Winters are chilly where I live, to put it lightly. We live on a ranch in a very remote area of eastern Montana, where brutal winter wind can roll across the open prairies and grassland, creating sub-zero wind chills that will freeze you right down to the bone. I can endure snow and cold but that wind – oh my, it cuts through my Carhart coveralls like a knife, and I simply cannot find a pair of boots that are insulated enough to keep my toes from becoming like ice cubes. I’m just not that tough, I guess! The mountain-man life is not for me.
Therefore, we have a wood-pellet stove that sits just inside the doors of our walk-out basement that becomes our very best friend in the winter months! Keeping the fire burning in that wood stove is invaluable for warming up cold hands and feet, thawing frozen buckets of hydraulic fluid, and drying off newborn calves that were born in a winter storm. I would venture to say it was one of the very best purchases for our home that we ever made!
I was reading a chapter in my tabernacle Bible study this morning when I had what I like to call one of my “God moments.” He speaks to me a lot when I’m reading the Bible or working on a study. He points me to what He wants me to read, and then certain words or phrases just suddenly jump out at me, and a light bulb goes off, so to speak. I can hear God saying, “Read that again – really hear what I’m saying.”
So, I’m reading about God’s commands regarding the construction of the tabernacle. God was very specific in His instructions to the Israelites about how to construct every element of the tabernacle. It was going to be His dwelling place with the people, so it had to be exactly as He commanded! God commanded Aaron and his sons, in great detail, about how to prepare the first burnt offerings. Aaron was obedient and completed God’s instructions for the preparations of the offering. God was satisfied with what he had done and He responded. Leviticus 9:24 says, “Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar” (NIV). God himself lit the fire on the altar! It gives me chills thinking about what the people saw and felt in that moment!
Now, this is where I had my “God moment.” It says in Leviticus 6:13, “The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.” His words just leaped out at me…I could hear Him say softly, “Keep the fire burning.” Looking back in that chapter I noticed God repeats this phrase three times. Now when God repeats something three times, I think He is pretty serious about it! God wants us to keep the fire He started burning!
We are blessed to live under the new covenant with Christ. We don’t have to prepare burnt offerings every day to atone for our sins. Jesus has paid the price - He was the perfect sacrificial lamb on the altar to atone for our sins. He took on all sin in one glorious act on the cross - His death gave us life! When we accept Christ into our hearts, the offering is accepted, and God lights His fire in each one of us!
This reminded me of that wood-pellet stove in our basement. We only keep that fire burning in the winter months when it’s cold out and we need the extra heat. I don’t need that fire going all the time. But I need God every single day!! In 2 Timothy 1:6, it says, “For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” God lit His fire in us when we were saved. It was a gift of His grace that we did not deserve. Now it is our job to fan the flame – live our lives in fellowship with Him, in obedience to His will in our lives, in joy knowing who He is and what He has done! He has completed the finished work through Christ to light the fire - now we need to keep that fire burning!
Keri lives on a cattle ranch in eastern Montana with her husband and their two sons. She received her bachelor’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Science at Ohio State University and has worked in the clinical laboratory field for 31 years. She is also the Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator for McCone County where she assists residents with emergency preparedness and disaster recovery.
She enjoys reading, writing, creating family scrapbooks, and following their kids in sports. She loves animals, especially her dogs, cats, horses, and their baby calves every spring. She grew up in Ohio but has grown to appreciate the wide-open spaces of rural Montana – the big skies, rolling prairies and colorful badlands found on their ranch!
She has recently re-dedicated her life to Jesus and has been thriving in the Word! She enjoys fellowship time with other Christian ladies, both online through First Love and in Bible studies in her community.