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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sacrifice of the Lord

I have been reading in 1 Kin 17, 18.

It took me back in time to the place on Mount Carmel where Elijah confronted the false prophets of Baal, in front of King Ahab, and Israel, and it was clearly demonstrated when fire fell on the altar that the Lord, He is God, not Baal. That has had me thinking...what would it take for the fire of God to fall again on the altar and consume the sacrifice? Do I really want to be consumed? What does that mean? God used this to illustrate what it would take. You can read the directions in Lev 1:6-13 for how the sacrifice must be laid out and dressed and prepared before the Lord. It had to be cut to pieces, (broken-see Psalms 51:17), it had to be laid on the altar, head (carnal mind) and fat (excess flesh), first, and the inwards must be washed with water (Eph 5:26, we are washed as we expose ourselves to and yield to the Word of God). The sacrifice must be broken, humble, contrite, repentant, sincere, and willing to yield all to God. Elijah didn't have to spend hours begging and pleading for God to send the fire. He just had to have everything ready and he believed God.

There is a prescribed order of God and we must be aware of it, and when we see it, be willing to fall in line with it. The fire off the heavenly altar was what purged Isaiah and prepared him to be sent AFTER He got a revelation of the utter holiness and purity of the Lord that left him trembling with reverent fear and awe, and seeing his own sinfulness in comparison with such perfection. Oh, he wanted to be sent, and after the Lord sanctified him and purified him with fire off the altar, he was. In Acts 2 the disciples were touched by tongues of fire when the Holy Ghost came and purified and empowered to lay down their lives for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ. Before this, they had cast out devils, healed the sick, opened blinded eyes, etc, worked many miracles. But when Jesus was arrested and abused, they fled in fear. They could not lay down their lives or be the witness God demanded without the power of His Holy Spirit infusing their bodies and burning up the carnal mind and replacing it with the mind of Christ. We need this...I long for this...and we are promised this. We must do our part. Give up, give all, don't look back, and fall on the Word of God and let it break us into pieces so there is no hardness against the demands of the cross, and surrender our whole lives to the thrilling purposes of God. What a privilege. He fixed it so we must depend on HIM to accomplish this.

When we can see things through His eyes, and see people through His eyes, and get a glimpse of His loveliness and eternity, our perspective will change. No longer will we try to grasp on to material things and that which is so rapidly decaying and passing away. We are fools if we try to hold on to that which has been marked for destruction by the owner and give up the promise of eternal life with the Lord. He is the owner of the world, and He has condemned her. He is going to make a new heaven and new earth. It will be full of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. We would be fools to want to hang on to this one and pass up the one to come.

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