God saved us to serve Him: He delivered us from the usurpation of the world so that we may become a kingdom of priests, that we may serve God as priests. We need to see that God saved us to serve Him, and we need to choose to serve God, because if we don’t, by default we will serve Satan.
There’s a struggle in the universe for service: we can either serve God or Satan, there’s no third-party, and there’s no independence. In ourselves and by ourselves, however, we cannot serve God; we are rebellious, sinful, and we tend to abandon God and go after many other things.
We need to first EAT the Lord by holding a feast to Him so that we may be inwardly supplied and nourished; eating Christ as our feast causes us to be organically and spontaneously delivered from any usurpation of the world, and we will be separated unto God to serve Him.
As we eat the Lord, we have a revelation of who God is; we realize that He is a holy, righteous, loving, and glorious God, and we as His people should match Him in our being and living.
As we eat the Lord and are brought by Him to a high mountain in spirit, we see a vision of God and of His economy, His heart’s desire; we realize that God desires to have a people into whom He can enter, constitute, and dwell, and He wants to build this people into His habitation.
When the sky above us is clear, transparent, and open, we see that God has a heart’s desire and He has a pattern of how to accomplish His purpose; the result is that we will serve Him according to the pattern He reveals to us on the mountain.
We realize that the blood of the covenant has been shed, we apply the blood, and we stand on the merit of the blood of Christ to serve a living and true God. Because of the blood of Christ, we have been redeemed, we have life, and we have been brought into the presence of God to serve Him.
Furthermore, the God who calls us is a burning fire: He burns in us and upon us, the thornbush, but He doesn’t consume us. Our service to God should be motivated and energized by the burning Triune God in our being, and the energy and power should be of Him and not of our natural zeal and power.
Our Service to God must come out of the Burning of God’s Fire within us
The priests in the Old Testament were those who served God; their service to God was based on the fire from the altar of burnt offering, which is the fire that came from God, from the heaven (see Lev. 9:24; 16:12-13; 6:13; 10:1-2).
The lighting of the lamps, the offering of the sacrifices on the burnt offering altar, and the burning of the incense in the Holy Place are all based on and with the fire of the burnt offering.
In our service to God we need to realize that the fire, the motivating factor, and the energy within has to be of God and not of us. God doesn’t accept but rather rejects and punishes any natural fire, any fire from the earth; He wants us to serve with the fire coming from the burnt offering altar.
Fire is a source of energy. Everything that moves in the physical world uses energy, and energy is produced through burning. In order for our service to be full of energy, our service must pass through the fire on the altar. This is not strange fire, which is of man and of the earth. Rather, this is holy fire. This fire is of God and of heaven. Our service must come out of the burning of God’s fire. This fire should be the energy, the driving force, the impulse within us. Then our service will be out of God, not out of ourselves. (Witness Lee, The Service for Building up the House of God)
On the day of Pentecost, the energy and motivating power for the New Testament service began with fire from heaven; when the fire descended upon the Galilean fishermen, they were filled with power and energy to preach the gospel and bring in the kingdom of God on earth.
We don’t start the fire: we are not the source; our job is to receive the divine fire and just “add the wood”, that is, keep the fire burning. The heavenly fire, the Triune God Himself, burns in us to energize us and cause us to serve Him.
The divine fire, the burning Triune God, enables us to serve; we should be burning in spirit, serving the Lord (Rom. 12:11). We need to learn to reject our self-effort, our ability, and even our desire to do things for God, and just rely on the Lord, trust in Him, and allow Him to burn in us and upon us.
If we want that our service would have spiritual value and be acceptable to God according to His standard, we need to let Him move through us and serve through us.
God desires that His people would love Him and satisfy His heart’s desire to offer themselves on the altar, thus allowing Him to burn them and serve Him through them.
Lord Jesus, may our service be full of energy and power by passing through the fire on the altar. May our service to God come out of the burning of God’s fire. Burn in us, Lord, and be the motivating factor, the driving force, and the impulse within us to serve God. We want to reject any natural fire, any fire from the earth, and offer ourselves on the altar for service for the satisfaction of Your heart’s desire. Lord, may our service have spiritual value and be acceptable to God!
