I was sitting by the camp fire yesterday, watching the flames and deep in thought about a few things I wish to share here. The fire is persistent and relentless, unforgiving and thorough, it consumes everything you feed it except those things that will not burn. Our God is called a consuming fire. (Deuteronomy 4:24) The writer of Hebrews penned this, “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29) As the fire is relentless, God will never relent of thoroughly purging those things out of us that are not healthy for us nor helpful for us and others.
The Refiner’s Fire
One of my mentors who is not among the dead authors from whom I learn; one of my mentors wrote a song with the following lyrics. “The refiners fire… has now become my soul desire… purged and cleansed and purified… that the Lord be glorified.” I can relate to that. I want God to purge away all of my dross.
All of those things in me that are hurting me and have the potential to hurt others. I want none of it. And yet as I watch the fire burn away the logs that I placed there, an occasional strong wind emerges and the flames rage in a seemingly uncontrollable fashion. I pull back away from the heat. Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes to blow.” This He said to a religious ruler of His time and was a reference to the Spirit of God. “The wind blows where it wishes, you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell from where it came nor where it is going; so it is with everyone that is born of the Spirit.” (Paraphrased from John 3:8) In the very dialogue between Nicodemus (the religious ruler) and Jesus, the Refiner was already beginning to burn away this man’s dross of self-confident religion. He was beginning a refining process in him there. And as I read it again and again He was beginning His refining process in me also.
Our Relationship to The Wind
The wind has incredible power. Just visit the tornado torn towns and villages after
a storm passes and you can witness firsthand just how powerful the wind can be.
Of course Jesus was using wind in John 3:8 metaphorically but consideration of the wind, and our relationship to it, is amazing. We (mankind) once used the wind to move great ships across uncharted oceans. We use wind to power pumps and generators, to fly a kite, and to sail. On a windy day we’re told by the fire department that we cannot burn. Forest fires are a real concern as the recent news can attest. If my little camp fire got out of hand it could level the 40 acres of woodland behind me and some homes along with it. The wind is powerful, often unpredictable, and uncontrollable. Fire also can be this way. It is certainly powerful. When out of control it can be unpredictable and destructive.
The Fire and The Wind
These are the things that I thought about as I sat watching my little fire. The wind blows where God chooses. The Spirit of God moves through His creation touching hearts at will. He is powerful, often unpredictable, and uncontrollable. When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus I learned some things about my God. I am glad for the conversation recorded in John because I was searching for a deeper walk with God, and the things I knew from twenty years of churchianity were not bringing that. I was hungering and thirsting for a real, powerful, unpredictable, and uncontrollable sense of His presence in my life. I did not have to search for long. Now each day in a new way He is refining my soul. He is refining me and making me whole.
We do not like the purging process. It is painful. Change always is. And deep change within the heart, in our paradigms and views, in our convictions and habits, requires purging. Refining. We hold onto comfortable ideas because it is easy to do so. To think outside of the box is work. To pray and search and seek wisdom regarding our beliefs and ourselves is hard work. Most will not take the time or invest the effort. But I am thankful for this beginning of my Red Letter journey as I began to see the working of the Spirit of God in some fresh ways and some new ways.
A Powerfully Persistent Presence
The consuming fire of God will have His way in you if you have asked Him to. The wind will swell up powerfully and then be still again. He will do what needs to be done to draw you into a closer walk with Him, if you’re willing to let Him. He is powerful but precise, He will not waste a word or breathe on that which He knows will not be fruitful. And the fruitfulness of His work in us depends greatly on our response. These are the things that I thought about as I sat by my tiny camp fire.
I hope that you are encouraged by this. My prayer for you my reader is that you will be drawn into a closer walk with our God Who scripture calls a consuming fire. My desire is that many will learn to recognize the Wind as He blows. Also, that I will connect with many who already have. If there is anything that I can help you with or pray with you about please Private Message me. Also, I would love your comments here. Address me directly or other readers if you wish. If you have not already added yourself to the email updates you can do that using the form at the top of this page.
Thank you for reading my post to the end.
Kind regards to you always,