There is a dynamic struggle, balancing knowing about God and knowing God.  It can be called “head and heart”, if you want.  God wants us to have both involved, and I think that each informs the other.

In 2 Timothy 4:6, Paul is nearing the end of his life.  He says

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.

I always thought that I understood this well enough.  Being poured out, being emptied, being drained.  The concept of being wholly committed.  Sure.  I get it.

But our minister completed a sermon series today, with the theme of leaving boldly.  He went through Paul’s comments to Timothy, and explained this one better.  The drink offering was not just people offering God a Coke.  It was something that was poured out onto the altar, before the other sacrifices were made and burned there.  It made a pleasing aroma as the liquid hit the hot altar and went up in steam.

Huh?  God is sniffing burnt wine?

Well, yes.  Here’s a description from Exodus 29:38-42 (the Message), with God instructing the Israelites how to prepare their building for God’s presence.

This is what you are to offer on the Altar: two year-old lambs each and every day, one lamb in the morning and the second lamb at evening. With the sacrifice of the first lamb offer two quarts of fine flour with a quart of virgin olive oil, plus a quart of wine for a Drink-Offering. The sacrifice of the second lamb, the one at evening, is also to be accompanied by the same Grain-Offering and Drink-Offering of the morning sacrifice to give a pleasing fragrance, a gift to God.  This is to be your regular, daily Whole-Burnt-Offering before God, generation after generation, sacrificed at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. That’s where I’ll meet you; that’s where I’ll speak with you

It’s even more clear in the NASB:

the same drink offering as in the morning, for a soothing aroma

It seems real clear that it’s not just the quantity of what’s emptied out, but the quality.  God didn’t ask for water, or milk.  He doesn’t want apple juice or even grape juice.  He wants wine – our blood, our life, and offered freely.  And this is the sweet wine, not sour vinegar, of yourself.

What does God deserve?  What soothes God?  And we have the ability to soothe Him?  Puny little me can calm down the Creator of the universe?  Really?

No, not by myself.  But by His Spirit, and my will.