Monday, October 8, 2012

Fire, Fire, Fire!

I have had fire on my mind for the past couple of days.  First, I came upon 320Brugger_Salemer_Klosterbranda photograph of a burned out house and tried to imagine what damage had been done.  Next, I saw an episode of a TV show about an arsonist.  Finally, our pastor preached on love and mentioned fire.

Maybe I have a little bit of the arsonist inside me:  the love of watching fire burn.  There’s something mesmerizing in watching the ever-changing fire in a fireplace or fire pit, a scene composed of wood, coals, embers, fire and smoke, and heat—a heat that can warm cold feet or burn them—in a scene that constantly changes, that’s never static, and, although controlled, still holds an element of danger. 

Fire is a thing of beauty, a force of destruction, and a practical means to cook food.  Yet, there is another sort of fire:  the fire that comes from YHWH, God.  The fire that barred the way back into the Garden, the fire that startled Moses, the fire that consumed sacrifice, the fire inside those who believed at Pentecost, the fire of the Holy Spirit.  Fire is flamed by wind.  I can blow on embers to get them to flame and ignite dry leaves or paper.  The word “spirit” in Hebrew is also wind. 

The Holy Wind of God fans his fire into flames.  Without that Holy Wind, the fire will go out.  Fires have a tendency to go out if deprived of airflow and fuel.  After God’s fire consumed the animal sacrifice laid on the altar, He commanded the priests to keep the fire burning.  The priests were responsible for providing wood to fuel the fire.  God provided the wind, the Spirit. 

Today, we no longer sacrifice animals.  We ourselves are both the sacrifice and the priests.  God provides the fire . . . and the wind of the Holy Spirit.  We must provide the fuel.  What is your fuel?  Mine is reading the Bible, spending quiet time with God, and thinking/writing about what I hear, see, and feel.

Go into the woods and light a campfire.  Or kindle your wood-burner.  Now observe.  Remember the fire God has planted in you and ask him to fan the flames then do what you need to add fuel.  Watch the fire glow more brightly.  I used to ask God to make my face like Moses’, so full of glow that others would see it and ask.  I was missing the point.  The fire is already glowing, I merely need to add fuel.  Next time you see a fire, even a gas flame, think about God and the fire he has placed in you.  Then add fuel and watch it glow.






The image above  is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.  This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years.

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