Today's devotion from Numbers 8.
This account of the Levites preparing for duty is pretty interesting. After the Tabernacle was lit, it was time to consecrate them for service. They had to be separated and ceremonially cleansed, but verse 13 states something that is powerful to consider. The Levites, themselves, are given as an offering. They are representative of the firstborn among all Israel. They take the place of others, and are obligated to serve God for a season of their lives (30-50 years of age).
Now, I know what you're thinking. You are not a Levite. However, you fail to consider that, in Christ, you are a priest. The priesthood of the believer is one of the tenets of Baptist doctrine. So, from this theological perspective it absolutely applies to us. However, biblically it is validated as well, just look to Romans 12:1.
Too often we think of offerings as being monetary. What is it that God wants from us? Nothing short than everything we can possibly give. He wants us. Not when it's convenient. Not our best qualities. Not our worst attributes. Not a percentage. We are simply to present ourselves before Him as an offering...and that terrifies us.
When we put it all on the table and hold nothing back, we are afraid that God will actually take it. Our lives won't be ours anymore. We won't be in control to do what we want. The reason we fear this is two-fold. First, we understand it all too well. That's exactly what God wants. God wants to lead us and be first. Second, we don't understand it well enough. While God does want us completely, He already knows who we are and will use your passions and interests.
Today our challenge is not to do something, but to be something. Today, our challenge is to be an offering. To present ourselves, completely and totally, before God. Before Him, let us expose our fears, our failures, those areas we are ashamed of and stumble through. Those areas we are happiest about and proudest in are His too. Right now, let's ask for the courage to be transparent before God so that He can use us in ways we never dreamed, and in doing so we can give Him glory we never thought we could afford to give Him.