The Key to Proper Worship is Continuous Fire on the Altar!

Image result for THe Burnt Offering

Every year, when we get to reading the bible through, we always come to that one book most everyone dreads, but which I have found to be more relevant and interesting than any other of the books contained within Torah (the Pentateuch for all you non-Jews): Leviticus. I know it seems so dull and boring with how to sacrifice and animal and the proper rules for each offering and even how to detect mold in the house, but I came across a very powerful passage Leviticus 6. Its about the Burnt Offering. Having researched a bit and thought it through, I have found that the Burnt Offering, is more about Worship and Full Devotion and Honor than any other of the sacrificial offerings. Its the only one which requires the ALL of the animal being placed upon the altar for consumption by fire–everything from the horn to hoof if you will, gets placed on the altar to be burned up. Why does this sound so interesting? Mainly because in all the discussions of the sacrifices, its the only one which three times God himself instructs that fire must stay continuously lit upon the altar. You can read it in verses 8-13. According to Jewish Encyclopedia, \”this wholeness was not an exclusive mark of burnt offerings among sacrifices in general; for it merely implied that no part of the oblation was to be consumed by any one except the Deity, to whom it was wholly surrendered…From the special occasions of its celebration as given above, it may be inferred that it was honorific and devotional, implying homage to Yahweh and a complete surrender to His service.\” 

Hopefully you caught what was being expressed here…mainly the offering represents absolute worship and surrender. Our lives have been called to glorify God in everything that we say and do; we worship God in speech as well as in action. Our worship also spreads to obedience (hence the surrender) and faith. But what is God saying to us here about the effectiveness of our worship and obedient surrender? Its most effective when the fire is continuous upon the altar. Leviticus paints a picture of priests and Levites walking up early in the morning and going up in the evening to place wood upon the altar to keep the fire going. The implication is also there that they went in between those two times, to check and add wood if needed.  What is expressed is not the type of wood, but the continual attention to the fire and to the altar. Let\’s face it, if we truly measured our spiritual life by our prayer life, how many of us would be happy with the report? My guess is not too many, but its a situation that can be changed as we are willing to make the change. Some of us may need to start a prayer life, others may need to incorporate more personal opportunities throughout the day for prayer and still others may need to discipline themselves in fasting to get back on the right prayer track. In any case, we should as Gods children, spend more time with Him in prayer through the personal altar. 

Worship and surrender are much easier when we are staying in contact with the one we are worshiping and serving with our whole heart and lives. The goal is not super spirituality, its intense intimacy. Wouldn\’t it be nice to come to Church some Sunday and not have to be jump-started order to be moving by His Spirit? If your answer was yes, than perhaps you should consider (as I should consider) the more powerful way of a hot altar, where fire burns continuously. You don\’t have to bring wood (i.e. a need or want) all the time, bring that when necessary; but you do need to bring yourself! After all, that is the intimacy God desires. Intimacy is the ultimate in positioning ourselves to be the most effective in the Kingdom we can possibly be–serving the purposes of God and reaching people with the power of His message. 

Bring yourself, Bring Some Wood, Stoke the Fire Up!

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