LEVITICUS 6:12-13: “‘The fire on the altar must be kept burning. It must not go out. Every morning the priest must add more wood to the fire. He must place the burnt offering on the fire. He must burn the fat of the friendship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar all the time. It must not go out.” (NiRV)
OBSERVATION: Am I on fire for God? Is my heart burning with passion when I worship? Are my prayers ignited with faith? Am I daily walking in obedience to His commands? If we are honest, most of our lives resemble a flickering flame, rather than a roaring fire. In fact, most of the time we do not know how to maintain a life of passion and devotion to the Lord. We have experienced it at times during worship, a moment of prayer, or at a conference.
The question is – “How do we maintain this passion through the every day duties and routines of life?”
The “Burnt Offering” in the Old Testament was the covenant offering of the nation of Israel. It was given daily, and was left burning on the altar throughout the night. It represented God’s covenant of mercy and grace with Israel, and Israel’s devotion and worship of Jehovah. It was not an offering that was brought by the individual, but offered by the priest on behalf of the nation. There were two important instructions about this offering – it was to be perpetual, and the fire on the altar was never to go out.
How does that apply to our lives? And, how does that give us insight on how to maintain a life of passion for the Lord in our every day duties and routines of life? We no longer need to give a “burnt offering”, as Jesus has been offered once and for all, as final sacrifice for our sin. Through His blood we have been established in a new covenant of grace. Yet, the Bible does call us to offer a sacrifice. The sacrifice we are called to offer now is a living sacrifice. It is the sacrifice of our entire lives in service and devotion to the Lord.
There is no longer a brazen altar that needs attending. Yet, there is still an altar to attend to, and this is the altar of our heart. We are called to keep this altar ablaze for the Lord. We do this by daily spending time with the Lord through reading and mediating upon His Word, and by listening and talking to Him through prayer. This is how we keep the fire ablaze. This is how we keep the embers from growing cold. This is how we find the grace to resist conformity to the world, and choose rather to be directed in the will of the Lord.
- “Brothers and sisters, God has shown you his mercy. So I am asking you to offer up your bodies to him while you are still alive. Your bodies are a holy sacrifice that is pleasing to God. When you offer your bodies to God, you are worshiping him. Don’t live any longer the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 NIRV
Someone has wisely coined the phrase – “It’s not rocket science!” For some reason we tend to view spiritual discipline in our life as a work that is opposed to grace. Each morning when I turn on the shower, I have to open the door, and turn the faucet on. I then have to place myself in the shower. Yet, I did not make the water, and I did not bring it through the pipes to my home. I simply placed myself in the provision that was already available and given to me. This is the same when we commit ourselves to study, meditation, and prayer. We are simply placing ourselves in the flow where we will meet God’s grace, and where the embers of our heart will be kept aflame.
Then the glowing embers will break forth into a roaring fire when we engage them in active obedience to the grace of God!
Lord, remind me each day, that You have given me everything I need to attend to the altar of my heart. Help me to choose to spend time with you each day, to read and meditate upon Your Word, and to hear your still small voice through prayer. As I place myself in the flow of Your grace each day – ignite my heart with worship, and empower my life through obedience.
In Jesus Name!