I’m so thankful that the spirit of religion is finally being exposed for what it really is: a super gigantic shackle on the minds and hearts of some believers that prevents them from seeing and understanding the heart of God. It reduces Christianity to a list of rules without context. It condemns and shames. It is ritualistic, without power and lasting substance, and is, frankly, quite boring!
Many, like me, are fed up and desire more. We want relationship with Father. For me, my prayer has been, “Let me be like David.” I want God to look at me and say, “There goes my daughter, a woman after My own heart.” That prayer was reignited a few days ago when someone I was talking to on the phone and never met before prophesied to me that I was a David! Incredible! But then the questions came, “What does that mean? What does that look like?”
The first place God took me was 2 Samuel 24:24. Since the root of religion is doctrinal versus relational, it fails to teach us how to relate with Father. As a result, the praise, worship, and service we offer to Him in this paradigm are more routine, self-fulfilling acts with no heavenly impact. In this scripture, David was preparing to offer a burnt sacrifice to the Lord and was given the oxen and the threshing floor on which to conduct the offering. However, David’s heart would not allow him to offer anything to God that did not cost him anything. So, he purchased them instead, built the altar and offered the burnt offering to the Lord. And God heeded David’s prayers! Wow! Now let’s not get caught up about the money. David was king after all and had plenty of resources. So, it wasn’t the money that moved God. It was David’s heart position. It was contrite, humbled, broken, submissive, obedient, reverent…and familiar with God! David knew and loved God’s heart! He had spent so much time in pursuit of Him that he knew what pleased Him. The pursuit is what made him “a man after His own heart.”
Unlike religious-based actions, there must be a cost to what we offer God. Even if it is just our focused attention, the cost attaches a value to the offering. For David in this scripture, the cost was pride. He put pride down to offer a sacrifice to God on behalf of Israel. For some, it may be the familiarity of comfort zones, preferred plans, being able to sleep in, a comfortable employment position…or even money. I could go on and on, but remember. The size or nature of the cost is less important than the positioning of the heart as you offer your praise, worship, or service to God. And the only way to ensure proper heart positioning is to reject the ritualistic view of God and engage with Father daily as a…well, a loving, totally into you father!