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Leviticus 9: 10

On the altar he burned . . .

Recently, Father told me to take all the things I am doing and place them on the altar. In fact, He told me to write them all down on a piece of paper. Putting something on the altar is figurative, in a sense. Most of us don’t have an actual altar to put something upon, but the image of placing something on the altar is still a strong image. Writing something on a sheet of paper gives us a visual anchor to pair with our image of the altar. Paper is tangible so this helps us appreciate this action as real.

So, I took out a sheet of paper and wrote out what Father showed me. Having a list before my eyes made it easier to see what He was teaching me. I understood Him to say that everything from that list needed to go on the altar. So, I dutifully obeyed and thought that was the end of it. The following week, though, the altar, and that list, were back before my eyes.

In my devotional time, I heard within me, very distinctly, to put a match to the offering. I was actually a little surprised by this. I thought I had put those things on the altar to God which is demonstrative of me giving those things to Him, allowing Him to be Lord over each item on the list. I did it, it’s done. Not so fast grasshopper! Light the offering. Set it afire! What happens then? Well, it is a bit hard to go take something off the altar once it has been burned to ashes. And, that’s the point.

In the Old Testament, people put their offerings on the altar and then set them on fire. There were no takebacks as with children playing their games. God requires us to offer and release. I didn’t physically burn the piece of paper though you could if that helped you to have a picture of release. Instead, my sheet of paper is still on my desk where I see it and am reminded that each of those things have been given and released to Yahweh.

Whether it is your job, volunteer work or even hobbies, it is important that we put all of life’s activities in the Lord’s hands, allowing him to guide us and help us manage the expenditure of our energy. I laugh with my retired friends who now wonder how they got everything done when they were working because their time is so full now. That is how we are. We will fill every crack of time and still don’t have time for the “One Thing.” We wear ourselves out worrying about many things when, as Jesus said, there is only one thing which is needful. Don’t be an Ivey. Don’t be a Martha. Be Mary who chose to spend her time and energy, not serving Christ necessarily, but being with him. Lay down your burdens upon the altar of Christ and sit with him.

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