I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.1 Chronicles 21:24
When David is asked to built an altar of worship to God, this is his response to the man who wants to offer it to him for free..
“I won’t offer burnt offers that cost me nothing!”
What a radical view of worship! I think David is onto something and perhaps it can teach us about what worship is.
I think initially worship as a Christian was an enjoyable thing (I mean, it always be). It was invitational and formative in our walks as believers because in it, we felt the presence of God and taught us to respond to him.
But as some point, worship moves from a place of emotional convenience, to one where one recognizes the infinite worth of Jesus and so spends themselves to worship him.
There comes a point when we realize that “Jesus is worthy!” and it moves our worship from just because it’s convenient or fun, to one where we go great lengths to lay before his altar. This is a dimension of worship that American Christianity is perhaps not used to–a worship which costs us something.
What if worship services started at 5am instead of late morning? Or if we had to trudge through the snow to worship him (I know, only applicable to my non-southern-California friends)? Of when we started getting ridiculed and mocked in our families or friends for becoming a Christian.
In other words…
Will we worship Jesus when it’s not free?