24 September 2010

Altar of Incense - a Magpie Tale

As I looked upon this bottle of fragrance, I was reminded of a journey I took through the outer courts, inner court and into the holy of holies to meet with my Lord.

I presented myself before each piece of tabernacle furniture –

in the Outer court:
brazen altar = cross
brazen laver = God’s Word (washing of the Word)

in the Inner Court the Holy place:
table of showbread = our will (ground to His will, like the flour for the bread)
golden lampstand = our mind illumined by Holy Spirit
altar of incense = our emotions aligned by worship

and in the Holy of Holies:
Ark of the Covenant = direct Spirit to spirit revelation

What would I sacrifice on this altar Lord, where the fire rages and the heat is more intense than any I have known? What would I hold back? You gave all You had and all You were and You ask for nothing less from me. I cannot be cleansed at the brazen laver, cannot be cleansed by the washing of Your Word until I am reconciled to this altar of sacrifice. So here I am, offering all that’s good and all that’s bad, all that is me. The scent of my flesh as it burns is sour. The pain is unspeakable, as the fire cuts in, hungrily consuming all that it wants. I don’t know if I am moaning or screaming or silent. I wait for the end with the taste of smoke everywhere.

I have passed through the fire, and ashes are falling off the charred remains of who I once was. Now I approach the brazen laver. The water looks like liquid silver, and as I dip my hands in there is no more pain, just a deep soothing refreshment. I splash the water onto every part of me. If this is truth every other part of me was lies. My self was left at the altar and this new skin seems to soak up every drop. Washed, cleansed and revived by Your Word, Your life, I am ready to enter the Holy Place.

As I come before the table of showbread I am amazed that there is so much of “me” left, that I still have a will after my time on the altar. I have been soaked in Your truth and my will transformed, but it remains never-the-less. You didn’t want to destroy my will, You just want to know I will bend my will to Yours. Surrender, submission and obedience, these You desire and would not be possible if I had no will at all. This seems surprising to me, yet You desire for me to be all You created me to be.

The lights from the lampstand may burn continually but not consistently, for they flicker and flare, at times the light much brighter than others. Even though Your Holy Spirit fuels the lamps, my very human nature filters the light, and so it is not pure.

I move on to the altar of incense, desiring to be a sweet fragrant offering to You, Lord. This is the last stop, the final door to the Holy of Holies, and I am not sure I have ever passed through. I do not know if I have ever abandoned myself in worship, there is still too much of me and this altar is much smaller than the brazen altar. Yet, I am so close, so close, let me be devoured again, but this time in awe and in reverent fear. It is not holy fear that has kept me from this place, but fear of man. I am drawn to my knees now, and I say “enough!” I need to know what is behind the curtain. I know You are waiting there and long for me to come. As I offer words of love, words of adoration, indeed I do now grow smaller as You increase. Is this the fragrance You long for?

And I find myself stepping in behind the veil and I cannot stand. The weight of Your presence compels me to prostrate myself before the Ark that holds Your covenant with Your people. And I, I am numbered among them and do not feel worthy. Perhaps that is why I have not come. I have doubted that You would want me. Who am I to come before You? Who am I that You are mindful of me? It is silent in this place, silent in the natural. But in the spirit there is rejoicing, for here we become one.

This is what I envision Lord, and yearn to know what You would say to me about going through this experience at this time.

You are learning so very much My curious child. You were not ready to take this journey until this very time in your life. You are strong enough now to be able to see how little strength you have, and wise enough to know how little strength you need. You have learned that to walk My road your strength must rest in Me alone. As you moved through the tabernacle your eyes were opened in new ways, to see Me and to see yourself. Yes, you saw flaws, but I am so happy that you pressed through. All of those imperfections and rough edges are simply the parts I am still working on. Thank you for offering them to Me.

When you feel unworthy, remember it is not yourself that makes you worthy, but I do. You are and always will be My creation, even when you were not yielded to Me. How much more so now? You will take this journey many times, but always remember the sweetness of this first entrance and how precious it is to Me.

Come read more tales based on Mag33 HERE


Brian Miller said...

oh this was excellent...the charred remains of my past...nice...that they used to tie a rope around their ankles when they went in strikes me...in case they died from the view...one day perhaps...smiles. nice magpie!

JC Dude said...

Pressing on, pressing through, touching Him...priceless. Thanks for sharing this amazing view of His of what it means to enter His presence!

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

how excellent is His name...

Peace be with you


and my word verif. is peacea :)

willow said...

Fascinating, dream-like mix of Old Testament and scent!

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