The only way to know God is first-hand. Anything else is hearsay. But, it takes a humble heart to come to Him.
23 Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.
Aaron’s sons burned unauthorized fire to the LORD. We read about it in Numbers 3:4. What’s the deal?! Evidently, they offered an incense offering to the LORD in the same manner that they would offer incense to one of the gods of Egypt. God was very specific about how to approach Him because of His holiness and their sinfulness. They had not been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, yet; the judgement of their sin was postponed until Christ took it to the cross and then the grave! In the meantime, God provided a way for them to approach Him by covering their sin with the blood of animals. Notice that their sins were covered; ours, through Christ, are forgiven, our record expunged, and our sins carried away as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:11-12).
With this background laid, let’s talk about us. We have power in prayer. Do we use it in an unauthorized fashion when we assume that our prayers change circumstances and affect outcomes?
How IS prayer effective? “The prayers of a righteous person avail much” James 5:16. Can we “tip the scales” of a situation? Is the enemy thwarted? Do we “change God’s mind?” Or, does God have plans according to our prayers? When we participate by praying, does God enact what is dormant? Inactive? Does prayer unlock what is locked up? Is the Spirit waiting on us to come along so that we can participate with Him? Occasionally, I will read where God says, “ There was no one to act, so I acted by my right hand” (Isaiah 63:5). Is it because He prefers to include us in His activities?
I think so. He is ALL ABOUT the relationship. But, thinking that I have power to effect change, i.e. healings, salvations, outcomes, etc. is unauthorized fire. I am to pray for God to do what is best. I am to pray that the Holy Spirit is released. I am to pray that the enemy would be bound. I am to pray for healing. I am to pray for salvation. I am to pray that we bask in His presence. THIS is authorized fire. God wants to work and WILL work, but He also wants to include us in what He is doing and for us to allow Him to “part the seas,” so to speak, something that we would have never thought of.
In Experiencing God page 11, Henry Blackaby starts the seven truths of his study with:
God is always at work around you.
The second one is very important for us to know:
God pursues a continuing love relationship with you
that is real and personal.
And the third one, which is the crux of the book, is:
God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
Let’s join God in what He is doing, which means that we don’t dictate to God what He is to do. We can ask, but we always answer like Jesus, “According to Your will be done.” Then, we watch God work amazing things first in us, and then those around us.
Abba, may I take my own advice here. You KNOW the desires of my heart and the constant war that goes on between my desire for You to be exalted in my life and the things I want in this world. May I seek Your face and obey Your voice as I hear You in the Scriptures, in my heart/head, and in others. Just because I cannot see you doesn’t mean that You’re not there. In fact, hearing You the way You speak to me gives me more faith than if You were here face-to-face. May I offer You authorized fire today, LORD. Amen.