In Leviticus 6:8-13 we find a recipe for the priests to come before the Lord for no other reason than to have alone time with God. This offering was for pure worship and intimacy, and the recipe explained the proper way to come into His presence.
The burnt offering was different from any other offering or priestly duty. Every other offering was made on behalf of the people—it was for others. But the consumed offering was for God and God alone, an offering the priest made on behalf of himself. The Bible says this particular offering was a sweet smelling aroma to God. The fragrance of this offering traveled all the way to the nostrils of God. It was sending an SOS signal to heaven, and what God saw was:
They love Me. They need Me!
This offering is similar to our time of devotion in the mornings and evenings—an uninterrupted time set aside to pour out our hearts before God. The Lord loves when we take time out to just love Him and ask what He thinks we should do or not do.
Realize this: everything else the priests did was for someone else. But they had their own issues, burdens and regrets. Knowing this, God instituted this offering because He wanted the priests naked, spilled out, and raw—nothing hidden! We are no different. Most of what we do in life is for other people, and realistically we really can’t keep on helping others unless we get alone in God’s presence and spend time in His Word and in prayer.
Thank God we don’t have to find a lamb, slit its neck, take the insides out, wash the organs, cut off the head and legs, trim the fat, and then place it perfectly in the line of fire, wait for the ashes to die down, change our clothes to go and throw the ashes on the ash heap, come back to the camp, change back into our priestly garments, and start all over! Thank you Jesus, we don’t have to do that today.
But we do have to come naked and vulnerable before Him. We do need to take out our inward parts and allow Him to wash them in His Word. We do have to consecrate ourselves every day—our eyes, ears, mouths, and legs—so He can direct our paths. And we must place ourselves in the line of fire so God can consume our issues! So if I could sum up this way of life, it would basically be this: in order for there to be a public declaration, there must first be a private communion and conversation. Let me add that the fire on this altar also was different. God Himself came down and ignited the fire (Leviticus 9:24), but it was up to the priest to keep it burning as stated in Leviticus 6:12, “
“The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out.”
We are the keepers of the fire. The fire had to be kept burning because an altar without fire doesn’t please God. When the fire on the altar of our hearts grows cold, the first thing to go is intimacy, our private time with the Lord, but we continue on in our Christian duties, growing stale and losing our effectiveness. (See: Matthew 5:13-16.)
Copyright © 2017 by Maria Durso, All Rights Reserved. Purchase a copy of my new book, From Your Head to Your Heart Bible Study Guide, on Amazon here.