PSALMS 40:6-8: “You have not desired sacrifice and meal offering; You have opened my ears; You have not required burnt offering and sin offering. Then I said, “Behold, I have come; It is written of me in the scroll of the book. “I delight to do Your will, my God; Your Law is within my heart.” NASB
OBSERVATION: What does God desire from me? This is an important question to consider because it will determine how I approach my life of faith and my relationship with the Lord. Another way to word this question is,
Does God desire my service or my heart?
Do you know what a “Sunday School” answer is? It is the answer we give but it is not the answer we live. I will never forget one young boy in my last church. Whenever I was with the children he would be the first to raise his hand to answer a question. He would always give me the perfect Sunday School answer but his behavior never matched his answer. (He has since discovered the difference and has grown up to be a wonderful man of God!)
We all know the correct answer is – God desires my heart. Yet, in all honesty, we live as if the answer was God desires my service. Saved by grace through faith, without any effort and merit on our part, we begin to try and please God through our service and oftentimes begin to ignore the true condition of our hearts.
God is always much more interested in what we are becoming than in what we are doing.
If you have been a Christian for any length of time you have learned to “fake it.” We know how to put a smile on our faces, grab our Bible, go to church, sing songs, pray, and hide our true heart condition behind Christian speak – “Praise the Lord!”, “God is good, all the time!”, “I am blessed and highly favored by the Lord!”, “Just walking by faith and not by sight!”. This may fool others, and often fool ourselves, but Jesus knows the true condition of our heart.
The writer of Hebrews quotes this text in relationship to Jesus Christ and the establishment of the New Covenant. Here is that section from the book of Hebrews.
- “Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “You have not desired sacrifice and offering, But You have prepared a body for Me; You have not taken pleasure in whole burnt offerings and offerings for sin. “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (It is written of Me in the scroll of the book) To do Your will, O God.’ ” After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and offerings for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time.” Hebrews 10:5-10 NASB
Jesus did not come to abolish God’s law. Jesus came to fulfill it. Yet, He came to do so by sacrificing Himself and by fully obeying the will of God the Father in His life. Imagine where we would be if Jesus had simply come to earth to teach us how to properly offer sacrifices and continue the service of the Temple. He would have left us in the same place that He found us – with a broken sinful heart and completely dependent upon our service to please God. In no time we would have slipped back into the legalistic bondage He found us in.
Jesus did not come to teach us how to offer sacrifices. He came to give Himself as the final living sacrifice for our sins. He did not simply pay an installment against our debt of sin. Jesus completely wiped out our debt and ended the need for sacrifices and offerings to please God. It was Jesus’ perfect fulfillment of God’s Word and will that opened the door for us to enter into a relationship with the Father by grace through faith. Jesus provided both the provision and the pattern for our life of faith!
- “Then I said, “Behold, I have come; It is written of me in the scroll of the book. “I delight to do Your will, my God; Your Law is within my heart.”
God desires our hearts! I am no longer called to offer my service as a means of pleasing God or gaining His favor. Jesus has paid the full price for my redemption and there is nothing more that I can add to this. Yet, what I can do is allow the Holy Spirit to continually transform my heart. I can hide God’s Word in my heart. I can surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit each day. I can focus on loving obedience rather than outward acts of sacrifice.
- “The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him…If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him.” John 14:21, 23 NASB
God desires my heart. He calls me into fellowship with Himself, not based on my outward performance or service, but based on the love that Jesus freely gave on the cross and the love that we receive through faith. As I am transformed by His love it will naturally transform my actions. Obedience to His Word will become the natural response of my heart and life, not how I obtain God’s acceptance and approval. I will no longer be hiding the condition of my heart behind what I do. I will naturally begin to live out in life who I am becoming!
We give God our hearts when we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. We do not bring to the altar what we have done. We bring to the altar everything we are. This is the sacrifice God desires. This is the sacrifice I need to bring. Lord, give me the grace to follow the pattern of Jesus and offer everything I am to you as an expression of my love and worship!
- “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 NASB
In Jesus’ Name!
yes and amen! thank you