The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, February 7, 2024, was written by Muyiwa Benralph Olaiya of Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria.
8 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 9 Command Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the ritual of the burnt offering. The burnt offering itself shall remain on the hearth upon the altar all night until the morning, while the fire on the altar shall be kept burning. 10 The priest shall put on his linen vestments after putting on his linen undergarments next to his body; and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire has reduced the burnt offering on the altar, and place them beside the altar. 11 Then he shall take off his vestments and put on other garments, and carry the ashes out to a clean place outside the camp. 12 The fire on the altar shall be kept burning; it shall not go out. Every morning the priest shall add wood to it, lay out the burnt offering on it, and turn into smoke the fat pieces of the offerings of well-being. 13 A perpetual fire shall be kept burning on the altar; it shall not go out.
Leviticus 6:8-13 NRSV
In my sister's garden, spinach blossomed with irresistible green leaves and lush shoots. I wanted to replicate this sight at my house, so I picked some seedlings for my small garden. Weeks passsed, but my spinach did not produce the same beauty. I studied my sister's method, and I realized I had missed an important step. Every morning before going to work, she waters the garden with water from her small fishpond, providing the plants with daily nutrients, and making her garden green and lush.
The Holy Spirit taught me a great lesson from this observation. At that time, I had not applied the principle of daily nurture to my Christianity. I woke early to beat the traffic on my way to work. If I was running late, I would skip my morning devotion or say my prayers in a hurry. Some days got so busy that I had no time to return to my devotions. This inconsistent care for my faith was precarious.
Just like the daily addition of wood kept the fire on the altar burning in Leviticus 6:12-13, the daily care my sister gives her plants keeps her garden green. To get the same result in my spiritual life, I must pray and meditate on God's word every day. Those who blossom spiritually do not get there by chance; they consistently work at it. This is the recipe for spiritual growth.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
Spiritual development, intentionally learning and aligning our lives to Christ, is the responsibility of ever follower of Christ. Spiritual development does not happen automatically, nor without significant consistent effort. I invite you to reread Muyiwa's reflection and prioritize creating a daily time to pray.
Dear Lord, forgive us when we are too busy to give attention to you. Help us to prioritize our spirtual growth by spending time with you each day. Amen.