TD Jakes - Aroma of Prayer
There is some synergy between the brazen altar and the altar of incense, so put them up side by side so we can look at them. Look at how similar. They're very similar in their fashion and their shape but this one is a killing place and this one is a praying place. Both of them are altars. In this place the flesh is killed. In this place the will is killed, see? It is possible to have had salvation, price paid, at the brazen altar and still struggle with having your will to die at the altar of incense. Both of them are on fire. It's gonna take fire to offer up the kinda sacrifice that makes your will submit to God.
Do you understand that prayer will break through your fleshly will. Are you following what I'm saying to you? And I want you to see this because this is important. Now, in the brazen altar, which was the first thing we saw at the door, everybody had access to it, but when you get to the altar of incense, this is the place of intercession. This is the place where Aaron and his sons went in to represent the children of Israel, and this is where God begins to give us a sneak preview of what he's going to do in Christ, because all of the children of Israel who dwelt around the tabernacle could not get into the most holy place, but they had a man on the inside. Somebody got it. They had a man on the inside.
Somebody say, "I got a man on the inside". Having a man on the inside changes everything. When you got a man on the inside, they can carry your concerns to a place that you didn't have access to go on your own. I got a man on the inside. Say it again, "I got a man on the inside". That's what the priests did when they went in. They went in where Israel couldn't go, to say what Israel couldn't say, to fight what Israel couldn't fight, because they knew that they had a man on the inside. This is why Christ is your Man on the inside.
When we were at the table of shewbread we saw provision. Y'all hear what I'm saying? We saw provision at the table of shewbread. At the altar of incense we see prayer. At the candlesticks we see presence, so we got prayer, we got provision, and we got presence. We got prayer, we got provision, and we got presence. I'm gonna deal with the presence next week, glory to God, but this week I'm dealing with the altar of incense, and you can't deal with the altar of incense if I don't teach you these things. This is important for you to understand. Is anybody getting what I'm talking about? Now, there are some things you have to understand about the altar of incense. You can't talk about the altar of incense without talking about fire. Yeah, it's gonna be some burned.
So, when you wanna have a great prayer life, God doesn't give you a book on prayer. It's fire. You know why? Fire will make you pray! Fire will make you get down on your knees. Losing your job will give you a prayer life. Your children in trouble will make you call on the Lord. The Bible says it was good for me that I was afflicted. It was good for me that I got in trouble. It was good for me that you didn't help me. It was good for me that I had to go by myself. It was good for me that God put me in a position that I had to call on him in a way that I never had to call on him before. Some of you that's been going through all hell breaking loose over your life, God is just setting you on fire so that you can become a prayer warrior for his glory. Who I am talking to?
Touch three people and tell 'em, "I'm about to set it off in here". Don't think you're gonna sit by me and not be affected, because if you get near me I'm gonna set it off. You're gonna know that I was here. You're gonna know that I was here. I got a prayer life going up before God as a sweet-smelling savor. Yes, indeed. I'm gonna have some impact up in here. There is gonna be some change up in here. There is gonna be some healing up in here. When I pray, my prayers goes up. My prayer goes up, and God gets in the smoke, and God gets in the glory, and God starts moving. The Bible says your prayer goes up before God as a sweet-smelling savor. Somebody talk to me. Touch somebody and say, "I dare you to pray".
I come against every devil that told you, you couldn't get a prayer-through. The devil is a liar. If you call on the name of the Lord, you absolutely can get a prayer-through. I don't know who I'm talking to, but I know what I'm talking about. Touch ten people and tell 'em, "Your prayer is going through". Yeah, your prayer is going through. Gospel choirs, your prayer is going through. The Lord wanted you to be here this morning so you would have evidence that your prayer is going through. Keep on calling on Jesus. Touch three people and say, Keep calling on him. When you're backed up against the wall, keep calling on him. When all hell is breaking loose, keep calling on him. When they said you'd never be back, just keep calling on him, 'cause God said, "I can smell it. God said it's in the atmosphere. God said it's going up into his presence. I wanna take 30 seconds and just give God praise all over this room.
Leviticus 10:1-7. "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron..." Nadab and Abihu are the sons of Aaron. Aaron has five sons and these are two of them. "Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire thereon, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not". Some of the things we see happening today. It's strange fire. "And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord".
Now, these are two of Aaron's sons, and they are priests, and they are in the most holy place, and they offered up strange fire, and they died because the presence of the Lord went out and consumed them, and they died. God said: I'm not playing. If you think you're playing with God, you're playing by yourself 'cause God doesn't play. God says, "I'm not playing". "Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace".
