Ephesians 3: 20-21
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Joshua 3: 5
Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.’
Romans 12: 1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.
This week we've been thinking about how we can fully experience the "more than" nature of God in our lives this year. Don't settle for life on the edge of the river, when there is so much more to experience when you jump into the middle. However, as well as staying conscious of abundance, this is a year when we need to stay consecrated on the altar. What do I mean?
The altar in the Jewish temple was the place of sacrifice, of surrender, of laying everything down before God in worship. On different occasions we read that fire would come from heaven and consume the sacrifice laid out on the altar. For example:
"Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar." (Lev 9: 24)
"David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering." (1 Chron 21: 26)
Before fire fell from heaven, there was always an offering first placed on the altar. There was something valuable laid before the Lord in sacrifice.
Christians often pray and sing words such as, "Lord, let Your fire fall." We long for a visible demonstration of the power of God, a tangible manifestation of His presence. Yet, we need to ask ourselves: 'What have we placed on the altar?' If fire only falls on sacrifice, we can't expect to bring nothing and experience a move of God. We have to place everything before Him: our fears, our future, our family, our failures, our finances - we surrender it all to Him. It all belongs to Him anyway, so we simply place everything before Him as an offering of worship. We make an active choice, a conscious decision, that we will give ourselves fully to Jesus and His mission in our world. We will hold nothing back. When we do that, we free ourselves from the drudgery of living passively, on the periphery or by proxy. We position ourselves to fully experience the God who is able to do more than all we can ask or imagine.
One year from now your life will only look different to the degree that you've been willing to lay it all on the altar in sacrifice and surrender. That's a life that God loves to ignite with fire from heaven.
Please join us this Sunday as we gather at 9.30 am and 11.30 am. Our 7.00 pm service will recommence on Sunday 15th January.