On an upcoming podcast, I read part of something I wrote back in the ‘90s. It’s called “Penny for the Plate” and I included it in a post with the same name. Check it out! In it I show how we have nothing of any true value to give God but that which holds our heart. Anything we love that stands between us and our unbridled focus and love for God is what we can offer.
Offer it to Him in Worship
Today I’m seeing further that anything that stands as an obstacle to my relationship with God can be used as an element of worshipping Him. And in this post, I’m speaking of any obstruction. What this means is, for example, if I have resistance or anger towards the Lord, I can offer it to Him in worship. I don’t only need to take my wrong attitude to Him in repentance; I can also offer it to Him in worship.
I know this sounds extremely strange! Who would think that things appearing to be against God could be used to worship Him? What I’m saying is that when I lay down my anger, resistance, willfulness, etc. as an offering, it’s a form of worship.
Worship is Yielding
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:1 NKJV
Sure I can give the Lord a thank offering, when I am thanking Him regardless of the circumstance. This is to thank Him because He is God. But what I’m talking about here is a worship that surrenders and yields, as an offering, all of my heart and all that is in it. Christ isn’t only looking for that which is pleasing to emanate from my heart. He’s looking for my whole heart, which includes all that I am, all that I feel, all that I am going through, right NOW.
Worship His Dwelling
Let’s say I have anger in my heart. If I only give Him my sweet thoughts of love and affection, then I rob Him of the part of my heart where my anger dwells. If there’s something in my heart that’s aggravated, then I need Him to dwell there. But if I don’t come to Him and offer to Him this aggravation as worship, then I’m not inviting Him all the way in.
God’s not my little errand boy who exists simply to clean up my mess; He’s the Lord of my heart. And my God wants ALL of my heart to worship Him, even the areas that seem more resistant than surrendered. To worship the Lord with my frustration, invites Him in to fellowship with me and transform this place into His dwelling.
I think many Christians believe that we’re only to offer up our polished places for worship, but this excludes Him from some of the places I need Him the most.
To give Him my sadness, my anger, my frustration, my bitterness, my resistance…is to give Him full possession of my heart and life. And I contend that His interest is in relationship, and He’s not a fair-weather friend. He’s not interested in my good, smiling face; He’s interested in my entire heart and life.
So how do I worship Him with my rage, anger, lust, and bitterness? By giving them to Him as an offering, just as the widow did with her mites. She gave all she had by giving her two paltry copper coins. But the thing that made the widow’s mites worthy to God was the value it held in her heart. The two coins had no intrinsic value in themselves; their value was attributed to her value of them. We too can offer Him all we have, by presenting what we value. We do this by giving Him all of our hearts, just as they are—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
“Father, I am filled with ______, and I offer it to you in worship. My ______ holds claim on my heart, now I give it to You as something I have treasured. ______ held captive my heart, and prevented my heart being wholly Yours. Now I give you my ______, and the trust it held in my heart that You may dwell in and fellowship with me there. My heart is Yours!”
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And He called His disciples to Him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Mark 12:41-44 ESV