BETWEEN THE LINES a frontline devotional

More Than Burnt Offerings

Day 16

“Sacrifice and offering You do not desire, nor have you delight in them; You have given me capacity to hear and obey [Your law, a more valuable service than] burnt offerings and sin offerings [which] You do not require.”

– Psalms 40:6

Israel had a hard time understanding God’s intentions in giving them the Law. They found themselves mundanely performing the rituals of the day, making sacrifices without really understanding why they were doing what they were doing. Their mindset toward sacrifices can sometimes mirror our own mindset toward worship today. We sing the songs and lift our hands, but many times our hearts are not tied to our words. Have you ever stopped and asked, “What is this for? How do I even participate in a meaningful way?”

David knew how to truly worship the Lord. His understanding of it showed not only in the Psalm above, but particularly in 2 Samuel 24:24 when he said, “I will not offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” A man named Araunah had offered to give David everything he needed for a sacrifice to God. But David didn’t want to just throw up some drive-thru sacrifice. He insisted on buying everything he needed from Araunah. David wanted to take what Araunah had and make it his own heartfelt sacrifice to the Lord.

As the worship team lays songs before us to sing along to, like Araunah laid out the sacrifice for David, then we need to take those songs and make them our own, just like David did, embracing the full meaning behind them. If our minds and our hearts are focused somewhere else during worship, then our worship is costing us nothing. Think about the words, think about what they mean and how they apply to what God has done for you. Then sing those words out to God with everything you’ve got! True sacrifice–true worship–sometimes involves material things and sometimes intangible things, but it is always tied to our heart. It always makes God out to be more important to us than anything else, and it is so much more valuable to Him than any burnt offering.

Confession for today: “Holy Spirit, help me to focus completely on You every time I worship. Remind me to stop and think about You throughout the day: how You love and care about me more than anyone else does, and how You do more for me than anyone else would. Help me, from this day forward, to make a true sacrifice of praise, wholly pleasing to You, my God and my King. I love you and everything that You are.”

Pursue your purpose in Him,

Anthony B.