"I hate, I despise your feast days. And I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. But let justice run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream." Amos 5:21-24
Have you ever just gone through the motions? Stood up in church, sang to songs, sat down, bowed your head in prayer, opened your eyes, opened your bibles...said amen? Trust me...I know we all have. This scripture stood out to me in my quiet time because I thought about the many feast days, sacred assemblies, offerings, and songs that I have attempted to bring to the Lord. How many have been despised? How many were offered without a pure heart?
Oh LORD, what is a pure heart? Father, how may I know what you hate and what you love? When I offer things to you, are they accepted?
"Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my Strength and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:12-14
Only the Lord can cleanse us to purity. Only He can overwhelm our souls to the place of Godly sacrifice. Only our Savior is big enough to make us blameless of our great transgression. Only He knows our hearts...why not ask Him to dig into the depths of it and pull out what is in there, that he may refine it and make it His?
"Search me, o God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139: 23-24
God, search me! Search out my wicked ways and lead me away from them! What of my offerings to you are not done with a broken and contrite heart? What of my actions, my 'rituals' are not done of a pure conscience? Reveal to me those ways of the flesh and restore a righteous, repentant, clean, acceptable attitude of giving, praise, and thanksgiving.
What does the Lord want from us? What causes His heart to rejoice? What of our sacrifices please Him? Are they found in our actions? Or is it something deeper?
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart - these, O God, you will not despise." Psalm 51:17
"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