SCRIPTURE - 1 Chronicles 21:18-19, 22-24
Then the angel of the Lord ordered Gad to tell David to go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the name of the Lord… David said to [Araunah], “Let me have the site of your threshing floor so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped. Sell it to me at the full price.” Araunah said to David, “Take it! Let my lord the king do whatever pleases him. Look, I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give all this.” But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”
After King David disobeys God, a plague wreaks havoc on Israel, and God calls David to build an altar to Him as a sign of repentance. David wants to do right in God's eyes and obeys. He then gets the opportunity to get the land, building materials, and offerings for the sacrifice for free from one of his subjects! Seems like a good deal, right? But David refuses the offer, knowing that true worship and repentance before God must cost someone something if it is to be worth anything.
The more we invest into something (time, energy, resources), the more we are invested. Sometimes, we only go to the gym because we are paying for the membership. You might stay up for hours putting together a Swiss-engineered bookshelf because, while it's already taken three hours, you won't let it defeat you before you go to bed. You're more invested in a relationship that has history, sacrifice, and hardship than an acquaintance without.
Worship to God costing you something may sound a little intense - but it's really a very good thing because it means you value it and are willing to give of yourself to show it. This fast is going to cost many people their comfort or satisfaction. But beyond this fast, what does your relationship with God cost you? Are you giving Him time? Energy? Money? What we invest in, we become invested in.
Ask God today, "What can I give to you to show that I'm invested in my relationship with you?" Remember that this isn't about working to prove that you're worthy of His love; it's fruit to show that you're living in His love.
"God, help me see what I can give to you. Help me as I give you my diet during this fast. Give me the strength and conviction to honor you with my life, and help me to see that as I invest more in my relationship with you, it will only get richer. In Jesus' name, amen."
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