I started radiation. It’s weird, but I’m not in the mood to blog about it. I AM in the mood to talk about Leviticus! I’m reading through the Bible and as you might know, Leviticus is one that is really easy to gloss over. It’s all about the details for the sacrifices God’s people had to make before Jesus came along as the ultimate sacrifice.
I was reading line after line of what people had to do after sinning. Whether it was an intentional or accidental sin, they basically brought a sacrifice, treated it in a certain way, then presented it to a priest who passed it on to the Lord. For the umpteenth time, I thought how easy it was back then. A man screwed up so he’d go catch a sheep and take care of it. Done. Over. No embarassment or repercussions besides the loss of time and goods.
I like how cut and dry it was back then. Messed up? Follow this to-do list and forget about it. As I marveled at this the Holy Spirit reminded me of several important things: The first is that Jesus had to come as the ultimate sacrifice because all those laws didn’t properly control men. So as good and simple as the old stuff sounds, what we have now is better for us, and doesn’t cost anything. More importantly, we HAVE the same to-do list now, but better! We know we messed up because we have the Holy Spirit to tell us (Jn 14:26, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”). Then He gives us GRACE and FORGIVES us without having to sacrifice a first-born lamb and whatnot (e.g.John 8:11).
Anyway, back then there had to be a continuous fire burning for the sacrifices. Fire was present all the time, and at least some of the offerings had to be burned up completely (Lev 6:13, 23, 30, etc.), and that is an awesome reminder of what God desires from us nowadays. We need to be on fire for Him all the time, not just in the heat of the battle. If we do lose focus a bit (like I have since surgery), we use the word, pray, and beg the Holy Spirit to rekindle the flame. He didn’t want His sacrifies lukewarm back then, and He doesn’t want us to be lukewarm now (Rev 3:16, “So because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth”).
Finally, we’re all being refined through fire. For some of us there’s a slow, steady burn, for others it feels like stepping on fireworks. During chemo I became terrified of the future, because God brought me through the fireworks but I felt like I’d reached the maximum capacity for growth in this lifetime. Satan whispered that because I’d passed the cancer test, the next would be even harder–TOO HARD. I didn’t want to face anything more.
I finally rejected that fear from my enemy because I don’t think it’s biblical and because the Lord will always be there to help. He created fire. Zechariah 13:9, “This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them, I will say, ‘They are my people’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God’.”
Romans 3:21-24, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the law and the prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference. For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justfied freely by his grace through the redemptiion that came by Christ Jesus.”
So…none of this had anything to do with the radiation treatment I logged in to blog about, but I’m really excited to remember that He can use even crazy books like Leviticus to remind us of things. God is good. The end.