I’ve heard many references given to the idea of being a living sacrifice for God. But recently I came on a fresh perspective by Sarah Liberman on her Facebook page. She simply stated that “God’s fire does not fall on an empty alter.” It was a profound statement I thought. It said so much with so few words.
How many times do we go through life wondering where the power of God is? Why do we feel like His fire is missing at times? With a bit of examination, we might find the answer is simply that we haven’t put ourselves on God’s alter as a living sacrifice.
I think many times we gloss over the importance of giving God access and control of every part of who we are—and at all times. The biggest portion of this that I struggle with, is the at all times part. I go through seasons where I feel like every part of me that I am aware of has been given to God for His use. But somehow, I am prone to forget from time to time what position I have committed myself to.
Then it is the fire of refinement that usually is applied to wake me up and remind me to get back on that alter. As uncomfortable as this season is, it is always such a relief to find my true position and surrender myself to God’s established order once more.
And so it seems we have the option of crawling off the alter after the distractions of life, only to be herded back to the alter with fire that burns. Or we can choose the position God established for us in complete surrender onthe alter and have the fire of God’s power flowing through us. A fire that gives us boldness and authority.
As a living sacrifice we lose our self-focus and receive a God-focus because of all He pours out on that alter. How much stress can we save ourselves in this regard alone? We are not pretty pictures of holiness apart from God. So the more we can keep our focus off ourselves and our flaws, the less insecure and stressed out we become. And the more our focus is on God, the more our flaws recede and are replaced by His holy nature.
As frustrated as I get with the cycle I go through with this, I also find great comfort in God’s faithfulness. He wouldn’t have to chase after us every time we escape. But the more we escape the alter because of corruption within us, the more the fire of refinement burns the corruption out of us and hurts enough to bring us back. I believe that over the years this cycle slows down. And we find ourselves more likely to be faithful with each round of refinement. This produces vessels that the fire of God can truly flow through in power.