And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and offered strange and unholy fire before the Lord, as He had not commanded them.
Leviticus 10:1 AMP
Strange fire. Offerings of presumption. Nadab and Abihu came before the Lord out of order, “as He had not commanded them.” They paid with their lives, immediately – that’s the Old Covenant. But those of us subject to the New Covenant? We are not free of the consequences of strange fire. God is not only unmoved by self-sourced “salvation,” He loathes it. It’s the unfathomable love and mercy of God to bestow “grief and torment” on all those who offer strange fire. What if we had peace and contentment in our rebellion? We may not be consumed by the fire of the Lord in so dramatic a fashion as Aaron’s sons, but our eternity does hang in the balance.
So Aaron and his sons did all the things which the Lord commanded through Moses.
Lev. 8:36 AMP
This verse shows that Aaron’s sons were not unaware of what God’s order entailed and what His commands for them were. They didn’t offer strange fire out of ignorance. They rebelled against God’s commands and the order of authority that He’d put in place.
Yesterday’s post included part of my testimony for two reasons. The first was established yesterday: There is no possible salvation until a true offering of surrender to God is made. Until I actually submitted to God’s commands and bowed to HIS order of Authority, I was not born again. That’s my testimony. I prayed the sinner’s prayer with a desperate heart, not a surrendered one—and my strange fire was rejected. Salvation is on God’s terms and His alone, and I may write a post about this once a month because I think there are a shocking number of people claiming salvation on their own authority, but wishing doesn’t make it so.
The second reason for my testimony, especially regarding authority and strange fire, is because of what the Holy Spirit showed me. My salvation was intensely individual and completely personal.
I’ve always viewed the Gospel as a rather general edict of sorts. And it is! The Gospel is God’s offer of salvation to all of humanity. Invitations don’t get any more open than that. But when I look at my journey to salvation with the eyes of the Spirit, it’s breathtakingly coded to me. Every word and verse and encouragement and confrontation—ALL was designed for the purpose of speaking to my heart. This wasn’t “To Whom It May Concern” but a love letter begun with “Dear Jennifer.”
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Rev. 12:11 KJV
My testimony is a dime a dozen if it’s just about me getting clean and being forgiven and going to heaven. Instead, I have first-hand knowledge and experience with the Creator of All relating to my very own soul. There is no “one-size fits all” journey for born-again believers, because God is interested in real, daily relationship with us. In fact, when I look at it that way, coming under God’s Authority was the first unimpeded Heart-to-heart interaction I had with Him.
My whole life has revolved around the Person of God and His Sovereign Rule (Authority). I think that’s true for everyone. And at the end, you can’t have One without the other, because God’s Sovereign Authority is an inextricable part of WHO He is. Strange fire denies God His Sovereignty and usurps His Rule. It says, “I know better than You, God.” God will not condone this rebellion any more than we’d condone a two-year old piloting a fully loaded 747 on a cross-country flight. It’s ludicrous, dangerous and evil-minded.
To come under the Authority of God is to come face to face with Jesus Himself. It was the beginning of being truly alive when I came alive to HIM in that precious surrender. I was a woman who hated and feared and reviled Authority, but now I love Him dearly and more each day.
And he who overcomes (is victorious) and who obeys My commands to the [very] end [doing the works that please Me], I will give him authority and power over the nations…
Rev. 2:26 AMP