Discover His heart: He desires that our lives are a perpetual flame for Him
There’s nothing like sitting around a campfire, reminiscing with friends and family, toasting marshmallows and enjoying the warmth…hair smelling of smoke, the swatting at mosquitoes, listening to ferocious animals in the distance. OK, let me change this scenario. There’s nothing like sitting in front of a cozy fireplace, sinking into a comfy sofa and sipping hot chocolate with worship music wafting in the background. Ahhh…
My husband has completed training in Fireplace Fire Construction 101, and after many years of diligent practice, he’s got it down. Each log is artfully placed to provide the proper airflow, kindling is strategically located to ignite the artfully placed logs, and before you know it, we have a beautiful fire. I love him for that. The fire smolders in the fireplace until long after we have dozed off to sleep, but by morning, not even a spark remains. I can’t imagine the dedication it would take to keep that wood fire going all night long.
Tucked in between the instructions for many offerings to be burned by the Israelites for the atonement of their sins is a paragraph regarding the burnt offering. Offered once in the morning and again in the evening, the burnt offering was presented by the priests for the atonement of the entire congregation. The Lord instructed Moses five times in this short paragraph that the fire was to be kept burning at all times. “Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out.” (6:13)
Jews have long believed that the fire never went out from this moment of instruction from God until the Babylonian captivity some 860 years later. Talk about dedication! Why was this fire so crucial that God expected this commitment? In Leviticus 9:24 we learn that the first burnt offering was set on fire by God Himself, causing the entire congregation to fall face down on the ground. The perpetual flame honored the original fire that came from God and the continual need for atonement or forgiveness for their sins. It was symbolic of perpetual worship and habitual attention or mindfulness of spiritual things.
Do we remember and honor the original fire that set our lives aflame for God? That moment when the Holy Spirit’s conviction burned deep within our hearts and the sacrifice of Jesus cleansed us from our sins? This question causes me to consider what I am doing to keep the fire of God going in my life, a habitual attention or mindfulness of spiritual things rather than the myriad of things that seem to consume my time. Are the gifts and talents He has given me dedicated entirely as perpetual worship and service to Him? Have I fanned the flame of these gifts (2 Timothy 1:8) and put another log on the fire, so to speak, to keep it burning?
I pray that I will never be listed with the dying embers of Laodicea in Revelation 3:15-16, “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold…I will spit you out of my mouth.” I want to be hot, a perpetual flame for Him!
Moving Forward: I desire that my life burns hotter for Him today than ever before, dedicated to keeping His flame going.
Tomorrow @ I Kings 14-18