“The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out.” Leviticus 6:12 (NIV)
When the three Hebrew boys were thrown into the fiery furnace, which by the way, was seven times hotter that it was supposed to be, they found themselves walking among the flames with One who “looked like the son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25). They had chosen not to bow down in worship to the golden image of the king, and as a result they were cast into the fire. But it was in that fiery place where God revealed Himself to them in a unique way. Fire is not simply an earthly thing that cave men discovered, it is a heavenly reality that existed before creation, because God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). He didn’t become fire at creation. It has always existed in Him.
When we get glimpses of God on His throne, there is usually a fire component. Jesus is revealed with eyes like a blazing fire and feet glowing like bronze in the furnace (Revelation 1:14-15, 19:12). In Ezekiel, He is seen high above the throne and what appeared to be His waist up looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire (1:27). Daniel saw a river of fire flowing from His throne (7:10). Isaiah’s call involved the altar of fire, an angel and some burning lips (6:6-7). Moses received his call at the burning bush (Exodus 3:2). And remember, Moses went to meet with God on a mountain full of fire (Deuteronomy 5:4). So, it should be no surprise that God wants us to come into the fire to meet Him. There are things we can only know about God in the context of fire! I would encourage you to dig into “fire” passages throughout the Bible, study and marinate on them. Ask God to show you what it means to know Him in the fire, especially in light of the day we live in!
The evening following the (so called) inauguration, intercessors, worship leaders, pastors and anyone who wanted to give themselves wholeheartedly to the One who is enthroned in heaven were invited to join us for the first Altar of Fire in Athens. We maxed out the Wesley Prayer Chapel with a bit over twenty people joining us, in a room that easily holds over 100 people (thanks to Covid). I know it was not pleasant worshipping with masks on, but I totally believe it in itself was an offering of sacrifice to the Lord as we honored the Wesley leaders request to do so.
All of us came with expectations of what it would be like. I was blown away by how all the worship pastors flowed in the Spirit and worked together. Julia, Brooks and Dustin all were leading at various points, and you would never have known that was their first time to play together. Many intercessors stepped right in with declarations, repentance and surrenders to the Lord.
The whole purpose of the evening was surrendering ourselves completely to the Lord. It is easy to come with the hopeful expectation of “feeling” or experiencing something through the night, and many did. I know God was REALLY pleased with our offering. I believe we all gave Him everything we had to offer. And for each one it was unique and significant. Remember obedience is better than sacrifice. He is searching our hearts, and it is ok if the experience was different from what we expected, because it was all about Him.The whole evening wove together like a beautiful tapestry for His glory. He is desiring a remnant, a bridal people who are seeking to be wholehearted, risk-taking lovers of Him! And I believe that we had a great start in establishing that!
Our next Altar of Fire will be on Thursday, February 18 at 7pm. This month we will be at Beech Haven Baptist, in Building D. Please continue to cry out for God to prepare you to give yourself completely to Him.