No matter how furiously you fight against the trials of life, there will come a time when you will be shaken. During those times, it’s as if your life is a now house with shattered pictures, crumbling drywall, and a missing roof. If you’re a Christian, those can be some of the most reassuring moments in your life. Sure, things look messy and ugly, but you’re also able to see the firm foundation of Christ that your life is built on. You will not be completely destroyed. In those moments, when everything else is stripped away, you’re left looking at what your identity in Christ alone truly is.
Just as God calls us to be warriors, He also calls us to be His priests. Revelation 1:5-6 says, “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” This is a place of honor and responsibility which God has found you worthy of. To fully understand the position we hold, we have to look back at what purposes God originally had for His priests.
First, He clothed them with a royal garment. In Exodus 28:2, 38 He commands, “And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty… You shall make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet, ‘Holy to the Lord’.” God cherishes His priests as they minister to Him. As long as the priests of the Lord are doing their job, the people will walk rightly with the Lord, which in turn means that the priests will be provided for.
As that verse also suggests, the priests are to be Holy to the Lord. They are set apart from the rest of the people, yet they continue to interact with the rest of the people. In whatever sphere of influence we are in, we are mediators between man and God. God cares for the Christians as much as he does the non-Christians (Matthew 5:45). But the sin of the wicked will bring destruction to their environments, yet, as Christians in that same environment, we can inquire of the Lord on their behest. When He moves, we proclaim what He’s done and give honor to Him.
Other roles of the priest are to make sacrifices and burn incense. God no longer requires from us the blood of bulls and goats, but the sacrifice He does call us to is far more demanding. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1. Every morning, we must choose to subject our emotions and bodies, and wills to Him, which is how we become a living sacrifice. Our hands are no longer our own. The work they do is an act of worship onto the Lord.
The incense that God commanded the priests to burn was an exclusive blend. It was forbidden for anyone else to use the blend of scents (Exodus 30:22-38). God wants us to be fragrant before Him. I do recommend keeping up with your daily hygiene, but as we know, God cares more about the heart. Our prayers are our incense before His throne in Heaven. “And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” Revelation 5:8. Whether we’re singing out His praise or groaning in our soul with anguish, the Creator of the Universe cherishes our communication with Him as a pleasing aroma.
Because God cares for His priests, He also commands that they be guarded. Numbers 3:10 says, “And you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall guard their priesthood. But if any outsider comes near, he shall be put the death.” Remember that this is a sacred calling that all Christians have. There are false priests out there that will try to mediate between the people and God, but when they do so, it will bring death and harm. This also is echoed by Paul in the book of 1 Timothy 4:16, “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” If our priesthood needs to be guarded, that means it will be under attack.
There are false gospels being proclaimed such as there is no hell, God just wants you to be happy, as long as you’re a good person you’ll be saved, sin isn’t a big deal to God. These are false. We cannot let them slither into our hearts and minds. They are a disease and will rot both you and the people you have influence over. On the contrary, if you remain strong in the true gospel, you will share the only power able to save people from their sins and the curse of death on this world. Hold firm to Scripture as it is the inerrant and authoritative word of God, and through it all men find true life.
We need to be both speaking truth to those we meet and praying over their hurts being available and accepting our responsibility to do so as Priests of the Living God. Continue in doing so, and you will be rewarded. God found you worthy to entrust this position to you.
“Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
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