“Romantic love is blind to everything except what is lovable and lovely, but Christ’s love sees us with terrible clarity and sees us whole. Christ’s love so wishes our joy that it is ruthless against everything in us that diminishes our joy. The worst sentence Love can pass is that we behold the suffering which Love has endured for our sake, and that is also our acquittal. The justice and mercy of the judge are ultimately one”
– Frederick Buechner
The Love of God in Christ is not blind to our condition, if it were, there would be no need for the Christ of Calvary. Love atones for sin, suffers for and with sin and ever seeks our freedom from its deathly power. No greater love…
“Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day”
Nadab and Abihu kindled their own fire; they knew not the difference between the Holy Fire of God and the religious fire of men. The fire of God falls upon those who are aware of their dependence upon His presence. The flame of God is His to give, and ours to maintain (Jude 1:20-21). In the days of Eli the priest, when Israel had fallen into great apostasy, we read in the scriptures the following description of the times:
“…the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision”
1 Samuel 3:1
The Hebrew word translated “open” literally means breaking forth; there was no vision bursting forth in Israel. The Word of the Lord was rare. The Priesthood were doing their religious routine, they were reading the prescribed scriptures as per the Law, but it was NOT the Word of the Lord. Where the living Word of God is scarce, there will be no vision bursting forth upon the people of God. The people of God were not being gripped with God’s purpose for their day. It was because of this apathy wherein the Lamp of God goes out! We see that the Word of the Lord to the Ephesian Church was that if they did not repent of their apathy God would remove His Lamp from their midst (Revelation 2:5).
“And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord”
1 Samuel 3:2-3
The mundane and unremarkable lives of His own, and the tepid hearts of many ministers, culminated in the Lamp of God going out in His house! It was The Lamp that burned with the Holy Fire of God having been kept for over 450 years by the Priests of the Lord; yet in Eli’s day it went out! It was a fire which could not be rekindled. It could not be manufactured by the will and energies of religion. As with Elijah, this fire only falls when God bears witness to any who are living and walking rightly before Him.
The Fire of God fell when the Tabernacle had been completed to God’s specifications. It fell when the singers and dancers were of ONE voice in Solomon’s day. It fell when Elijah had completed his obedience to the Word of the Lord in His day. It fell upon the people of God as they met in “one accord” in the Book of Acts. Throughout the history of the Church His fire has fallen when she could no longer tolerate the feeble fires of man’s making and the carnal aspirations of men seeking their own glory. In such times there was a cry from the people unto God to visit them afresh with His eternal fire.
During Eli’s time, when the lamp of God went out in His House, God simply deposited that fire within a man (for God’s fire will never leave the earth); a man who would declare to the House of Israel their waywardness and compromise, and would speak to the priesthood of that Day of their end and of a new beginning. The very night the Fire of God went out in the Tabernacle was the same night that God began to raise up a prophet to speak His Words and to usher in the dynamic change to God’s backslidden priesthood. Later he ushered in the Kingdom of David and pronounced an end to Saul’s reign.
Change is coming. His Fire is already beginning to fall upon those who can feel in their hearts the Day of change which is even now upon us. The change is of such magnitude that the only way to rightly describe it is: Resurrection Life. A life which will end the apathetic offerings of a blind and self-anointed priesthood. A fresh move that will see the Fire of God breathed into the life of every one of His own. A priesthood who will truly rejoice in the people of God overtaking them in their walk and relationship with the Lord. A priesthood who will consider it their own failure that it be not so. A priesthood who will rejoice as John the Baptist rejoiced to have his disciples forsake him to walk with Jesus. May our hearts be such and may the Glory of God arise that His Name will once again be declared from purified vessels who live only to bring honour to His name, and His name only!
“Let God Arise!”
Whenever God’s people touched the unity of His Spirit His Fire fell and the world knew that God was alive in the earth.
May the Lamp of the Lord burn with unquenchable intensity and may it purify our hearts unto the Love of Him and His people.
“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”
1 Peter 1:22
A people who obey not the truth
are incapable of the true love of Christ
for HIS Body
“It is an empty altar which receives no fire”