“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.”
The sin of Nadab and Abihu seems to be replicated in the hearts of many Christians daily. God killed these men because they used a strange fire. Sadly, these men who had so much potential lost their lives because they chose to do things their way. The wrong fire not only led to their physical death, but it also ended their spiritual influence. Many lessons can be learned from the foolish act of Nadab and Abihu.
First, God’s methods do matter. These men thought that a little change in the method wasn’t as important as the fire on the altar, but God said otherwise. God is interested in how we do things. The fire the Christian receives starts with the methods we use. If your methods are wrong, it will lead to a strange fire. You can’t copy the compromiser’s methods and expect God to bless with His holy fire in your soul.
Second, your spiritual influence is directly related to your physical associations. These men got their fire from the wrong place. It reminds me of Peter who stood at the heathen’s fire to stay warm, and that fire caused him to deny who he was and what he believed. You can’t stay by the heathen’s fire and it not influence your spirituality. My friend, you can’t expect to make spiritual decisions when you are running with influences who’s fire comes from the wrong bible. The influences you surround yourself with may be good people in the world’s eyes, but they will adversely affect your spirituality if they are not getting their fire from God.
Third, strange fire always gives off the wrong incense. It is interesting that these men had their own incense and not God’s. Who you associate with will determine the odor you give off to God. Christian, you can’t run in the world and among compromisers without getting their worldly stench on you. When you’re walking around the heathen’s fire, you are always going to get their smell on you. When your ideas and methodology comes from the wrong places, it always produces Christians who smell like the world. If you want people you influence to look like and live like a Christian, you had better get your ideas from people who believe and walk according to God’s Word.
Fourth, strange fire is no substitute for God’s fire. Nadab and Abihu thought they could conjure up their own fire and it would suffice, but God revealed that strange fire is not acceptable to Him. Emotionalism and intellectual activity that is produced by the wrong fire always leads to a strange fire. Though God is not against excitement and emotionalism, He wants it to be a result of getting it from the right source.
You may wonder what the right source is? The right source is God’s Word and His Holy Spirit’s power. You will never have the right fire if you don’t spend time in God’s Word. Let me ask you, do the truths of God’s Word make you excited, or does your excitement have to be manufactured through music and man’s emotionalism? The only fire that makes a difference in the lives of others is the fire that comes from God’s Word and the Christian being empowered by the Holy Spirit. Let me encourage you to be sure your life is not giving off a strange fire, but that the incense it gives off to the world is a result of your time spent with God and the Holy Spirit empowering you as a believer.