In I Chron. 21:18-24, King David speaks about offering acceptable sacrifices. He states, “I will not offer to the Lord that which costs me nothing!” When is it an acceptable sacrifice? When we don’t feel good and yet we still worship. When we don’t like the songs, yet we sing them wholeheartedly. When we give of our tithes and offerings and it hurts to do so…THAT’S WORSHIP! The prophet Habakkuk says in 3:17-19, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, and though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food...yet will I rejoice and be joyful in the Lord.” To be able to make that statement and mean it is a true sacrifice!
This lesson of faith teaches us God’s providence, regardless of circumstances, suffering, or loss. Bring your mood to God...if it’s praise, then offer it up. If you’re tired, tell Him. If you’re stressed out, let Him know. If it’s depression, give it to Him with a vow to praise Him (just as David did in the Psalms.) To make this vow is perhaps one of the strongest affirmations of faith in the Bible, yet everyone has excuses when it comes to worship…“It’s just the way I am,” or “it’s my upbringing, or temperament, or just my personality,” yet God is saying “Change!” The word “worship” in the NT (Greek) means work! Let it show on the outside what God has done on the inside!
So often we come to church just to receive from God, and that will always happen if we first come to Give...our time, talent, money, and worship. Again, the great paradox, “Give and it shall be given to you” applies to the worship service. If we would come to the service knowing that we may not receive anything from God, would we still come? Of course, His word will never return void, and He is always doing a work, irrespective of whether we see something happening. If our mentality would be to make a conscious decision to worship God without any hidden agenda, then we truly release Him to do even a deeper work in our hearts and minds.
The scripture says to “Bless the Lord and forget not all His benefits.” When we bless Him, we somehow bring Him beauty, and He is looking for it! True worship is the overflow of a heart that has no requests to make! Psalm 14:5, declares that, "God is always present in the company of the righteous!" May we bring Him acceptable sacrifices when we come into His presence! And if Jesus is truly present, there will always be healing, restoration, and renewal…offering your sacrifices with a humble and repentant heart ALWAYS captures God’s attention…and I want HIS attention more than anything!