Pleasure vs Pest

This week I am looking at comparisons while in lockdown mode – yesterday was fear vs focus.

There is a cute (?) YouTube clip out there of a little child eating ice cream. They’re laughing and then they flip – they give the Evil Eye look. Though the video is over 12 years old, and it’s still viral in its viewership.

See the video here

But now the kid would be near their teenage years – and I would imagine that if they gave the same look to their parents, it would not be so cute anymore. I remember my child giving me an evil eye occasionally – all valid reasons for a DiNozzo moment (watch older NCIS episodes to understand this reference.)

We are under orders to shelter in place and that means many parents are ‘stuck’ with their kids many waking hours of the day. And what was once cute in their children is now wearing thin – the niceness is turning to a nuisance.

The child throws his fork or food on the floor. You might think it is cute the first or second time – but what about the 93rd time? You like that TV show that keeps the kids entertained – but how many times do we have to watch Frozen 2? For my kid, it was Barney. I came to despise that purple version of the antichrist. 6 toes, six fingers, six spots – straight from the depths of the pit.

The purplesaurus is evil I tell you

Now I could be the poster child of nuisance here. I try to use humor in almost every scenario. Having an argument? Let me tell a joke. Moments of silent awkwardness in a conversation? Try humor. Preachings to people that seem to be losing interest (aka falling asleep)? Throw in a funny line. These work sometimes. But I know for a fact that it gets annoying and it becomes more of a nuisance.

So I wondered what do we do that God finds a nuisance … and I discovered Malachi 1.13.

You also say: ‘Look, what a nuisance!’ And you scorn it,” says the LORD of Armies. “You bring stolen, lame, or sick animals. You bring this as an offering! Am I to accept that from your hands?” asks the LORD.

CSB

When we give God our second best, when we try to deceive Him with worthless, even stolen, offerings, He is not pleased. Our offerings should be sweet aromas, they should be bringing pleasure to God. But we’ve become pests. We give Him left overs, ritualism, and things that are meaningless to us.

Our offerings should be sweet aromas, bringing pleasure to God.But we’ve become pests.

So how do we return to true worship and bringing Him pleasure …

  • Remember who He is and what He’s done for you (Easter is a powerful reminder). The greater the knowledge of the one you worship, the greater the worship.
  • Repent – turn from your selfish ways of doing things and return to His ways.
  • Return to your first love (cf Rev 2)
  • Raise up praises – true thanksgivings and adorations. Write them down, Tweet them, share/shout them out, sing them.

This whole “no gathering to worship” is a punch to our mode of worship. But it is also a wake up call to our heart of worship. Why do we gather? What is it about? Who is the focus, me and my delights or Gods?

May my worship bring Him pleasure! May my life be my worship.

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