Our Spiritual Journey Inside the Tabernacle – Part 7: The Altar of Incense
Having come through the entrance of the courtyard of the tabernacle, progressing from the bronze altar, to the bronze basin, to the menorah, and then the table of showbread, our spirit and our mind are continually being transformed to be more closely aligned to God’s. We begin to desire more and more of Him.
As we see with His eyes into the spiritual realm, we begin to desire the same things He does. Our heart becomes more compassionate, our mind more discerning. We are filled with faith and want to participate in bringing about His will.
Romans 12:2 says,
“…be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
This is the point we’ve now come to.
One of the ways we participate with Him is through prayer. Earlier in our spiritual journey, we prayed as we saw fit, according to our desires. But that only gets us so far. Eventually prayers for our will separate us from participating in bringing about God’s true purposes.
Now that our mind and perspective are being transformed, we can pray according to His will. God has now brought us further into His tabernacle — to the Altar of Incense. Now He teaches us to pray according to His will.
In Exodus 30:1, 7-8 the altar is described as follows:
“You are to make an altar on which to burn incense….Aaron will burn fragrant incense on it as a pleasing aroma every morning; he is to burn it when he prepares the lamps. Aaron is also to burn it when he lights the lamps at dusk; this is the regular burning of incense before Adonai through all your generations.”
And in Revelation 8:3-4 the incense is described this way:
“Another angel came and stood at the altar [of incense] with a gold incense-bowl, and he was given a large quantity of incense to add to the prayers of all God’s people on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense went up with the prayers of God’s people – from the hand of the angel, to God.”
This shows us that the smoke of the burning incense is what is mixed with our prayers before they rise to God. Just like the smoke from the altar, our prayers are to be a perpetual offering before the Lord, morning and night. To “pray without ceasing” is our constant communication with God in all we do, throughout our days and evenings. This keeps us close to Him, so He can guide our steps, our words, our actions and we can glorify Him in all we do. This is how we participate as a partner in his kingdom.
Yeshua describes our new relationship with the Father in John 15:15:
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
This is true intercession, knowing the Father’s business and participating in the spiritual realm to bring about his purposes on earth. This is the ministry of the Altar of Incense.