Summary: This text separates those who are spiritually pretense from those who are spiritually intense. It is like the question the demon’s asked of the seven sons of Sceva, “Paul, we know, Jesus we know, but who are you?”
Fire Upon Thine Altar
Leviticus 6:13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.
The bible tells us that ... “the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” This text in Leviticus is one of those probing texts, that cuts through the image we present to others and shows us what we truly are. It is a text that is like the letting down of the anchor that probes the oceans bottom below, and gives a wise captain knowledge of the depth of the passageway beneath his ship. Even as a sailor would call out in ancient days, “20 fathoms, captain! 15 fathoms, captain! 10 fathoms captain!”, this text will sound you out. It will echo and resonate in the corridors of your heart and ask of thee, “Hast thou left thy first love?”
This text is a probing one. It asks of thee, “is there fire upon the altar of thine heart.” “Of what quality is it?” “Is there anything that obscures it?” “Of what intensity level does it burn?” “Is it a flickering flame, smoldering flax, a glowing coal, or a roaring inferno?”
It will cause you to examine the state of the fire upon thine altar, and it gives you a standard by which it must be judged, “it shall be ever burning.” The word burning can cover a lot of different meanings from smoldering to blazing inferno. The Hebrew word translated burning is, “yaw kad.” The depth and intensity of its meaning is exemplified by this passage in Deuteronomy 32:22, where God is expressing His anger at the Jews for worshipping false Gods, and not having faith in Him, “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.” It speaks of a consuming fire,
This text separates those who are spiritually pretense from those who are spiritually intense. It is like the question the demon’s asked of the seven sons of Sceva, “Paul, we know, Jesus we know, but who are you?” It is the amount, and intensity of fire upon your spiritual altar that answers that question better than any other. It cannot be answered by the fire you once had, or the fire you recently had, as deep calls out to deep it searches your being for its own echo. Your fire has to answer its question.
This text is both a commandment and an encouragement. As a commandment it tells of God’s requirement, as an encouragement it implies God’s help in the matter. It is a commandment, which speaks of man’s solemn obligations in the matter. It is an encouragement in that, since it is a commandment of God, God will provide the necessary grace to see that we are able to fulfill it. For He is the only source of the fire He commands we have.
Sometimes it only takes a spark to get a fire going. Here are some sparks from others, and from the Word itself, I trust they will wet your appetite to be alive with the presence and power of God, and that they will help kindle fresh, “Fire Upon Thine Altar.”