I was just about ready to fall asleep the other night, and as my routine dictates, my eyes briefed over my bible reading I have on my iPhone.
Romans 12:1-3 came on the screen…
So here is what I want you to do
GOD HELPING YOU
Take your everyday
Your sleeping, eating, going to work
And walking around life
And place it before God
As an OFFERING….
The word OFFERING jumped out and captured my heart, I could hardly go further. It reverberated over and over in my head as I fell asleep. I had been thinking about what my ONE WORD for 2014 should be and hadn’t had anything resonate just yet. The more I ruminated over it the next few days, the more reluctant I was. I tried to embrace more comfortable words like peace, joy, adventure and more, but “offering” wouldn’t go away.
I took a drastic step. I prayed over it. After about two days, a peace settled over my heart, my fears of what the word COULD mean calmed and I knew that God had chosen this word for me for 2014. My fear was, what if God would ask me something I couldn’t deliver? I know that sounds like lack of faith and trust, but honestly, that is where the trail of my thinking takes me lately on some days.
The interchange of the word offering is sacrifice. I was afraid that God was asking me to sacrifice more than I could give right now. Not in the physical sense, but rather in the emotional sense~because I am feeling weary from the past few years and a bit like the warrior who needs a change of scenery.
I dug out my commentaries (on my desktop-LOGOS) and delved into a study traveling throughout the Old and New Testament grasping what God would have me understand in this little word. What I discovered was nothing short of a miracle in facing my fears. It’s funny how when God whispers something over your heart how the fear can come in and twist what God intends for us to grasp. This was one of those times.
In my initial journey here is what I’ve found. I knew there were several types of offerings in the Old Testament but had no clue that they each had such unique meanings. I never really paid too much attention because we live under the new covenant and we don’t bring these physical offering acts before God as the Old Testament people once did.
I am still unpacking all of this, so bear with me as I think out-loud. I learned that the sin offering is different from the guilt offering. Sin offerings were brought because of sin unintentionally committed but still needed cleansing. Guilt offerings came as a result of individual sins that impacted not only the person but hurting God and others so it required a different process.
Burnt offerings expressed commitment and surrender to God.
Peace offerings implied joyful thanksgiving and symbol of communion with God.
I learned that in bringing the offering brings the blessing and favor of God in our lives.
The miracle happened as my heart opened up to receive ways that my life could be an offering in 2014. Not only what I could bring to God but the expressed communion he desires to have with me alone in the inner sanctuary of my soul.
The word offering can mean both, what I bring to God in my commitment and surrender and the offering that God gives to me in exchange,
A soul at rest,
Communion with my God
Here is how Romans 12:1-3 finishes,
…embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He want from you and quickly respond to it.
This is my hope and prayer for 2014.
What is your ONE WORD?