Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Fire is an interesting thing. We use it to burn trash and weeds. We use it to cook our food. We use is to warm ourselves on a cold night in the fireplace. We use it to roast marsh mellows, make some mores, and grill steaks. It is used to sit around and tell scary stories. It is used to refine precious metals in burning out the impurities to cause the metal to become more refined and more beautiful. Fire is also destructive as has been witnessed when it burns thousands of acres of forest. It is devastating when it starts up in a house and burns it to the ground.
In the bible fire is also been a tool that God has used to refine those who are His. This has been communicated by Isaiah when he said, “Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?” Those who walk righteously and speak what is right, who reject gain from extortion and keep their hands from accepting bribes, who stop their ears against plots of murder and shut their eyes against contemplating evil— they are the ones who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. Their bread will be supplied,
and water will not fail them. (Isaiah 33:14-16 NIV) He uses the term “consuming” and “everlasting burning” to communicate a continual process of refinement for our personal lives. It would be nice to take a break from the burning away of stuff in our lives that are destructive and detrimental to connecting with the Lord. Isaiah describes individuals who can experience the consuming fire of the Lord and continue to walk with Him. As you look at these characteristics of “speaking what is right,” “rejecting gain from extortion,” and “shutting your eyes to doing evil.” These are characteristics of those who walk on the heights with the Lord and experience His guidance and direction.
It means that we need to be willing to allow the Godly fire to burn away our pride, our selfishness, our sinful desires, and allow His to take control in our lives. On this journey, make sure you are exposing yourself to the consuming and everlasting burning.