Friday, October 24, 2014

Tending Our Lamps

“…tend the lamps before the LORD from evening until morning, continually.” Leviticus 24:3.

As God was giving instructions in the wilderness one of the most important commands was to keep the lampstand burning in the wilderness tabernacle from evening until morning.  I have always loved the lampstand as it is rich in symbolism and powerful in application.  The golden lamp had a center post with three extended arms on each side making a total of 7 lights, the number of completion and perfection.  On each arm right under the light were golden almond buds which represented the seven perfections of the Spirit of God.  The middle shaft represented the Lord while the other six represented fear (reverence), knowledge, might, counsel, understanding, and wisdom.  The fueling of the lampstand came from the oil of pressed olives which foreshadowed the work of Christ.  He was the one who was crushed and pressed on the cross. ‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.’ Isaiah 53:5.  Once Christ died and was resurrected, the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell in all believers, becoming the fueling power in our faith.  What is our part in being ‘a light in the world’ as Christ describes his followers in Matthew 5:14?

We are to continuously tend to our lamps.  We are to bring our hearts and minds before the Lord allowing Him to do the work required in our lives.  Notice that we need Him to be a part of tending to our lives.  We do not need to tend...strive…toil all alone when it comes to our faith.  We are to bring it to Him and participate with Him in the process.  The phrase ‘tend the lamps’ translates to ‘keep in order the lamps before the Lord.’  When we come into God’s presence it must be in the order that honors Him…in humility…in surrender…in reverence…in deep gratitude.  When we approach Him, allowing the work of the Holy Spirit to fuel our faith we reflect the light of Christ in a dark world.  I was blessed this morning to read a beautiful description of how we are God’s lampstands against a dark backdrop.  ‘When we receive Christ…the fuel of the Holy Spirit sparks the life of Christ in our hearts.  Although the light can never be extinguished, the brightness of our flame entirely depends on how much oil (the Holy Spirit) we allow Christ to pour on us…The Father offered the Light (John 1) and created every human wick to receive it (2 Pet 3:9).  The Son came bearing the light to any who will receive it.  The Holy Spirit came to fuel it perpetually. If we do not burn with a passionate flame, it is because we have limited God, who prepared us for victory.' A Woman's Heart, Beth Moore, p. 103.

'Do not quench the Spirit' 1 Thessalonians 5:19.  When the word “quench” is used in Scripture, it is speaking of suppressing fire. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is a fire dwelling in each believer. He wants to express Himself in our actions and attitudes. When believers do not allow the Spirit to be seen in our actions, when we do what we know is wrong, we suppress or quench the Spirit.  We do not allow the Spirit to reveal Himself the way that He wants to.'

May we all tend our lamps so we will not suppress the Fire.

No comments: