Day Thirty-five = Cut Me Open
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)
Everyone was watching as Elijah took the sacrifice, cut it into pieces, and placed it on the altar. What was going to happen? The prophets of Baal had spent more than half of the day appealing to their gods, with no results. Would Elijah have a better response? Would the God that Elijah prayed to be any different?
“And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood.” (1 Kings 18:33a)
Look carefully at the words used to describe the preparation of the sacrifice. Elijah cut the bull into pieces. Why was this important? Wouldn’t it be easier to simply heap the animal up on the altar and let God set fire? Why did it need to be in pieces?
God cares far less about our outward appearance of worship, but rather is most concerned with the worship that takes place in your inner most thoughts, and heart. Most of us Associate worship with outward expressions such as raising hands, or singing songs; but these actions are not the worship in and of themselves. They are simply the expressions our physical body displays as a result of our worship unto the Lord.
Just as Elijah broke open the sacrifice Christ wants us to be broken, He wants us to take all of the pieces of our heart and lay them out in worship unto Him. Furthermore this cutting or breaking open of the sacrifice implies complete and total surrender. Elijah did not just physically kill the sacrifice but he also broke it into pieces. Christ wants this kind of worship sacrifice of His people. He wants us to not only put to death that which is of the flesh but He further requires total surrender of every piece of our heart to Him, holding nothing back for ourselves.
Once the sacrifice was fully prepared Elijah prayed for the fire of God to come down from heaven. It wasn’t something that required a long drawn out appeal. It was a short simple prayer, and then an immediate response. Fire fell from heaven that day because Elijah knew how to present genuine worship unto God. That same divine fire is available to all of us today. We simply need to offer up to God true genuine worship from our broken and cut open hearts.