“A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.”
The Old Testament offerings served a duel purpose. First, they were designed to provide a way for man to have relationship with God. Second, they were designed as types or illustrations of a relationship between man and God through Christ. Paul wrote that these things were written for our “example” (Romans 15:4). An understanding of the Old Testament offerings, helps to illustrate the similarity of those offerings to a healthy relationship with Christ. The burnt offering is a picture of a life fully devoted to the Lord. This offering was brought to the priest morning and night, and completely consumed upon the altar.
Jesus explained, if we want to experience abundant life, it is not found in attempting to save our lives, by holding things back from the Lord. It is in the complete surrender of all to God. The Rich Young Ruler went away sad because he was unwilling to give all to Christ (Mark 10:17-22). By contrast, Paul celebrated that his life was being poured out as an offering on the altar of the Lord (Philippians 2:17).
It interests me that the flames of the altar were always lit, and the burnt offerings were sacrificed twice daily. Every morning and every evening, the air would be filled with the sweet aroma of the burnt offering. One way to ensure you have a healthy and growing relationship with God, is to offer yourself to Him daily. As the morning awakens, it is a good thing to get alone with the Lord and His Word. Start with prayer, and offer yourself to Him for the day. Take your schedule and lay it at His feet, asking for His guiding hand, and leave enough room for Him to redirect, as He sees fit; to use you to impact others for Christ.
When the day comes to an end, it is a good idea to lay the events of the day back on the altar. We often begin our day with great expectations, only to find that we have failed in one way or another. Take the time to confess sin, cry out for His merciful pardon, and sustaining grace.