Justification by faith
(#281 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“Aaron sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before Yahweh, contrary to His command. So fire came out from the presence of Yahweh and consumed them, and they died before Yahweh.” (Leviticus 10:1-2)
Fire consumed them for choosing their own sacrifice. We think in modern terms you would call that “religion.” Ouch! Does Yahweh delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying Yahweh? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22) You would do well focusing on what has been commanded, rather than doing what you or your denomination has decided is pleasing to “God.”
On an individual level, it could be likened to a former drug addict who has the erroneous idea that one can make up for his past sins by diving into a plethora of self-chosen acts of service, otherwise known as “spiritual activities.” Remember, the Almighty demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, the Messiah died for us. (Romans 5:8) You were redeemed while you were still a slave to your addictions, and all idolatrous behavior for that matter. It is His Spirit alone who gives you the ability to leave your idols behind. No sacrifice on your part was necessary, no acts of service, only His. Your unauthorized fire, your self-assigned sacrificial activities, done with the sense that you must somehow participate in the atonement for your past behaviors, actually reveals your unbelief. It is self-righteousness, not righteousness. Israyl was guilty of such behavior; “they were zealous for the Mighty One, but their zeal was not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of the Mighty One and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to the Mighty One’s righteousness.” (Romans 10:2-3)
Any time you operate in the mindset that you must do something to “atone,” you are telling Him that you reject the offering Yahshua made. That’s right; you are saying that His death and resurrection were not enough to cover all of your maladies. This non-debatable core issue must be dealt from within. He [Yahshua] sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered Himself. (Hebrews 7:27) He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:12) He has won favor for you with your Father in Heaven once and for all. Done! The only thing you must do now is obey. “To obey is better than sacrifice.”
With your eternity secure, turn your focus toward obeying His commands. Your abundant life is found in them. He says, “You must obey My laws and be careful to follow My standards. I Am Yahweh your Almighty. Live by My standards and laws, for the person who obeys them will have life through them. I Am Yahweh.” (Leviticus 18:4-5) He has made it so that following His commandments adds life to your life. They are to bless you child, not to curse you. If you have been chosen, the ability to choose has been gifted to you, and you must now make a choice. “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19) He has set before you life and death, choose life! Obedience to His laws is not “legalism” loved one; it is life. Conversely, disobedience is death. Everyone is tempted by his own desires as they lure him away and trap him. Then desire becomes pregnant and gives birth to sin. When sin grows up, it gives birth to death. (James 1:14-15)
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4) No more lawlessness loved one. No more religion. No more self-assigned sacrificial activities. Do it His way; anything else is unauthorized fire!