We were talking in our life group last week about Keith Green. He was a Christian singer-songwriter who was profoundly sincere and highly challenging in his lyrics and his life-style. One of his songs that sticks in my mind – “I pledge my head to heaven for the gospel…” It was required of him – he died in a plane crash in 1982, in the midst of a highly successful career.
In Genesis 8 v 20, Noah prepares his thanksgiving and worship to God by building an altar, and sacrificing some of the ‘clean’ animals and birds.
So being ‘clean’ and pure does not protect you, but rather it qualifies you for sacrifice. Thank the Lord that in most cases, it’s a living sacrifice he requires. (Romans 12 v 1). Maybe I need to take a moment out to think about how that plays out in my life.
The smell of burning flesh – which would be highly repugnant to me – was a pleasing aroma to God. It caused him to make a decision. Why would that make such a difference? As I see it, when something is burned, every part of it is consumed. It is total, absolute, utter sacrifice.
With all of us, I guess we find some parts of our lives easier to sacrifice than others – for some money is a big stumbling block, for others maybe time is what we struggle most with. Or fasting, or letting go of an inappropriate relationship, or an activity that is unhelpful to our spiritual growth. Or something that’s a pride issue for us. I’m guessing that most of us already know the area(s) of our lives that we find hardest to offer over to God. But remember, those sacrifices are the ones that smell the best to God, and that cause him to make decisions in answering our prayers.