Wholeness and Healing That Comes With Salvation (Will You Be A Horse For God Book 2)
The agency told Michael that he was the illegitimate son of the daughter of an American missionary couple. While in the Philippines with her patents, the girl had fallen in love with a young Filipino man, and she'd had a baby out of wedlock. Because this was a matter of shame and embarrassment to the missionary family, the parents arranged to have the baby taken back to the States and placed in foster care. That baby--who was Michael--grew up in an orphanage and never knew his family background until he paid five thousand dollars in stolen money to find out. The years of not knowing who he was or where he belonged had taken a toll on Michael.
He was in the grip of that ancient paradox: He was born to rule and born to belong to another. Yet he had no sense of belonging, because he didn't know where he came from. His lack of identity and belonging drove him to steal in order to find his origins, and after the first theft, he kept stealing until he finally got caught and didn't want to live as a thief anymore.
In a real sense, we are all born as Michael was. Until we find God and allow Him to become the Master of our fate and the Captain of our soul, we are doomed to feel lost, cast adrift in the universe, without a sense of where we came from, without a place of belonging. That is what the burnt offering tells us: Our most basic quest in life is to belong to someone, to be identified with someone, to be loved and accepted and possessed by someone.
There is nothing more pitiable and pathetic than that person who feels no one loves him, no one cares for his soul. A third requirement of the burnt offering is that it must involve a death. In these offerings, death is always a picture of the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. Only by means of the death of an acceptable substitute--which is Jesus--can human beings ever satisfy their great longing to he possessed by God.
So we must give ourselves to God through Christ, acknowledging that He owns us, that we belong to Him: "You are not your own; you were bought at a price" 1 Corinthians ba. Many people rebel at this idea. They say, "I don't want God to run my life; I don't want to be God's little robot. He loves us more than we love ourselves, and He wants us to be fulfilled and satisfied.
Only when we truly belong to Him can we truly be free and happy. That is one of the great paradoxes and life-changing truths of the Christian faith. You can find a certain amount of satisfaction in having a family to belong to, and in knowing where you came from in a human sense.
But you will never find complete satisfaction by merely knowing your human origins. Your hunger for belonging can find its ultimate satisfaction only in a relationship to God through Jesus Christ. It is the death of Christ that opens the door to that relationship. I once shared a speaking platform with Dr. Henry Brandt, the noted Christian psychologist. He told a story about when he and his wife were dating and talking about marriage. They told each other that they wanted to give themselves to each other's happiness. He said, "I'll never forget the night my wife said to me, 'Henry, dear, I want to spend the rest of my life just making you happy!
This beautiful woman wants to dedicate her life to making me happy' I thought it was tremendous--and then we got married. The first week of their marriage, Henry Brandt told his wife, "Every Thursday night I go out with the guys. Tonight is Thursday night, so I'll be out late. Don't wait up for me. She said, "But you can't leave me all alone! You're married now! You have to stay here with me! Here is her first chance to make me happy, and she has blown it completely!
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Brandt realized that there is a great deal of joy in the fact that a husband and wife truly belong to each other. Even so, the deepest yearning for belonging can never be fully satisfied apart from a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This is what the burnt offering says to us: Only through the death of Christ, which brings us into a relationship with the living God, can this universal desire for belonging be met. That is what accounts for the great sense of joy and relief so many people feel at the moment they surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.
It is a feeling that says, "Now I belong!
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I'll never be alone again! I belong to God! The fourth and final requirement of the burnt offering is that it must be continual. This requirement is given in Leviticus 6, where God gives additional instructions to the priests about how to make these offerings:. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must he kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out" Leviticus What is God saying by that?
Simply that this is the most basic relationship of your life.
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No other need can ever be met until this need is met. Every morning and every evening the people were to offer the burnt offering. It would consume the wood and the meat all through the day and all through the night, so that the fire never went out. The burnt offering was the central and most basic of the five offerings. Through the symbolism of the burnt offering, God says that you can never satisfy any other hunger of your life until you have satisfied your hunger for God love.
Until you are His--body, soul, and spirit--you can never know peace. If you want to solve any other problem of life, you must begin by coming into a relationship with God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.
You must be able to say, "I belong to the Father. I am a child in His family. I know Him as my heavenly Father. I am loved by Him. This, then, is the meaning of the burnt offering: It satisfies our need to belong, because it represents the continual sacrifice of Christ in our lives, Christ the One without spot or blemish, the One who was completely consumed, who died and rose again, and who opened the door to a relationship with God the Father.
Because of the burnt offering sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that relationship can never be broken. We will never be abandoned, never forsaken, never lost. We have our identity and our place of belonging in God. There is no more universal food than bread. Almost every culture around the world has its own version of it: white bread, wheat bread, rye bread, pumpernickel, sourdough, French bread, muffins, croissants, matzo, pita, tortillas, and on and on.
Bread is symbolic of life and in fact is called the staff of life because we lean on it as a person leans on a wooden staff for support. Bread is also one of our most important social ties, for we break bread together as a sign of friendship and hospitality. Here in Leviticus, as in our everyday lives, we see that bread, and the grain flour from which bread is made, has a symbolic importance far greater than we usually realize. In Leviticus 2, we come to the second of the five sacrifices, called "the grain offering" in the New International Version.
Many other versions call it "the meal offering," while the Revised Standard Version calls it "the cereal offering. Of the five sacrifices in Leviticus, this is the only bloodless sacrifice, involving no animal death.
The grain sacrifice could be offered in any of three forms. The first form was that of simple, fine flour, which is a biblical symbol of idealized or redeemed humanity:. He is to pour oil on it, put incense on it and take it to Aaron's sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the fine flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the offerings made to the LORD by fire" Leviticus This sacrifice or offering was clearly intended to be food for the priests.
Leviticus describes a second form in which the offering could he presented:. If your grain offering is prepared on a griddle, it is to be made of fine flour mixed with oil, and without yeast. Crumble it and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. If your grain offering is cooked in a pan, it is to be made of fine flour and oil. Bring the grain offering made of these things to the LORD; present it to the priest, who shall take it to the altar.
He shall take out the memorial portion from the grain offering and burn it on the altar as an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the offerings made to the LORD by fire. You may bring them to the LORD as an offering of the firstfruits, but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma.