Leviticus 10:1,2 “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. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.”

     Playing around with fire can kill you.  Playing around with God will kill you.  This is a harsh reality.  The fatal outcome of careless, prideful and foolish actions are always tragic.  Some could say; “It doesn’t seem right.  It’s unfair. They didn’t mean it!” Such thinking always occurs after the fact and very few assess the attitudes and actions of those who are undone by their own wayward tendencies.

     Nadab and Abihu’s actions; ” . . .  betrayed a carelessness, an irreverence, a want of faith, most surprising and lamentable.” (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown)   The Scofield commentary explains; “The sin of Nadab and Abihu was in acting in the things of God without seeking the mind of God. It was ‘will worship’ Colossians 2:23 which often has a ‘show of wisdom and humility.’ It typifies any use of carnal means to kindle the fire of devotion and praise.”

     This carnal ‘will worship’ takes many forms such as teaching people to dance before the Lord in one particular manner and making the false claim that ‘true worship’ must have only this form of ‘dancing’.   ‘Will worship’ can also take the form of elevating one particular charismatic gift over all others.  ‘Will worship’ always betrays and denies God’s Word.  Paul warns; “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind . . . ” (Colossians 2:18)

     Some false teachers will encourage their ‘flock’ to declare themselves to be liars, cheats and thieves as a show of their  ‘humble’ Christianity.  This is a wilful and direct contradiction of Scripture; “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

     Matthew Henry sums up the ‘wrong headedness’ of will worship; “True wisdom is, to keep close to the appointments of the gospel; in entire subjection to Christ, who is the only Head of his church. Self-imposed sufferings and fastings, might have a show of uncommon spirituality and willingness for suffering, but this was not ‘in any honour’ to God. The whole tended, in a wrong manner, to satisfy the carnal mind, by gratifying self-will, self-wisdom, self-righteousness, and contempt of others.”

     The strange fire of ‘will worship’ is sweeping through our churches and destroying many.  Jesus tells us what God desires; “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshippers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23,24)

     God Himself will extinguish the strange fires burning today.  It will be as terrible as it was for Nadab and Abihu.  “The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:30,31)

     Let us give God His due; “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28,29)

     Praise the Lord!