A man found frost on his windows, and tried to scrape it off. A neighbor saw him. “What are you doing?” he asked. “Getting rid of the frost,” said the other, “because I can’t see out.” His friend, realizing that the work was slow, advised him, “Why don’t you just light a fire inside, and the frost will disappear of itself?”
2 Chronicles 29:27 says, “When the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began.” The way to get any song in our heart is to get the sacrifice on the altar. The divine order is: The sacrifice of repentance – “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). The sacrifice of our person – “Present your bodies” (Romans 12:1). The sacrifice of praise – “The fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).
Hosea demanded, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap mercy; break up your fallow ground” (10:12). Fallow ground is ground that has lain idle, undisturbed, and uncultivated. The only thing that grows are weeds and thorns. It cannot produce anything worthwhile, because it is undisturbed. Christmas Evans, the great Welsh preacher, told how he was riding on horseback through the mountains one Saturday on his way to preach, when he became convicted of a cold heart. He tethered his horse, and spent about four hours in soul-searching and prayer before God. When he arose, he said he was revived with a joyous experience, like the “breaking up of a hard winter.”
In Leviticus 9:23, after the sacrifices were made, and Moses and Aaron blessed the people, “the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.” The word “glory” appears about 500 times in the Bible, and, in most cases, in connection with the glory of God. “Glory” means “to be great, abundant and vehement.” Also, “to be rich like great fountains of water, and to be magnificent,” speaking of the blessing of God on those who make the necessary sacrifice.
Lou Engle related how he and his son were spending time in a Christian bookstore when they saw a beautiful painting on the wall. Storm clouds mysteriously covered a panorama of jagged mountain peaks. Pristine waterfalls descended into a lake that mirrored the mountains that surrounded it, and a family of deer was drinking by the banks. Underneath the painting were the words, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1).
“This is no age to advocate restraint. The church today does not need to be restrained, but to be aroused, to be awakened, to be filled with a spirit of glory” (D. Martin Lloyd-Jones).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654