God In The Fire

"We neither have to burn up nor drown at the devil's doing."

I WANNA BE TRIED BY FIRE, the song says. No, no you don’t. Fire is HOT. Fire means there is opposition. It means being discomforted. I want pillows and couches. Feathers. Do not try me by fire. Been there, done that, burnt the t- shirt. I prefer soda pop and chocolate candy. Do NOT melt my chocolate. Though I would eat it anyway. Okay, okay, I get it. Dedication, consecration, lifting holy hands. That’s important but … fire. No fire. Fire means smoke. I HATE SMOKE. It obscures things. Then … then I have to TRUST GOD. Okay, that’s a really dumb reason. But, but, God, I can do this WITHOUT THE FIRE. Honest, I can. Just keep telling me the same thing over and over on repeat, and it’ll sink it. I’ll change. I promise.

“Hehehe.” “Oh my.” My daughter had this book that made sounds, and late one night, when she still slept in our bedroom, I stepped on it. Stupid thing laughed and then some girly voice exclaimed her fright. I jumped so high the ceiling and I made friends. Hey, how’s it goin’? The fire lights the way in many directions, and you have to be sure you take the right one. I’m much more one-lane, 20 signs with arrows. Make it obvious, God, and give me good shoes and an even path.

CAN’T ANYONE BE JOHN THE BAPTIST THESE DAYS? (Say that in your Charlie Brown voice). He made the mountains level and the roads straight so everyone could find Jesus. Problem is, some people still didn’t. Some people got angry. When the fire turned up, they retreated to the shadows, preferring a stay in a cave than to endure the heat and stand up. Elisha tried this, and God was like, “Uhm. Whatcha doin’?” Elisha: “Hidin’” Here was the prophet who had just called fire down from heaven and consumed a lake’s worth of water poured over the sacrifice, he’d just dispatched with umpteen prophets of Baal, yet one threat from Jezebel, and he’s hiding in a cave.

There is redemption if you take the wrong road. Even in the fire, or especially in the fire, I should say, God sees your footprints. He knows your thought patterns, why you went the way you did, and if you’ll listen, He’ll redirect you. He’s not afraid to get His hands dirty. He’s been there, done that, too. But fire is fire, and dedication done on our knees, our faces turned toward heaven. The time comes that we’re in the fire, our hearts united with God’s, and the opposition is roaring, God’s passing out breath mints, walking through it all with us. That’s what He did with Daniel’s friends. They said, “Uhm, no,” and the King said, “Then ‘in you go,’” and a short time later, they’re doing the fire dance with the fourth man, aka the Holy Spirit, WHO IS THE FIRE. They didn’t even smell like smoke when they walked out, which means there was smoke.

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” (Matthew 3:11 KJV)

Peter and John got in the fire after healing the man at the Gate Beautiful. Everyone knew the guy had been sitting there for eons, begging alms, only now, he’s galivanting all over Jerusalem singing God’s praises. So the religious leaders call Peter and John in to explain themselves and give a stern warning. But no matter the heat or the threat, neither one of them, nor the remainder of the church would change anything. Grant with all boldness that we may speak thy name with signs and wonders following, they prayed.

Some fire’s of our making. Some is from the enemy, and God will use it to make us more blessed than we ever were. Satan’s fire is not of God or from God. The two don’t compute. God’s fire is cleansing and not condemning, life-changing and holy. Baptized in His Spirit, filled with His glory, you’ll never be the same. His is the rod that consumes all the rods of the false prophets. It’s no battle, and if you’re looking in the fire and thinking God is the problem, then the devil’s talking loudly in your ear. Because Jesus means “Jehovah saved” and He didn’t do what He did and win what He won in order to drag you through anything to teach you. The Spirit does that in a still small voice through the Word of God and prayer. He is gentle and kind to His children but a whirlwind when the enemy comes in against them.

So get out your blowtorch and light the flame. Become the city set on a hill that cannot be hid because the fire in you is so bright. Choose your weapon. Suit up in the armor of God, wield high the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, and rejoice your way through whatever wind and rain try to dampen your courage. Or vice versa. Pour out the rain of the Spirit upon the fire of the enemy. Lift up the sacrifice of praise and worship Him. But most importantly, know the difference. We neither have to burn up nor drown at the devil’s doing. In the midst of the fire, we have THE FIRE burning within us, greater than anything in this world.

“And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.” (Exodus 24:17 KJV)

“And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.” (Acts 2:3 KJV)

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Suzanne D. Williams, Author