Present yourselves to God as a living sacrifice. Roman’s 12:1
A sacrifice is an act of offering something. It could be a gift, or an act of service. A gift is an offering, but a sacrificial offering is going to cost you something more. For example if you offer your neighbor a ride home, that is a gift or an act of service. If it’s on your way it’s not really costing you anything. If you offer someone on the other side of town a ride home, that is a sacrifice – it’s costing you something (gas, time, money). Think of how much God is worth to you, would you bring your least effort, or your greatest one? Take a moment and think about what God has done in your life; does it stir you to worship Him in gratitude? The word of God says, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) It’s really hard to sing to a song you hate, especially if you don’t agree with the words. Let that sink in for a minute.
But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24
Sin offerings and different types of sacrifices were quite common in the dispensation of law. I am not sure I could have survived back then. If you ever read through Leviticus, I think anyone would have a hard time keeping the rules straight! But man could not conquer sin on his own. Man needed a savior to fulfill the law once and for all. Jesus was that perfect sacrifice that made a way for us. He offered us a free ride home so to speak! Even so, worship is not an easy task. There are so many things vying for our attention. Have you ever began to pray or worship and something else jumps into your mind? You tend to it for a moment but that minute turns into an hour, and then you have completely lost out on that time with God. The devil wants to distract us and steal our worship, and the joy of our salvation and communion with God (Hebrews 2:3). True worship costs you something, because our flesh is enmity against God, and it does not naturally want to worship God. We seek to please our flesh (Romans 8:7). Does your life revolve around God, or does He revolve around your schedule. Is He first or last on your list?
I find it easier to worship after I’ve gained a victory over something, or even when I am struggling. But, we need to learn to worship God even in the good times. Its then we usually get comfortable with His presence and forget. Even if you don’t feel like it, when you begin to worship, God inhabits your praise (Psalm 22:3). God waits on us to come to Him, so when we want a move of God, we need to move! In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). When we move, God moves in our hearts. He will stir your heart and set a fire in your soul. Sometimes we just need a refreshing from God, just to spend time in His presence and soak Him in.
I always wonder what our worship sounds like to God. I imagine it is like a symphony in the ears of God. Especially when the body of Christ in every nation and tongue are praising Him at the same time. Could you imagine hearing Christians all over the world in one accord praising Him? Have you ever felt moved by a piece of music, or the sound of a child singing. Imagine the joy it must bring the Lord. I believe one day we will hear the sound.
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Psalm 98:4
I praise Him continually for paying my debts now and forever, so that I can focus on loving Him and serving Him. His grace is freely given, because there is nothing we did to ever earn it. Love is a sacrifice, it is not self-serving. There is no greater love (sacrifice) than a man who would lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). If someone died for you or risked their life for you, how highly would you praise them, or go out of your way to thank them? This should be our attitude when we enter into worship. It is more than a song, or feeling. It is a constant giving of ourselves unto the Lord, living lives that glorify Him for what He has done for us. Anything worth having in life comes with a cost. Jesus thought we were worth giving His life for. He is worthy of our highest praise.
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Hebrews 13:15
God is not moved or impressed with our worship until our hearts are moved and impressed by Him. Kelly Sparks.