Thursday, June 28, 2012
Our Memorial Portion
“If your grain offering is prepared on the griddle, it is to be made of fine flour and oil…He shall take out the memorial portion…and burn it on the altar as an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD…” Lev. 2:5-13.
I just love reading Scripture and having the Holy Spirit interpret, reveal and lift life’s application to my heart and mind – there is no greater Teacher. Leviticus records the many offerings that were commanded by God for His chosen people to be set apart. One of these offerings was called the grain offering. Before the grain offering could be offered as a pure gift it had to be ground to fine flour with olive oil added. The process of making fine flour was to mill and sift the grain. Olive oil was a representation of new and fresh products from a harvest once the grain was broken down.
Today’s grain offering is more of an attitude of the heart. It is an expression of total thankfulness to God and wholehearted devotion no matter what suffering we are experiencing. When my father-in-law lived with us in the final stage of Alzheimer’s, I felt as if I was being milled and sifted daily. Who I thought I was didn’t seem to match who I was witnessing in the mirror. I had a crisis of identity deep in my soul as I battled resentment, fatigue, anger and guilt. I would move in and out of these emotions as my soul took hit after hit, and Satan didn’t miss a chance to point out my Christian shortcomings. Once I surrendered my will, agenda and motivations on the altar of God, I began to see the offering come together. I brought the grain – the unfinished raw fleshly body – and God transformed me into His fine flour. Through the oil of the Holy Spirit I was given the hope of a new harvest.
‘Our families, our jobs, and our reputation are our marks of self-identification. But pain has a way of stripping us of those marks. Tragedy takes away family, friends, finances, health – marks of our identity. In short, pain leaves us in a personal identity crisis…When all of those other things are gone, we can begin to see our self-worth and identity defined by our relationship with God in Christ’ Faith Limps, p. 79, 81.
As we offer our flesh selves to God, the memorial portion, He will transform us through the fire of suffering into the fine flour of Christ, adding the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit. Once the Trinity is at work in our lives we will be a perfect aroma and beautiful offering to God.