t go with me,” he said, “I don’t want to go on this journey”. In other words, “I don’t want Your hand. I want Your face. I don’t want something from You, Lord. I just want You.”
Friends, whether or not you are aware of it, what we all crave is the face of God. We often think, however, that we want His hand, as is evidenced by our prayers. “Give me this, Lord. Touch that. Anoint the other. Open this door. Make it happen. My business is in trouble. My kids need Your touch. I’m not feeling very well,” we pray. We seek what God gives rather than who He is. And the problem is, once we get whatever is in His hand, it’s not enough. It doesn’t do what we thought it would do—be it in ministry, family, or any other arena. There’s something even more important than anointing. It’s called the presence of God.
Second Chronicles 7 says that when the presence of God filled the temple, the priests couldn’t even stand in ministry because of it. “Lord,” we say, “we want Your presence, Your chabod in our congregation and in our families.”
“Are you sure?” asks God, “because no one can see My face and live. You’ve got to die” (see Exodus 33:20).
Therefore, to the degree we die to ourselves is the degree to which we will experience God’s glory and presence, the degree to which we will see His face.
This was important for the Israelites as they practiced animal sacrifices, and it is even more important for us as we practice emptying ourselves, or sacrificing our sin, so that God may fill us afresh with Himself.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: May the sacrifice of ourselves, and our eternal praise be a sweet aroma to God, and perhaps even a blessing to us.
PRAYER: You sacrificed it all for us dear Lord Jesus, and we thank You from the very bottom of our hearts for that. May our ongoing sacrifices to You each day, in response to all that You bless us with, be a sweet aroma, and pleasing to You, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Please be so prominent in our lives, that Your light will be evident in every phase of our lives, and may others desire union with our Lord, the King of all kings, and Lord of all lords. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!