REMOVE THE ASHES!
“Then the priest, wearing his linen robe and linen shorts, shall remove the greasy ashes left on the altar and put them at the side of the altar. Then he shall change his clothes and take the ashes outside the camp to a ritually clean place. The fire on the altar must be kept burning and never allowed to go out. Every morning the priest shall put firewood on it, arrange the burnt offering on it, and burn the fat of the fellowship offering. The fire must always be kept burning on the altar and never allowed to go out” (Leviticus 6:10-13 TEV).
When I was growing up in the village, there was a usual practice of removing ashes from the hearth and setting them aside or even throwing them away. I did not know why this act was done until later when I understood that ashes do not allow fresh fire to glow. In fact, ashes quench flaming fire if they are too much in the hearth, and they are used at times to deliberately quench flaming fire. As long as there are minimal ashes, the fire in the hearth will continue to glow.
When God was given the Law to the people of Israel through Moses, one of the duties of the high priest was to remove ashes from the altar that was used for burnt offering and take them to another place. Every morning after doing this, the priest should place new firewood on the altar (see Leviticus 6:10-13, also Numbers 4:13). The reason for this act was to allow fresh fire to be burning continuously on the altar. As long as ashes were removed from the altar, the new firewood would be free to produce continuous fire on the altar.
The main purpose of firewood is to be burnt and produce fire. Most of the time, this is used productively either in cooking, warming a place, offering sacrifice, and the likes. The end product of burnt firewood is ashes. Anyone who now focuses on the ashes will not make another flaming fire.
The implication of these is that anyone who refuses to “remove the ashes” of his/her past successes will not make new successes. As good as those past successes are, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to make more successes if one is still preoccupying oneself with those past successes. Jesus Christ had a successful ministry in Capernaum as He “healed many who were sick with all kinds of diseases and drove out many demons” (Mark 1:34 TEV). The following day while the people were looking for Him to continue the good work, He led His disciples to other places where He continued His ministry. He did not let the success of yesterday to hinder Him of moving on in His ministry. Apostle Paul knew this secret and he declared: “Of course, my brothers, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God's call through Christ Jesus to the life above” (Philippians 3:13-14 TEV).
Just as ashes can also be as a result of destruction by fire, unfortunately, the “ashes” in some people’s lives can be failures, disappointments and other bad things of life. One has to remove these ashes and move on with one’s life. After all, if there is life, there is hope.
What are the “ashes” you need to remove in your life? Remove them now if you want to forge ahead in your endeavours and keep the fire of progress burning.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Pray that you will be able to remove all the ashes in your life and keep the fire in your life burning.
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God bless you!