Prayer baffles me. It works, it draws me closer to the Father, and it brings me more aligned with HIs will. But I still don’t get it. Exodus 30, when describing the altar, explains the incense in an interesting way.
“When Aaron trims the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense, there shall be perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.” –Exodus 30:8, NKJV
There shall be incense burning. There shall be. Not maybe, not could be, there shall be. There shall be incense burning. Before the Lord. Throughout my generations.
“When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to Him, as that He might add it to the prayers of the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne of God. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightening and an earthquake. And the seven angels who had the severn trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.” –Revelation 8:1-6, NKJV
Our prayers are mixed with incense before the Throne of God. The incense is added by another entity. We simply must pray.
It works out nicely, don’t you think? If I am to be in the will of God, I must be asking Him about it, engaging with Him, letting go of my thoughts and engaging only with His. Prayer becomes essential in my life. And those prayers are mixed with incense before the throne of God.
When I am in His will, the incense will come, regardless of my attempts. If I eat a ton of garlic on a regular basis, soon, everyone will know without ever being told, for the aroma will literally seep out of my pores.
And those prayers, that incense, all intermingle with the actions from the Throne. One may not spur another, or it might; those are God’s dealings. What I do know is that my prayers intermingle with sweet incense before the Throne of God as God throws down the gauntlet on the world. His will is carried out, His actions are taken, and the angels prepare for battle while incense and prayers raise up before the Throne.
We cannot know the order of action, but we can know the Throne room is active, and we can be part of that.
God’s people pray, the incense is there, His actions are taken. We have no responsibility to do anything but pray. The rest will come.
The same is true for the Word of God, the will of God, the heart of God.
“For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,’ declares the Lord.” –Jeremiah 29:8, NKJV
Be careful what fuels you, what speaks to you, and what you base your life upon.
For a life based on anything but the express Word of God runs the risk of being led astray, even by one proclaiming to be speaking by the authority of God.
God can speak for Himself. Seek Him. He longs to be heard by you individually. Others have wisdom, and there is wisdom in the counsel of others. But if others’ wisdom goes against the wisdom of God, then they have no wisdom at all. You would be best alone on an island with the Word of God than to be led by such as those.
Photo by Brett Nutter