Gad the prophet told David to build an altar for the Lord in order to stay the plague from the people. David was commanded to build the altar in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite. David wanted to pay for the threshingfloor, and Araunah wanted to give it him, free, alongside of his oxen and threshing instruments. And David declined and said I will buy it at a price as I will not offer the Lord what doesn’t cost me anything.
Vs. 24, …Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. (KJV)
Right then and there, I was wowed. That really stood out to me. David is going to offer a sacrifice unto God yet someone else offers for free the very things he needs for the sacrifice. At this point, how is the sacrifice mine?! Sacrifices to God are meant to cost you something. Being in God’s grace and mercy should cost you something. The same way he paid the price for you, you have a price to pay for Him! Your walk with God has to cost you.
You can’t come before God the same way you used to be. You have more appreciation for things you’ve paid for - those things that have cost you a price, than for those things that have not. If someone gave you a car for free, let’s say your parents, most people would not care for the car the same way as if they had worked hard, saved all of their paychecks, and paid for the car themselves. When my best friend got her first car, she did and still does everything in her power to keep it up. You have more appreciation and value for those things that cost YOU.
Digging a bit deeper, your walk with God is going to cost you your heart. Where is your heart? Not the physical location but where does your heart’s honor, desires, and sufferings lie? What are the things that mean the most to you? Are you willing to sacrifice them for God? Your relationship with God has to cost you something.
It may cost you your friends, your job, your relationship, your worldly possessions, your vices… I was just telling my aunt yesterday that a relationship with God is a two-way street. We spend so much time asking God for things and expecting his blessings but what are you offering God?
Besides the belief of his son Jesus Christ, He only requires your heart! What are you willing to give up to be with him? What are you willing to give up to receive all the blessings he has in store for you? Your relationship with God has to cost you something and guess what…you can’t ride the coattail of others. You cannot offer God what doesn’t belong to you.
Let me tell you, my relationship with God cost me. It cost me my familiarity, my friends, my home, my financial stability, the way I dressed, the way I talked, the music I listened to, the things I found fun, my relationship…I paid the price for my walk with God in exchange for the price he paid for me when he redeemed me and delivered me from eternity in hell. I will always sacrifice myself and deny myself as an offering before the Lord!!!!
Back in the Old Testament (several books but namely Leviticus for reference), you were supposed to offer the best in your flock as an offering to God, not the lame or the blemished one. That shows right there that your offering had to cost you something. Offering a lame calf, which was one that no one would buy and you’d probably kill, was disobedient and against God’s law. You were to offer your best – the one that would have made you the most. The offering of it was your cost…your price…your payment. They never went before the Lord empty-handed or with something that wasn’t a sacrifice for them to give.
How dare you go before God with nothing?! How dare you go before God in expectation of deliverance with an offering that does not mean anything to you?! Your offering is meant to ask God to deliver you from whatever you are going through. Yet, most of us want something for NOTHING.
Your offering is supposed to be supplication of God to be your stay in the time of negativity – to be your deliverer, just as the Lord was a stay for David and the people in the time of the plague as a result of his offering. Your offering is meant to deliver you from the mess of your marriage, the mess of your kids, the mess of your finances, the mess of your health, the mess of your heart. But what are you offering?! Your walk with God is going to cost you, what are you willing to sacrifice?