“Why do you keep parading through my courts
with your worthless sacrifices?”
Isaiah 1:12 NLT
My family and I got to walk in an Independence Day parade this past weekend. It was fun – we each had a specific responsibility throughout the whole route.
- My job was to make sure my kids didn’t get run over by the recycling truck in front of us or decide to quit the parade halfway through.
- My kids’ job was to hand out candy.
They did their job so well that the candy was gone LITERALLY five minutes into the parade route… five minutes into the 45 minute route.
In their minds, the supply of candy was unlimited! It was okay that they gave them away so quick – there must be more somewhere. And even if that “somewhere” is limited, they assume that we could easily buy more. They don’t think in terms of “our candy budget has been maxed out.” I loved how generous they were but it did cause me to wonder – what if it was their own personal, favorite toys on the line that they had to hand out in the parade?
And how do I act when it’s my own reputation, pride, or track record on the line? How often do I throw God confessions merely to my silly candy sins? What about the ones that are hidden deep within my heart and would actually require me to change some things about my life if I were to genuinely confess them?
Isaiah totally confirms my line of questioning as legit when he shares God’s words to the people of his time, and to me today.
“‘I am sick of your sacrifices,’ says the LORD. ‘ Don’t bring me any more burnt offerings! I don’t want the fat from your rams or other animals. I don’t wan to see the blood from your offerings of bulls and rams and goats. Why do you keep parading through my courts with your worthless sacrifices?'” (Isaiah 1:11-12 NLT)
God doesn’t want my candy confessions or my empty apologies. He sees the depths of my soul and he knows the places I’m not addressing. He wants the real deal. He wants my whole heart and my whole soul. He gave his WHOLE son whose blood paid for my WHOLE eternity with him.
Why aren’t I giving him the areas of my life that really matter: my identity, my purpose, my future, my fears? Why am I just tossing him the “I’m sorry I ate too many cookies today” candy-confessions when the REAL issue is “I’m sorry I am relying on food instead of you to take care of my worries and stress?!”
THIS is what he promises:
“‘Come now, let us argue this out,’ says the LORD. ‘No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool.'”
He wants my deep, crimson stains. He wants the truth; the whole truth. He wants my trust that he won’t leave me if he really knew how rotten I can be. He wants to show me he loves me more than just parade candy standards.
Dear Lord, thank you for loving me enough to want my whole heart. Thank you for sending your son to die for ALL my sins – even the ones that I think make me unloveable. Help me confess my deepest fears to you and genuinely ask for your forgiveness, even when I’m afraid I’m not strong enough to make a change. Amen.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/14843496@N02/3524477812″>another shot of litter</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>