I love gazing into a crackling, well contained fire.
The flames are full of motion, you see light of varying shades and colors dancing, there is warmth and the smell of fire that fills the air.
Whether it be in a fire pit outside on a cool, crisp fall evening or near a fireplace snuggled up inside on a cold winters night. There is something mesmerizing, mysterious and even desirable about fire.
Many moons ago I may have played a Fireplace DVD, during the winter months, just for the “crackling effect” when we did not have a fireplace.
Anyone else? Okay, maybe that’s just me.
So during the hot summer months it never crosses my mind to sit by a fire. You?
Living in the deep South I have learned that even during the winter you may have turn up the air conditioning just to get your home cool enough to enjoy a fire in the fireplace. Sad, I know!
I use to think that if God had an assignment for me that it would happen once I came through my current hardship or once I survived the tough season I was in or once the temperature was just right.
It never crossed my mind that God would expect me to encourage others in the heat of my own circumstances.
God’s plans for us are far different to what we expect. I found myself being called into a time of ministry during one of the toughest transitions of my life. Prior to this I had expressed to my husband, “This is your time to be involved in ministry, not mine.”
Boy did I have things backwards. I’m sure God gets a good chuckle when we decide what we are or are not going to do and I just happen to be stubborn this way.
When we are feeling the “heat” of life, we often push back from God or try to run. We begin telling Him what we think He should do and not really listen to what He may be asking of us.
Fire is full of motion, it does not stand still; God is always moving and working with intentions that we cannot fathom. God uses fire to change, mold and shape us.
Strangely enough He often calls us to help others while he’s still changing, molding and shaping us in the fire.
So while we are saying, “no” to what God is asking of us, he is saying, “I’m with you in the fire. Not only that, I want to use the “fire” you’re dealing with to ignite a passion in you and others that you did not know could exist.
I know you feel like you cannot do this, but it’s not based upon you.
It’s based upon my anointing, my wisdom, my resources and my matchless power that will get the assignment accomplished in and through you. I want to use the heat you’re experiencing to draw something out of you, that only I can create and use. Will you let me?”
“For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).
We cannot contain or control God, just as a raging wildfire on this earth is difficult to contain and control. God will not destroy us in the fire; He will rebuild us stronger as a result of the fire.
Have you ever said a loud, “No!” in your mind, but find your lips saying a soft, “Yes” to the person who is asking you a daunting question and you’re not even completely sure why?
Maybe it’s a knowing deep inside that if you say, “no” to them, you’re actually saying no to God.
Fire is catching and mysterious; our God is full of the unknown and if we know and love him – we will desire Him even in the “heat” of our lives. We may find ourselves asking, “How will I accomplish what I’m agreeing to do?”
Fire starts with friction.
God uses friction in our lives to create and fulfill the desires of our hearts. He has placed longings in each of us and before we see those longings fulfilled, we will face heat and friction.
Do not let the friction or the conflict or the heat scare you off.
If there is heat, if there is friction, if there is conflict, and you are experiencing God’s peace in the midst of this – rest in Him while you reside in the fire. Find joy in the mystery, even embrace the friction and the heat when it’s God walking through the fire with you!
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein
This was what Nebuchadnezzar witnessed and the words he spoke. “He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” (Daniel 3:25). He expected the fire to devour the three men he had thrown in the furnace, instead they were walking about unharmed. Not only that, their God appeared in the fire with them.
God does not leave us in the fire alone, he joins us in the heat and reveals himself to us.
How can we know what only He can do, if we do not NEED Him to do it.
In the fire we need help, even to breathe.
In the fire we need superpower, not human power, to survive and overcome.
In the fire we need a hero.
God never becomes more real to us than when we are in the fire.
“There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up.” Exodus 3:2
God wants to speak to us in the fire. Be encouraged that while the flames might be roaring, you will not burn up. God is speaking to you and what he imprints on your heart, in the fire, will not be removed.
When you hear God in the fire it’s like an animal being branded with the farmer’s markings to show ownership. It’s a powerful branding of the heart that is not easily removed!
You are His and it’s in the deepest part of you that you know this, when God has walked through the fire with you.
If God will walk through the fire with us then why should we ever fear?
“For I have every confidence that nothing – not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, height, depth, nor any created thing – can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
If you’re alive it’s inevitable that you will walk through the fire. This happens as a result of the sin fallen world we live in.
What you need to know if you are walking through the fire:
- Know that you are loved
- know that you are seen by God
- know that God is with you in the fire
- know that God is molding, shaping and creating something new in you
- Know that God will not let the fire destroy you
- Know that He is speaking to you in the fire
- Know that He is branding His love for you into the deepest part of your being
- Know that if you allow God to be your strength in the fire, as a result, he will rebuild you stronger than before you entered the fire
- Know that God is using the friction and heat to ignite a passion in you that will not die
- Know that you need to keep walking, one step at a time until you step out of the fire and you will
Dare to say, “yes” when God gives you an assignment in the fire. It’s His power that will work marvelous miracles in and through you! Be courageous my friend, you can do more than you think that you can.
Our nature is to avoid the dangers of fire. We want to enjoy watching contained, controlled fires that we can just get close enough to gain warmth from, but not get close enough to be transformed by.
Be willing to be transformed.
You can trust God in the fire.
Maybe the next time you feel the unwelcome heat from an unexpected fire, you will stop and wonder just what God is up to.
“The Spirit brings life. The flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have been teaching you are spirit and life, but some of you do not believe” (John 6:63).
Let’s challenge each other to believe God even when the flames are ranging!
In this with you my friend!
P.S. On a lighter note, my first reaction to “the fire” that comes in our lives is to run. You? This is a fun photo my husband photo shopped together a while back.