“And when they had opened their treasures, they presented to Him gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
This week’s message is about the significance of the gift of frankincense which was brought to Jesus by the wise men.
Frankincense represents the divinity of Jesus. It was used in worship, as well as in medicine, anointing oil and perfume. In Bible days, frankincense was an expensive substance because it was collected in remote parts of Arabia and North Africa. Gathering frankincense resin was a time-consuming process. The harvester scraped a cut on the trunk of this evergreen tree, and over a period of two or three months, the sap would leak from the tree and harden into white "tears" which would be scraped off later. This hardened gum would then be distilled to extract its aromatic oil for perfume, or crushed and burned as incense. This is a picture of the worship we could bring to Jesus, in this fast pace life, where time is a costly commodity which makes worship a costly sacrifice.
Some traditional churches still burn incense before their altars, but for us today frankincense represents another kind of worship. It is the higher level of worship the Lord is beckoning us to this year. It is worship that is led by the Holy Spirit and drenched with the fragrance of His love. It is heart to heart, spirit to Spirit communication that opens the heavens and aligns us with the Throne room. It is the kind of worship the Father seeks (John 4:23), and the expression of a heart in love.
Friend, God wants you to be that evergreen frankincense tree, which brings forth the substance of this costly perfume. Every heartbreak or disappointment you may have experienced was like the knife cutting into the bark of the tree. Every challenge and painful experience you have been through has drawn forth the fragrant sap which was distilled and purified. You may have felt crushed and alone, but you learned to depend on the Father’s love and to seek His face with longing. Difficult times can make us bitter, but as we worship and yield to the precious Holy Spirit, real perfume arises from the heart. Our worship makes Abba breathe His healing presence on each time of testing and this brings us through stronger and more victorious.
Frankincense worship is low and slow. As we take time to commune with the Holy Spirit He aligns us with the heart of God and brings us into a place of real humility. He purifies our heart’s desires and makes our tears as treasures offered before the Throne. We become a sweet smelling sacrifice and the fresh aroma His heart desires! We become that place of worship and His holy home.
You can make this year radically different by bringing Jesus your frankincense worship. The sweet fragrance will be in you and upon you, and begin to touch the lives of those around you. It will change your attitudes, responses and behavior, as Abba’s liquid love fills you up and changes how you see those around you. Every situation of conflict will begin to melt in the presence of the One within, as your worship changes the atmosphere around you and takes you on to higher ground.
Dear friend, know that you are an evergreen tree, ever filled with the fruitfulness of God’s presence. There is nothing you cannot overcome if you set your heart to be a true worshiper. I pray that this will be the turning point in your life, and the open door to all the glory that has been deposited into your heavenly account. God loves your worship and He is looking for more. May your frankincense worship touch His heart and take you into new levels in Him, levels of joy unspeakable and full of glory, in Jesus’ mighty name, amen!
Minoli Haththotuwa, 20 January 2014