Now, you read it, but now feel it. Aaron's two sons are dead, and Moses tells Aaron, "God is not playing about this," and Aaron, with his two sons lying there dead, held his peace. "And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come get your cousins". This is the Ebonic version. "Come here. Get your cousins up outta here now 'cause they done gone too far this time. They acting crazy and come get 'em". "Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp".
See, we have lost our fear of God. It used to be a fear and a reverence of God. I mean, even sinners had it. They might be cussing, but when they got by the church, they said, "Shut up, man. We're by the church". We have lost our fear of God. That's why you can come in here cross-dressed. We've lost our fear of God. We don't have respect for God. There ought to be something when you come in the house of God. There ought to be some respect. You don't come in here acting like a... I'm old-school. I'm sorry. I apologize. Please forgive me. I'm outta date. I'm outta style. Come on finish this message. I'm too old-school to talk to you.
"So they went near, and carried them in their coats," so they got their coats and took their coats off, "and carried their cousins out of the camp; as Moses had said. And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons," now, this is what he got left in the family, "Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die". In other words, God says, "Don't have an attitude. Don't uncover your head as a sign of grieving, nor rend your clothes, 'cause I'll take you, too". "And lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning". The people can bewail the burning which the Lord hath kindled, but not you. You don't get to show off. You're too far in to be childish.
See, this will stop a lot of people from saying they were called to ministry. If you understood the responsibility of ministry and you didn't see it as a gig or an opportunity to get your come-up Oh, God. "And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die". God is in a bad mood right now. He said, "Don't move. Don't turn to the left or the right". "For the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses".
I have learned something in my life. I have learned something the hard way. It's been many, many times in my life because of my relationship and my rapport and my love and my compassion, I am by nature merciful. I will do anything to help you, save you, get you out a burning building, but I have learned that when God is executing judgment, to get out of the way. Get out of the way. No matter how I feel about it, nor how much I love you, and I have learned the signs. When I keep trying to save you and I can't get you out, I know God is doing something that's bigger than me, and I have to step aside. That goes for children. That goes for family. That goes for everybody.
Some of you all are trying to stop God from doing what God has to do to get through to somebody because you love 'em. You better get out of the way lest ye die. The Scripture say that the priest was to go outside to the brazen altar and get your fire from here. I don't want fire from anywhere else. "Get your fire from here and if you take the fire from here and put it on this I will receive you". The reason they died is because they brought some worldly fire into the presence of God and thought it didn't make any difference. God said, "The only fire I want on this altar is fire that comes from here". In other words, the other thing you need to understand about it is because you are a Christian you have a covenant with God, and you have access to him in prayer in a way that you wouldn't have if you had not been to the brazen altar first. The altar of incense would not open unto you.
Now can come boldly. Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. You can come boldly. If you have been to the brazen altar, if you have accepted Christ and recognize that he died for your sin and you are a born-again Christian, you want to always work from your foundation. Everything in the kingdom is birthed out of your salvation. "Restore unto me the joys of thy salvation". Okay, here is a better. With joy we draw waters from the wells of salvation. It all comes from right there. Everything comes from there. Everything comes from the brazen altar, everything.
Everything comes from the brazen altar. My wife, my family, my business, my finances is all on fire from this place. If you don't take it from the brazen altar and offer it up on the altar of incense, it doesn't have impact. That means this is how we need to be. I'm gonna practicalize the text. "Lord, I don't want a woman that didn't come from there. I don't want a job that didn't come from there. I don't want a friend that didn't come from there. I don't want an opportunity that didn't come from there. I don't want anybody else's blessing. I only want the blessing that you have for me. I only want the things to happen in my life that were predestined from the foundations of the world. Lord, get all the strange fire out of my life: strange friends, strange relationships, strange people who don't have the DNA that you have designed for me. I'm sorry I have been asking you to bless strange fire.
My almost-final point is that prayer changes the prayer. Prayer changes things. Prayer changes people. Prayer won't change things or people before it changes the prayer. Prayer changes you first. How many people have had prayer change you? You know why Jesus tells us to pray for your enemies? Because you can't hate who you pray for. Try it, not if you pray from the brazen altar. Uh-oh, thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord. He just brought it back to me right then. I was about to forget it. All of this praying God kills 'em, destroys 'em, praying they won't get the job, praying they won't get the house, that's strange fire. That's not the Holy Ghost. That's witchcraft, and it's not gonna work because you can't curse what God has blessed. I wish I had some blessed people in here. If I had some blessed people in here, they would tell you, you are blessed in spite of who tried to curse you. You're not where you are because you don't have enemies. There is a lot of people hope you drop dead right now, and the only reason you didn't drop is because they can't curse what God has blessed. If God has blessed you, no weapon formed against you shall be able to prosper. Somebody holler, "I'm blessed".