FIRE

Do you yearn for the purification that only God brings to your life?

“I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!” [1]

Is that fire burning in you?

Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire spoken of by John the Baptist?

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” [2]

So much baggage, hurt, and shame being carried around.

We cling greedily to vanity, ego, and fear.

Looking everywhere for security, it forever escapes us.

Even massive wealth and power do not provide us peaceful rest. 

And the smothered, constrained soul remains quiet and gagged. 

Until finally, one day, the silenced soul summons enough courage to cry out,

“Enough!”

I’ve had enough of wandering in the wilderness alone.

I’ve had enough of this troubled world invading my psyche to do me harm.

I’ve had enough of the loneliness.

I’ve had enough of toxic relationships driving me insane.

I’ve had enough of my own past haunting me, hunting me down relentlessly. 

Send me your fire, O Lord, send it down!

The fire seen by Moses on Mount Sinai as he walked on holy ground.

The fire Elijah called upon to consume the burnt offering to defeat the 450 prophets of Baal.

The tongues of fire of Pentecost that came with a mighty rushing wind from heaven.

The fire burning in the eyes of the Son of Man in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

They fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” [3]

For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. [4]

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. [5]

May that fire lead you to the altar of the cross of Christ.

May all your guilt, shame, hurt, and sin be burned in the consuming fire of God’s justice and righteousness upon which his throne sits.

May it purify you to your marrow and transform you.

May it leave nothing behind but an honest, sincere heart that says:

Yes. God is God. I am a sinner. I am nothing but clay formed from dust and ashes.

And yet somehow the love that lights the sun and the stars breathes life into me.

The love that created the universe loves me.

The love of God has been made known to me by the crucified Lamb.

The burning fire overwhelms me.

So I walk on holy ground.

I defeat the prophets of Baal.

The wind of the Spirit rushes through me.

Christ resurrected reveals himself to me.

And the fire gives way to a gentle whisper that tells me,

“You are home now.

Rest child.

You are loved, safe, and free.”

_______

[1] Lucas 12:49-50

[2] Matthew 3:11

[3]1 Kings 18:39 

[4]Deuteronomy 4:24

[5]Hebrews 12:28-28

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