“And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on’” (Mark 12:43-44, ESV).
There is a lesson for us in this story about enrapturing God’s heart. This lesson goes beyond the immediately obvious financial implications that Jesus made here. The same thing He observed about the offering of the widow’s money… applies to the offering of our hearts in worship.
It’s easy to worship God when everything is going your way. It’s easy to lift your voice in lighthearted praise when you just became the owner of a brand new car. It doesn’t take much effort to cheerfully bless His name when the big fat check just came in the mail. It comes pretty naturally to smile Heaven’s way when your boss just told you he’s decided to promote you and significantly increase your salary.
Praising the Lord when life feels like smooth sailing is equivalent to the contributions the “big givers” were depositing that day into the offering box. And of course! Praising Him when blessings are raining down in abundance is entirely appropriate – even biblically mandated: “Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise” (James 5:13b, NIV). By all means, let’s not forget to thank Him when His generosity shines on us in undeniably obvious ways!
However, this is not the kind of worship that most captivates God. There is worship at a deeper level that moves all of Heaven like no other.
Do you see in this story who really grabs Jesus’ attention? It’s the lady who really didn’t have anything to offer, and gave anyway. She poured out the last bit of her resource on God. This is lavish. When we don’t have anything left to give emotionally, and yet we pour out to Him our love, this steals God’s heart. This causes His inner being to well up, spilling out in deeply moved tears.
In fact, our sacrifice of praise during life’s hardest moments stirs the heart of God… more than all the continual, glorious adoration He receives in Heaven. Rick Joyner recently explained it this way:
“The greatest music ever heard on the earth does not compare to the least in heaven. However, the worship on earth—even the driest, struggling worship that we do here—can touch God more than all of the worship in heaven. In heaven you cannot help but to worship, and He knows this. When we are struggling through all of the battles and trials on earth and we still thank Him and try to worship Him—as feeble as it is at times—it deeply touches God, and all who are in heaven witness it.”*
Is it a struggle to love on God today? Then today is the very best day to love on Him. Believe me, your worship is stealing His heart away. Just like Jesus was sitting there watching people give that day (v. 41), He is right now intently fixated on the offering of your heart. Overwhelmed, He is recording it in His book, and He will never, ever forget it, for all of eternity.
Why do you think Jesus sat down to watch people give their offerings in the temple? With what kind of eyes did He watch?
*From Morning Star Ministries’ Word of the Week, “What Is Heaven Like?”, https://www.morningstarministries.org/resources/word-week/2018/what-heaven-book-revelation#.W47XRs5KiM8