“For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”
What do you desire? Have you ever stopped and thought about what God desires? Lately, I’ve really been thinking about what God really wants.
All He wants is our hearts.
God cares more about our heart and personal relationship with Him than He does about the good things we do for Him. Does that mean we need to stop serving others? No, not at all. The change that often needs to be made is that we need to make our personal relationship with Him the priority over everything else, even serving others. He wants us to know Him better. God sent His Son to die for us so that we could have a personal relationship with Him.
Hosea 6:6 says, “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”
In Isaiah 1:11-13, God says, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” Says the Lord. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams…When you come to appear before Me, who has required this from your hand, to trample My courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices…I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.”
1 Samuel 15:22a says, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?”
Joel 2:12 says, “‘Now therefore,’ says the Lord, ‘Turn to me with all your heart.'”
In Mark 12:33, it says, “And to love Him with all your heart, with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Our relationship with Him needs to be the #1 priority in our lives. And guess what? When our relationship with Him is our top priority, we will be more effective for the kingdom of Christ than we were before! Our time and intimacy with Him will pour over into all other areas of our life.
Like any parent, God truly wants the heart of His children. Our relationship with Him is worth much more than the things we have to offer Him. The cool thing is that when we are abiding in Him, the things we have to offer Him become more effective because it’s stemming from our closer relationship with Christ.
I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite pastors, Charles Stanley:
“Our intimacy with God- His highest priority for our lives- determines the impact of our lives.”