Leviticus 10:1 “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.”
Frank Sinatra made famous a song called “My Way.” In it, he tells the story of one’s rise to stardom. Twenty-five times the word “I” is mentioned, and then one verse sums up the focus:
“For what is a man, what has he got
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.”
God gives us the wisdom of such things.
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Our wonderful Creator gave us a mind that can analyze, philosophize, and socialize; but left unto ourselves; the way is dark and deadly. It may not seem so at the time, but God tells us to consider much more than what we see.
Deuteronomy 32:29 “O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!”
If we would take the time to consider the results of our actions, we may have never taken the first step or eaten that first bite. Each of us has some regret in our life; much that comes by way of impulsive actions or pressured decisions which, when we look back, wish we had thought it through.
If we, the church, are to fully grasp the meaning of what God is teaching Aaron and Moses here, we must apply it carefully.
Nadab and Abihu were doing what they were instructed. Outwardly, the actions seemed right. Everyone saw actions that seemed in line with what they were taught. But, God saw differently.
Exodus 28:41, 43 “And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.”
God had instructed them that they were to be holy, anointed, consecrated, sanctified, and set apart for a particular purpose. As a born-again, Bible-believing, children of God, we are no different.
1 Peter 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
Revelation 1:5-6 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
If our churches were to operate in the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit; led and guided of Him, we might see different fruit than what we are seeing now. If every part of the body of Christ were to operate as the Father instructed, what kind of body would we be?
The choice needs to be made clear – it cannot be what I do for God that matters but more importantly, what we all do with God that should be the focus. For example:
I may have a desire to sing for God and have an adequate voice. I take lessons to perfect my singing so I can do my best for God when I sing. I take the time to study and practice, and the results may be that others are blessed with the songs I may sing.
The problem is with the issue of what God wants our focus to be, and what we want. It may be that God has designed for that one to be a teacher and not a singer. The thought of teaching may strike fear into their heart, and they shy away from even trying.
Let’s say they obey God and take the needed steps to become a teacher of the Word of God. The manifestation of the Spirit of God in their teaching, the fruit and the reach of their ministry go far beyond what they could have ever imagined because it is God working in and through them – not their fleshly work placed at the feet of the Savior.
The Apostle Paul laid bare his soul to us in this very matter. He sought to be the best he could be for God. His love, consecration, service, and zeal were unmatched. Yet, he saw that if this fleshly thorn could be removed, he could do so much more.
It was revealed by God to Paul that the thorn brings glory to God and causes him to be utterly dependent on God for power, provision, and protection. Paul fully succumbed to the infirmity of his flesh, knowing God would be significantly glorified.
If we could only grasp this truth!
Many in this world work so hard to get into the spotlight for their brief moments of glory. Without knowing it, or doing it on purpose, we, the church do much the same. We want to be recognized to for the work we do for God when He seeks to be glorified and magnified when He works in and through us!
Before we speak, before we act, could it be that we seek what God would desire us to say or do? To do it God’s way and not my way brings Him that greatest glory!