“But the king replied to Araunah, ‘No, I insist on paying you for [the field]. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”– 2 Samuel 24:24a
For the past few weeks I’ve been playing schedule ping-pong with some new friends who want to get my thoughts on some things. Normally this isn’t an issue, but I have certain preferences when it comes to meeting with people, and they keep pushing back for different arrangements.
Today, as I felt the creeping tendrils of annoyance begin to attach themselves to my soul, I remembered the many examples in Scripture where Jesus shows that serving others really doesn’t count for much if we’re getting the better end of the deal. It’s the times when we’re inconvenienced, put out, or stand to lose something that serving others reaps the most heavenly rewards.
When it comes to “worship as a lifestyle”, it’s the same thing.
It’s not difficult to stand in a crowd and sing familiar songs, or for some, stand on a platform and play them. It’s not even that hard to really mean it from our hearts. What’s hard is to take those feelings of love for and connection with God and work them out in our everyday life. To live a lifestyle of worship in our workplace, our family, our finances, and our schedules usually costs us something. It usually takes effort. It usually requires sacrifice.
That’s why I love this passage at the end of 2 Samuel. King David knows he can accomplish his “service of worship” without any inconvenience or payment, but he also knows that a sacrifice without a cost is just a show. Because of this, he insists on buying the field he needs for his offering. He says “I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” He knows that when he’s willing to pay a price to do something for God, that’s the kind of worship that really matters.
This week, I hope you’ll have “eyes to see” opportunities to live out worship in your everyday activities. I pray we’ll all remember that the depth of our love for God is measured by how much we’re willing to sacrifice for Him, and that worship isn’t just a 15 minute singing time on Sunday. It’s all the minutes in between.