God Saved and Sanctified us to Serve God as Priests: we are a Kingdom of Priests!
God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to make them a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, a kingdom in which everyone would be a priest, one who serves God continually (see Exo. 19:6).
God’s goal is to have a priestly kingdom, a kingdom in which all His people serve Him. However, His people failed Him, and only one of the twelve tribes was given to serve God, and only a part of that tribe could serve God as priests – the house of Aaron.
God’s intention in saving us is to sanctify us unto Himself to serve God as priests; we are a kingdom of priests, a priesthood. In Exodus 29 we see the type of what the priests are and do: they need to be washed, clothed, have their hands filled with offerings, and eat the offerings with God.
We need to be sanctified unto God, cleansed by the blood of Christ, and have our hands filled with Christ by enjoying Christ to be saturated with Christ and transformed by Him.
Our food as priests to God is not common or ordinary: we have a priestly diet and we eat priestly food, Christ Himself as the reality of all the offerings. Our unique diet as priest to God is Christ, and this One constitutes us to transform us and be expressed through us in our service to God.
The goal of God’s salvation is to make all those who believe in Christ priests to God; Christ, the Priest of all priests, brought us into the priesthood through His redemption, and the whole church is now the priesthood.
However, if we are saved and not serve God as priests, we cannot fulfill God’s purpose or satisfy His desire. Jesus Christ has released us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father (Rev. 1:5-6).
Because the whole church lost the priesthood, there needs to be the recovery of the real priesthood in the church life today. Since we are priests, we should be serving God in whatever we are doing (Rom. 1:9).
Not only when we meet with the saints or when we’re engaged in service in the church, but even our daily life and our living must be a service to God. May our life deserve to be called by the Lord a service to Him.
As priests, we are persons who serve God by enjoying God in Christ and through Christ as the reality of all the offerings (Gal. 5:22; 1 Pet. 2:5). Christ is the reality of all the offerings; He is the One who satisfies God by what He is and what He has done, and we can eat Him, enjoy Him, experience Him, and offer Him to God for His satisfaction and our enjoyment with Him.
To serve God as priests is to minister Christ to Him as food for His satisfaction; in typology, God’s food was the burnt offering presented to Him for His satisfaction (Exo. 29:37-44).
To serve God as priests is to firstly minister Christ to Him, that is, offer God the Christ we have enjoyed and experienced for His satisfaction. God wants to enjoy Christ indirectly through us; He wants to be satisfied with the Christ we have experienced and now we offer to Him.
The result of the priestly life depicted in Exo. 29 is that God comes to meet with us, eat with us, speak with us, and dwell among us (see vv. 42, 45-46).
As we serve God as priests by applying the blood, being clothed with Christ as our righteousness, dwelling in Christ as our home, enjoying Christ and experiencing Him as the offerings, and offering Christ to God for His satisfaction, God meets with us, eats with us, speaks with us, and dwells among us – we are a kingdom of priests!
Thank You Lord for saving us to sanctify us to serve God as priests. Hallelujah, Jesus Christ has released us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father! Amen! Lord, recover the priesthood among us in the church life today. We take Christ as our food, our drink, our dwelling, our clothing, and our everything, and we want to enjoy and experience Christ so that we may also offer Him to God for His satisfaction! Oh Lord, we want to minister to You, offer Christ to You, and serve You as priests in the priesthood, the church life!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Minoru C. for this week, and portions from The Priesthood, chs. 1-6, 8-10 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (part 4, 2016 Summer Training), week 3 / msg. 3, Serving God.
- Hymns on this topic:
# “Keep the incense burning” / On the altar fire; / Feed the flame, Lord Jesus, / Till Thy whole desire / Shall in us, Thy children, / Find free course, and be / Breathed through lips anointed / For this ministry. (Hymns #970)
# That recovery may proceed / Real priests are what we need— / Those who live in Christ indeed, / O glory be to God! / Saturated with the Lord, / They have Christ as their reward. / These the building work afford / In the local churches now. (Hymns #1251)
# O how blessed is the priest’s life, / Christ to him is all in all: / All His clothing, food, and dwelling, / And His portion therewithal. (Hymns #911)
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