S85P4 – The fruit of fire: a ready sacrifice

Lev. 6:8-9, 12-13

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law of the burnt offering: The burnt offering shall be on the hearth upon the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it…And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings. A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.’ “

He was one of those people who jumped both feet first into whatever new adventure he undertook.  Whether it was learning a new hobby or fostering a new friendship, he was all-in from the start.  This also was his approach to his newfound faith once he met Jesus Christ, but it came at a cost.  He could not have predicted what this level of spiritual commitment would mean until he was pressed to walk in it.  What he found was a Savior who sought a heart as sacrificial as his own.  It seemed like every corner he turned presented another opportunity to choose whether he would give to God something else he held dear.  To go all-in with the Lord would mean to be prepared for any sacrifice necessary.

God will ask us to put many things on the altar of sacrifice for the purposes of his kingdom’s advancement and our spiritual growth.  Sometimes those sacrifices might not seem that great.  For example, conversations about our faith with those who do not believe can leave us singled out and the object of ridicule among our peers.  Other sacrifices are much more difficult to accept.  Perhaps following Jesus Christ means that certain personal relationships cannot continue.  Whatever it is that God asks us to place on the altar for him, the expectation is that the fire is ready and waiting to burn it up when He asks.  God is looking for those who will keep that altar fire burning not out of obligation but out of a desire to please him with the sweet fragrance He seeks. 

There are so many temporary things we will be tempted to treasure, and we will hesitate to see them go up in smoke even at the request of the Lord.  It is not for us to keep unhealthy and fruitless attachments to that which serves no good eternal purpose.  We do not always have the discernment to know what those things are, but God does.  He leads us when it is time to place these valueless treasures on the altar of sacrifice to be burned up as a sweet fragrance to him.  It is not the substance but the act which brings him pleasure.  Father, teach us to recognize the value in being ready to sacrifice whatever is required whenever it is required so that we would please You.