♣ True Worship will Cost
“And David said longingly, ‘Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!’ Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate and carried it and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it. He poured it out to the Lord and said, ‘Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?’” – 2 Samuel 23:15-17.
I DARE SAY that no movie producer or director could replicate this intensely moving scene. I am sure the angels that habitually worship God beheld this moment with awe when David sacrificed the very thing his body desperately needed to survive. David had no reserves; there was no partial pouring, ensuring that he would still have ample amount to slake his thirst. Every precious drop fell to the ground in absolute devotion to his Lord. This was no lack of appreciation or gratitude toward his men that had just risked their blood to satisfy their captain’s thirst; this was too costly, too sacred for David; that very water literally carried life.
Profoundly moved by the brave sacrifice of his loyal men, David ceased the opportunity to give unto God nothing but the very best. Those three mighty men probably never again witnessed such an incredible moment of adoration and I say adoration because it has no regard for self; when one is totally absorbed by the greater, there is no room for self-consciousness or self-regard. In essence, such gratitude could not have been expressed in any greater measure. What an exemplar king, who not only faithfully led his people in the way of justice and righteousness, but who in addition, demonstrated in spirit and in truth what it is to worship God.
That same note of self-denial runs through genuine worship. To worship God aright will cost us. It is as Isaac Watts once wrote of “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all” – that all is everything that we count dear and pour out unto the Lord. There is no spectatorship about it. David was not conscious of being watched; it was of no interest to him to put on a ‘good show’ for others to see; he was too preoccupied with God to regard such triviality. Self-consciousness is self-worship and any good worship leader (as we notice in the Old Testament) always brings a consciousness of God. Nowadays it’s more like American Idol.
It is giving the best we have and when we are truly worshipping there is no calculation as to how costly it is to us; we know our very best still falls short. We can only give our hearts unreservedly and marvel in the grace God lavishes upon us, but the nearest we can ever attain to how we shall worship in glory, in our sin-free state, is when we are conscious of no one but God, when we are swallowed by a profound sense of His majesty. Oftentimes when A.W. Tozer worshipped the Lord, not a word would come out of his mouth while he lay prostrate for hours just gazing on the majesty, beauty and splendour of God. Those times were spent alone with God. There was a man who knew God that cost him his popularity, or rather that he denied to remain true and loyal to God.
The Church is not in need of singers today, it requires worshippers, gifted and non-gifted. We judge by the voice, God weighs by the heart; what may be irritating to our ears may well sound sweet in God’s.
Worship is service unto God no matter how we feel, “Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” (Psalm 103:1); God never changes and is eternally worthy of adoration. Will our feelings dictate; will our needs impose and deter us from worshipping God? What is the sacrifice of praise but preferring God’s interests above our own feelings and needs? In the midst of pain and heaviness of heart, when our spirits are downcast and the darkness will not lift, will we still praise God; will we still bless His name and desire that His name be lifted among the nations far above our own desire for deliverance? Will we still worship Him even though our situation remains the same? That’s a sacrifice of worship; it’s unconditional; it is giving to God with no ‘strings attached’. This is precious in God’s sight. It is giving to Him what we think we don’t have. It is self-denial in practice – it is to pour out every drop of ourselves, to be utterly spent for Him, because He is God.
Posted on October 15, 2014, in ♣ Devotional and tagged 2 Samuel 23:15-17, A.W. Tozer, adoration, angels, consciousness of God, costly, devotion, devotional, feelings, God's majesty, Isaac Watts, Mark Anthony Williams, Psalm 103:1, sacrifice, sacrifice of praise, sacrifice of worship, self-consciousness, self-denial, self-worship, spectatorship, spent for God, splendour of God, True Worship will Cost, unconditional, worship. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.