Today we’ve been reading about Aaron’s sons and the lessons we can learn from them and about worship. It’s not specifically mentioned here what ‘unholy fire’ is, commentaries usually say it was that either they tried to ‘improve’ upon God’s recipe for the incense or that they had too much wine based on God’s commands from later in the passage - either way, they were offering sacrifices to God incorrectly.
The way we worship and offer ourselves and sacrifices to God matter to Him, as well as the way we approach Him. If God has spoken to us about a call, a way of worship, a way of living and we don’t follow that then He doesn’t see it as worship at all. It’s in the same way that our own righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:4) if we deviate from how God has instructed us to live and to worship, it’s meaningless and prideful - it becomes about us feeling good about what we’re offering rather than the focus being on the one we are offering it to.
Just as in the parable of the Rich man and the Widow (Luke 21:1-4), it’s not about the feeling good or putting on a good show, you can see the woman was giving from ‘the secret place’ and would receive from God humbly and deeply, the rich man received all he was going to get from those around him and their reaction to his ‘giving’.
Worship, sacrifice and giving to God need to come from a humble heart, a heart focused on the one we are worshipping, it’s not about the show. Some of my closest times with God have been when I’ve simply stopped trying and been ‘real’ with God, just as the song says ‘When the music fades, and all is stripped away, and I simply come...’, there are times for the big, loud celebration, but also there are times when a simple, humble approach to God with our arms and heart open is the worship that is most pleasing to Him. We need to remember, “it’s not about me”, it’s all about Him and sometimes, what we think is worship isn’t what He is looking for but if we listen and follow where He is leading, we will meet with Him and give Him an offering that is a pleasing aroma to Him.
Father God, I am sorry for the times I have made worship and serving something that is pleasing to me but not to you, please forgive me and lead me in my worship so I can offer worship that is honouring to you. Amen.