FORMING COMMUNITIES | DAY 21.
‘Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire”.’ (Hebrews 12:28-29 NIV)
One of my fondest childhood memories is our family gatherings at Christmas in our Grandparents home. As children we would nestle around her open fire in the sitting room, our cheeks aglow like ripened cherries from the heat. I was fascinated with the flames as they danced & darted up the chimney, and how the fire seemed to crackle and sputter, it was cheerful, cozy and we welcomed its warmth. John Wesley said that if you catch on fire people will come for miles to see you burn! He understood the intrinsic attraction flames represent for most people.
There is a well-known worship song and the lyrics are, ‘Set a fire down in my soul, that I can’t contain, that I can’t control, I want more of you, God’. In others words, we want God to light a fire that consumes all we are from the inside out. To be completely overtaken by his bright, refining, purifying, passionate fire. Allowing the Holy Spirit to have his way in our lives with no restrictions or limits, fully surrendered. Just imagine for a moment if we were to take that fire with us into our communities. Whenever we went to collect the kids from school or on the bus to college, even in the supermarket or sitting at our desk in work. Whenever and wherever He sends you. Where there is passionate Kingdom activity, it will change the environment you do life in, people will be drawn to the heat. Jesus didn’t call us to be a luminous glow-stick for Him, we are called to be a blazing torch that burns for his glory only. We burn not for people’s approval but for that of the Master. We don’t concern ourselves with people’s opinions because it’s the Good Shepherd’s voice that our ears are tuned to. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24 (NIV), ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’. In a culture where getting wealthy or taking that perfect ‘selfie’ is paramount, it’s difficult to deny ourselves and step back from the limelight to let Jesus take centre stage where he belongs. But if we, as his chosen vessels, are serious about being on fire for Him and spreading this inferno amongst our family, friends and foes, we must decrease and he must increase (John 3:30 NIV).
So today, ask yourself this question, how do I get set on fire for God and see change in my world? Firstly, we need to soak ourselves in the fuel of his word (the bible) and his presence. I often say the word of God is like petrol, it’s highly flammable. Get alone with the Lord daily, ask Him to help you understand what you are reading and how you can apply it to the day ahead. Then talk to Him in simple prayer with no distractions or agendas. The bible tells us in Hebrews 12:29 (NIV) that our God is an all-consuming fire, so you can’t be in his presence and not be ignited. So friends, saturate yourself in his words today andbask in his presence, then ask Jesus to light the match!