I’ve found myself so hungry to know and understand Gods ways, I’m not satisfied with living obliviously, even though I know that grace covers me even in oblivion, I want to walk with God in such a way that I can predict, or even guarantee His move, not in a way of “I know how God will respond”, but in a way of “I’ve seen his patterns, I’ve studied His systems, so I know this and this”. I’m convinced God wants to bring us all to this place, where we walk with Him from knowledge of Him.
I’m not sure I’ve explained this right but I want to reach my limit of being able to predict God and submit to His sovereignty from there. I don’t want to guess or hope for His nature, I want to study and know it.
Moses did. He is one man who understood this. Moses’ life was lived knowing the way of God. He told the Israelites sometimes how God will respond to something because He had studied God and His patterns. It happens sometimes in human relationships too, you predict how your friend or partner will act because of studying them over time in similar situations.
Myles Munroe says that the bible gives us guarantee. The words contained can deliver you to an expected end if you follow the guide of the bible. It’s not a thing of just hoping, the bible gives us an informed hope of what will happen, because God works with principles and patterns.
I dreamt last night that I was teaching a group of people on “Gods temple and strange fires”, I woke up and the topic won’t leave me so I had to go do a quick study on it too. I had read of Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus who were both consumed with fire because they brought strange fire before God, some versions will say ‘unauthorised fire’ or ‘foreign fire’ or ‘profane fire’, all meaning the same thing in this context. But that’s as much as I knew on ‘strange fire’.
The bible defines it as such because they didn’t go through Gods given principles to ignite that fire, they did as the wanted and maybe assumed they would get away with it. The same happened with Cane in the bible, he brought a substandard offering, a ‘strange’ offering to God, and same thing, it was rejected. Not to the point of death, but nonetheless rejected.
Carelessness and irreverence for God will cost us, maybe not always by death as we see in Nadab and Abihu, but in some way, not because God must revenge but because He was not going to allow them set a precedent for future disregard of His law.
The nature of the sacrifice we bring to God matters, by sacrifice, I mean praise, worship, prayer, the posture of our hearts and even the words of our mouth. All of these count for sacrifice now, including those material possessions we give to God. The origin and nature of them matter and communicates to God how much we reverence Him.
God is daddy, yes, but He’s also God. His loving fatherhood will never substitute His status as God, they’re one and the same but we must understand the nature of Him as both God and father. The reverence due Him as God must not be lost in our father to child relationship.
God doesn’t joke with His holiness, His honour and His glory and we shouldn’t too. So much strange fires all around us today. Some we might not even know to call out, but God knows and sees. But the one we are responsible for, we can make the decision to ensure that we quench it and ignite authorised, familiar fire.
I found myself praying at one point in my life that if I ever climbed a stage and my heart was set on glorifying me, God should shut my mouth on that stage, and I believe God took that seriously, so even when I have opportunities to minister to people in groups, I’m so conscious that the focus remains Jesus, even when my mind tries to pump me up saying “you’re preaching good”, I reorient myself to say “it’s God preaching through me for His own glory”, it takes a conscious walking to ensure that at every point, the focus remains God.
See why we learn Gods ways and principles like I started with? So that we learn and see what familiar fire is. The bible presents us with authorised and familiar fire. That’s what God seeks. He’s not looking for new, rather what He’s put in place and will accept through all generations.
God is calling on us, on the church, on you and I, cease the strange fires and embrace the known by looking and learning The Word, that’s actually what brings dimensions of the presence and glory our world so desperately needs.