I am in Leviticus for my daily reading which is not the most exciting book of the Bible. I should not be surprised that God speaks even in the mundane. The verse above spoke to me loud and clear. Here is what this means to me:
In the inauguration of the traveling tabernacle of the Lord, the sacrifices placed on the altar were accepted by the Lord, and consumed by a fire that came from the glory of the Lord. This was no ordinary fire, it was sacred fire, holy fire from God Himself. It is this fire, started by the Lord, that was to never go out.
"And there cam a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat, which when all the people saw, they shouted and fell on their faces." Lev. 9:24
When I became a Christian, (or anyone who becomes a Christian for that matter), God put His fire within me, and that fire is not to go out. Just as the priest had to keep that fire going by feeding it wood every morning, I need to keep God's fire within me lit by feeding on the word each day. The word is my fuel that keeps God's fire burning. I don't always do this. I get so busy with my day that I sometimes leave God out. I think, then, my day has the potential to be fueled by "strange fire"--a fuel source taken from some place other than God.
In Lev. 10:1 Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took fire from their own cisterns and offered "strange fire" before the Lord, and God killed them. They entered the tabernacle with a profane fire, a common fire, that offered no protection, and they instantly perished. Worse, God did not allow them to be mourned. While this seems harsh, God had clearly commanded them about the fire, and they disobeyed. God clearly tells us we are to have no other God, to abide in Him, to fellowship with Him, but I/we...are busy. I think God will understand. But who is it hurting--Him or me?
Fire produces smoke, and that smoke is to be a soothing aroma to the Lord. (Lev. 6:15). My fire--my God fire produces smoke that is pleasing to God. I believe that smoke manifests itself in the fruit of the Spirit: love, peace, patience, joy, gentleness, kindness, and self-control. What kind of smoke comes from the "strange fire"? Anger, wrath, hatred, impatience, lust, pride, and no self-control.
What a lesson God gave me today. I want my smoke to be of the Spirit of God! Lord, help me walk in it.
|from Stephanie Ackerman at: http://www.homegrownhospitality.typepad.com|