The story of the Levite in Judges 17 stirred my heart in a way that I've been craving for awhile. We all say that we don't want to serve God for the loaves and fishes, but in reality, many of us do! As I read the story of this man, he was simply on his way to 'wherever he could find a place' (according to one translation) and the only impetus he had for putting down roots in this place was that it gave him a lucrative opportunity to do what he wanted to do. He could serve God on his own terms and collect some blessings besides!
The problem arrived in the form of five spies who 'knew his voice' from another time and place. They sought out his word, and wanted to know what he 'made' there. His reply had nothing to do with God, but rather with the 'such and such' that he received from the man who owned the house.
When they recognized the laxness of his religiosity, they knew he was the man for them. If he could be bought once, he could be bought again! And we see it happen... "He put his hand upon his mouth..." and allowed his 'service' to God to be moved down the road for what he supposed would be a bigger blessing.
I determined anew, and with no small amount of tears...
I will not have my service to God demeaned by 'ten shekels and a shirt'...
I'm not here for the loaves and fishes... I'm here because I love Him!
My worship will not be held hostage until I get what I want from God...
If He never blesses me again... I'm STILL gonna praise His name
If He never blesses me again... I'm gonna love Him JUST THE SAME
If He never blesses me again... He's blessed me enough already
I can NEVER STOP praising Him!