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The Wind Blows Where God Chooses

Close up of logs burning; Can you feel the heat?

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.

Close up of molten gold; Can you feel the heat?

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.

The fallen trees and homes in this picture makes my heart ache for those who have endured natural disasters of which there are many.

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.

Photo of a distant forest fire. The black of the night offsets the orange of the fire’s glow and the falling embers. You can almost feel the heat.

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.

I was looking for an image to depict freshness as we take a fresh look at the things of the Spirit. This simple image of water droplets on a blade of grass caught my eye.

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,

Carl

AllMyMentorsAreDead.com

Carl

6 Comments

  1. Good food for thought.

    There is so much dross in me if God set it all on fire at once I would be consumed. Good thing He knows how to control the fire, just like you said about your burn, you took measures to make sure it didn’t get out of hand, God knows how much fire and smoke I can handle at one time. The trick is after something is burned you can’t neglect it or the weeds and brush will grow back and will need to be burned again. This process can be painful but after a fire the renewal of the land can begin, bearing a more fruitful harvest.

    • Matthew we all have more dross than we realize or care to admit. Being aware of it is the first part of God’s process of changing us and most can not bare being aware of it. I think more that we are like gold or silver in the refiner’s pot. The fire gets hot beneath us but we are unharmed, only changed, in the pot. Of course by unharmed I do not mean that we do not feel the heat. I am thinking of Proverbs 25:4 here, “Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.” but the very next verse gives the truer context than how I am thinking of it. If I am not mistaken there are other verses that speak about our refining process. Our experience of course has been one of refining. Thank you for your comment Matthew. You are always an encouragement to me.

      Kind regards always and forever,

      Carl

  2. Very good post, my brother! Most Christians don’t want to discuss such topics in the apostasy in which we find ourselves these days.

    Our God IS indeed a consuming fire. He does indeed burn away the dross in us, sometimes whether we want Him to, or not; AND whether we like it or not! Sometimes, even if we have asked Him to burn the dross, we draw back from the pain. But, God is faithful. He continues His work even if we think we have changed our mind.

    I’ve noticed that the Lord doesn’t waste much time on vessels that will not respond to His efforts. There is no better example of that than the one He gave us in Jeremiah 18:1-4. If you’ve ever considered what a potter does to his clay pieces, you can see clearly what God does with His own.

    First, the clay is SLAMMED onto a wheel! Then, the wheel sets the clay to spinning! Then the Potter puts his hands deep into the heart of the clay to begin forming it into the shape he wants! After all of that, the vessel is placed in the fire!

    There are some types of clay that cannot handle the fire, The vessel made from this clay breaks to pieces in the oven! The Potter will NOT use this type of clay.

    Of the types of clay that CAN handle fire, only certain of them can be fired multiple times without being destroyed! This type of clay is the one that is used as dishes for serving food! To be used for feeding others REQUIRES multiple firings!

    I think you can probably understand the illustration. If we want the Lord to bring the fire on us He will, as you have said in this post. He knows how much fire we can stand! He is looking for the vessels that can withstand multiple firings because His desire is to feed others with the bread of life!

    Peter understood this after he had passed through the fire. In John 21:15-17, he realized why the Lord, as a consuming fire, had burned the undesirable dross from him!

    Excellent post, brother Carl!

    Donnie

    • Great verses Donnie! I had all but forgotten Jeremiah 18:4, “And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.”

      My concern with this realization for the preacher, as we have discussed in other comment threads, is that they take it as their mission to be God’s instrument of purging and beat the flock. I have seen it too many times. True God set Jeremiah over the nations “to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:10 but too many times the shepherd (pastor) today takes on the ministry of the prophets of old. Of course it was Jeremiah that also wrote, “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.” Jeremiah 23:1 I think some preachers today (some not all) choose what verses they want to apply to themselves and what verses they wish to apply to others rather than letting the context determine the application. These are not things we have not already discussed of course but my readers perhaps have not seen our other dialogue. I love what God inspired in verse 4, “And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.” Neither shall they be lacking. Amen.

      Brother I always appreciate the thoroughness of your comments. You are always an encouragement.

      Kind regards always and forever,

      Carl

  3. Great post Carl!

    The purification process is indeed painful, yet the Lord’s work in us is gentle and His loving kindness is soothing. All of us may be at a different level or growing at different speeds, but I believe it is through those constant small choices to sacrifice what is easy and pleasurable, in order to turn toward that which is in line with His plan, how we stay on the path that leads to life, oftentimes not even feeling the process of being molded and then finding out small changes have taken place.

    The following passage from Jonah 2:8-9 encapsulates this idea for me: “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord’.”

    Blessings,

    Edwin

    • Edwin this verse that you shared, Jonah 2:8 in particular, had an amazing affect on me when I began to think about it in it’s context and it’s relevance to me in the context of my life at the time. Thank you for sharing it. It is definitely a painful process to go through refining but the peaceable fruit of righteousness that it creates in us is well worth it. I am sure you’ll agree. I am thankful too for the Lord’s gentle ways with us when He is sometimes performing very invasive surgery. I am thankful He is the Great Physician.

      Thank you for your comment again Edwin
      Kind regards again, always, and forever.

      Carl

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