Memo 1086: No Freebies
As we wrap up this series, I have settled on a title for the book from these entries — Living On Purpose: How To Occupy The Throne God Gives You. All these studies have been designed to help you understand what you must do once you know your purpose and begin fulfilling it. I have defined that as your throne, the place where you bear fruit and impact the lives of others. It also makes me think of Ephesians 2:6-7: "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus" (emphasis added).
This week, we go to 2 Samuel 24 to read an unusual, horrifying story of David's sin when he numbered the troops, which led to God's anger and the deaths of 70,000 people before David called out to God to relent. He then built an altar, to which God responded and stopped the pestilence. The main lesson of the story is that sin has consequences but God in His mercy has provided ways for us to avoid the punishment for sin through the sacrifice of Christ. The verse we want to look at is 2 Samuel 24:24: "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.'”
A PRICE TO PAY
When David decided to build his altar, a prophet directed David where to go to buy the land. It was owned by a man named Araunah, who wanted to donate the land along with the animals and other supplies for the altar and sacrifices on it. Perhaps he wanted to endear himself to David and would expect something in return or maybe his heart was right in the matter, but David rejected his offer because he knew no one else could rectify this situation. David knew it was his sin and it had to be his sacrifice to correct the problem.
This verse reminds me of a verse in Proverbs that says, "Buy the truth and do not sell it—wisdom, instruction and insight as well" (Proverbs 23:23). While God's grace and salvation are free, they aren't cheap. Someone paid the price for you to receive them and that someone is Christ. So while you can access those gifts whenever you need them, once you have them, there is a price to pay to come into the purpose for which God's grace and salvation came.
WHAT PRICE FOR YOU?
People often ask me how I am able to write so much so quickly. My usual response is, "One page and one day at a time. It does not descend from on high as part of the heavenly Jerusalem." In other words, I have to work at it. It's true that every time I write, I experience God's grace, but at the same time, I have to put in the time to write—and hopefully become better at what I do. I always offer my writing up to God to use for His purposes, but like David, I am offering something that cost me something.
The price for my writing is the time I must invest that I can't put into other activities. It's being involved in something that most people won't purchase or pay attention to, even when it's free. It's at times covering the costs of publishing from my own funds. It's often giving away my expertise and assistance to those tho could pay, but choose not to do so—but God still wants me to give myself away to them.
This leads to the simple question, "What price are you willing to pay to come into what God has for you?" Are you looking for a shortcut or a freebie that won't cost much if anything?" Are you willing to put in the time on the missions field, in school, or your ministry to be the best you that you can be? David knew that it was only God's grace that would cut short the raging pestilence. He had given himself to folly but it was time to do something significant because it was a serious matter.
You also need to recognize that your purpose and creativity were purchased at a price and are serious matters with eternal implications. If you want to occupy your throne, you must treat them with respect and devote yourself to their development. If you do, then you will show you recognize that God didn't have to use you, but He does—and wants to do so even more. Have a blessed week.