Wednesday, February 8, 2012

burnt offerings & walking in worship

[raging battles with the seen: part 2]
read part 1 here.

“victory always begins with a cry for help.”
- beth moore (breaking free)

the other day, my sister sent me a beautiful video clip that my nephew created for one of his classes. his assignment was simply to create a short clip that answered the question, “what is worship?”
and the tears i wiped testified that the question was well answered.

right after watching that, i came upon a post that a friend shared, and was immediately drawn in by both the picture and title. the picture was the runner up to the picture that i chose for the truth in weakness facebook page. so i remain incredibly drawn to it. and the title? something about food. and intimacy . . .

fortunately not the typical must-share-my-favorite-recipe post.
nor another endless rant on which diet is better than the others.
it was about how we interact with food. rather, how we interact with Jesus each time food passes through our hands and into our bodies.

given my recent heartbreaks in my relationship with food, the fact that i came to a post about the spiritual dimension of food immediately after watching a video snippet about worship made it obvious that God clearly had something in store for me.

and in that post, i read this:
“i want it to be an act of worship to incorporate intimacy with Christ in all things — even this, the meal-making.”

i could sense that God was wanting to put two conflicting pieces together for me, but i wasn’t quite seeing the how yet. so i walked out to the kitchen with an inquisitive chant that echoed through my mind: “food and worship, food and worship . . . ”
only to discover that my breakfast potatoes had burnt to a crisp.

i turned off the stove, and God then brought these two words to mind:
burnt offering

. . . i knew the term, but what did it mean for me? i googled pondered the thought, and came to another article that said:
“the altar of burnt offerings is also known as the altar of sacrifice . . .
as the Father was willing to sacrifice His son,
as the Son was willing to sacrifice His own life,
as abraham was willing to sacrifice His son isaac as a test of faith by the Lord,
so too, should we be willing to sacrifice all that the Lord asks if we truly desire to return to His presence.

and like a ton (or ten) of bricks, it hit me:
God was calling me to offer this painful area of my life to Him.
to surrender it on the altar of my heart.

i then read elsewhere that burnt offerings served as reminders to those offering of their depravity. and oh, my depravity have. i. seen.
i returned to my scorched potatoes, placed them on my plate, and brought them to my dining room table. to eat them.
as an act of surrender.
as an act of worship.

"so here's what I want you to do, God helping you:
take your everyday, ordinary life—
your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—
and place it before God as an offering.

THIS is true worship.
(romans 12:1, combo of the mssg & today’s niv)

i bowed my head before the almighty King of creation, and with the closing of my eyes began a healing stream of repentant tears. i was overwhelmed and humbled by the privilege simply to come into His holy presence – particularly in the very context that’s been such an ugly one for me.

my soul was remembering the holiness of the One in whose presence i sat.

it was as if, amidst the intensity of my struggle, i had forgotten it.
at least within this context.

my relationship with food has become a place of bitterness, resentment, and perceived entitlement.
where was i when the foundations of the earth were laid? . . .

"surely i spoke of things i did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know. "
(job 42:3)

i was grieved by my complaining.
and lamenting my lack of gratitude.

"let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.
there we will receive His mercy,
and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."
(Heb. 4:16)

i laid it all before Him in confession, and surrendered the struggle.
and i invited Him to transform this area of bitterness, resentment, and entitlement into a place of contentment, thanksgiving . . .
into a place of worship.

i want to walk in worship in this context, Lord.
i want to walk in worship . . .

not just in the easy places of life,
but in the ugly, grueling, despairing places.
when my soul aches within me, i can still worship You.
i can worship You in my sorrow.
i can worship You WITH my sorrow.

that morning, amidst my deep longing to have full freedom with food, God graciously reminded me that He wants better for me.

He wants me to have unbridled freedom for my soul.

"my flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
(psalm 73:26 )

so tell me, friend . . . what are the heavy chains weighing down your soul today? the chains that you've longed for God to loosen and exchange for wings of freedom flight.

cry out to Him.
know He hears you.
and receive His power to walk in worship – even in the most anguished, desperate places of your soul.

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow Tanya. This post is so incredible. What places the Lord is taking you to. The journey must be overwhelming at times for you. How precious that He continues to draw you closer and closer to Himself. Bless you dear girl. Your heart for Jesus is so lovely. xo


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