Tag Archives: fire

Fire or Water?

Deuteronomy 5:2-5

God, our God, made a covenant with us at Horeb. God didn’t just make this covenant with our parents; he made it also with us, with all of us who are alive right now. God spoke to you personally out of the fire on the mountain. At the time I stood between God and you, to tell you what God said. You were afraid, remember, of the fire and wouldn’t climb the mountain.

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I love fire and I love to look at water….swim..not interested.  I have been contemplating what I want to do differently this year and I cannot decide if I want to walk through the fire or walk on the water.  Each are of equal interest and will provide excellent strengthening for the tasks ahead yet I am at my wits ends deciding which route to take.
Walking through fire means I have to be willing to change..ugh..change means I have to choose  a different way of thinking.  Fire means consuming that which is not of God in my life and allowing God to renew my thinking and behaviors.  I will really begin to learn the difference between respond and react.  Take for instance the fact that 90% of my job is dealing with people whether they be co-workers or customers.  How I treat them matters both in front of them and behind the scenes.  It’s tough to accept everyone for who they are, yet as Christians this is what we are called to do.  For instance, there are things in your life which you have changed and you just wish others would do the same in their own lives…but that’s not up to us.   We need to learn how to love people right where they are in their circumstances and live a life of example.  Tough with some people I know.  There are times when I just wish I could shake some people until they change.
If I choose the fire then I have to make sure that I am committed 1,000% to it.  I can’t stick my finger in and say “Ouch!” and go on to the next easier thing.  I have to be willing emotionally and mentally for a change.  I need to be prepared for a challenge because we all know the flesh does not like change, it like comfort and boxed in living.
If on the other hand I choose to walk on water, I will begin a deeper journey of faith and trust.  It is by our faith that things are revealed to us.  It is our trust in an unseen God which strengthens our very spirit.  Though walking on water may appear to be a easier choice than going through fire, it too has it’s obstacles.  Having faith means tithing that 10% EVERY paycheck and WHEN you get a raise you give the increase.  Faith means trusting  God with all of our finances and when He says give a certain amount we have to be willing to do so, knowing He will provide.  Walking out on the water means no going back and now sinking thinking.
So if you were presented with this dilemma,  which would you choose?  Fire will change you from the innermost part of your soul.  Walking on water will build your faith like you have never seen before.  As for me, well I am still seeking the choice I want to make. I know I have things in my life which need to be burned out and replaced with Godly principles and I also know there needs to be an increase of faith as I journey down this road.  Perhaps I could flip a coin to decide or draw straws. I know the real answer is to seek God in prayer while surrendering my life to His purpose and will for my me.  Who knows?  Maybe it’s just time to rest IN Him right now in preparation for the fire or water.
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Giants Are Here

Numbers 13:31-33

But the others said, “We can’t attack those people; they’re way stronger than we are.” They spread scary rumors among the People of Israel. They said, “We scouted out the land from one end to the other—it’s a land that swallows people whole. Everybody we saw was huge. Why, we even saw the Nephilim giants (the Anak giants come from the Nephilim). Alongside them we felt like grasshoppers. And they looked down on us as if we were grasshoppers.”
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but somebody has got to let you know…there are giants in the land!  The are everywhere!  There are big ones and little ones.  Wide ones and deep ones.  Scary ones and harmless ones. There are all kinds of giants out there and guess what?  You have probably conquered a few along the way.
As our pastor explained last night, even when the Israelites entered into the promise land,  God did not take care of all the giants.  This goes back to the fact that God did not promise us a perfect and painless life.  We run into giants at work and in the market place and sometimes even at church.  They seem to just run about the earth causing trouble as they go.
So what can we do?  Create swords.  Just like David killed Goliath with a stone, we need to figure out what our weapon of choice will be.  We need to decide what our giant is and then go at it with what we have been equipped with.  For me it’s words.  I actually have been discouraged in this area a bit lately and wouldn’t it be just like Satan to try to put a stop to my writing?
As I went up at church last night for prayer, the pastor asked me why I gave it up.  Hmmm…well the two books I have already written are going nowhere.  I am not consistent with blogging and I feel as if I am getting nowhere or making any difference in anyone’s lives  so why bother?  Know what God told me?   Do not give up and you are already well equipped.  Those simple words relit my fire and passion to keep moving forward no matter what the devil is trying to tell me.
So often we give up on dreams we have because we begin to believe the lies.  Then we become trapped into thinking that nothing we do really even matters anyways so why are pushing so hard to make things happen?  I encourage us all right now to evaluate that which is of God and press in.  Seek to be strong in the Word and use it against the enemy. Giants are mere ants to God and when we have Jesus power on the inside, there is nothing which can stop us.

Rear View Mirror Addictions

1 Corinthians 13:3-7

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
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Ever just wish you could get rid of your past like the seeds of a dandelion?  Do you find yourself obsessed with looking back at the past constantly with regrets?  How do we come to this place where we find peace…constant peace?  How can there even be such a thing as peace when we have made so many wrong turns and decisions?  Sometimes we just shake our heads in disbelief that we could be so stupid about things yet we show no desire to make any changes for the good.  We are stuck in an addiction of looking in that rear view mirror and have no answers as to how to stop the staring.
How are we defined as a person?  Do new people meeting us judge us for our past?  NO, of course not, they don’t even know us, so why do we even bring the subject up?  When we come to the realization that Jesus is the answer to every single problem we encounter, we can begin to deal with our past and see it for what it is…the past.  The dictionary describes the past as :

PAST (adjective) 1.gone by or elapsed in time: It was a bad time, but it’s all past now.

 

Gone. Do you see it?  It is gone, finished..can’t go back and change a thing, so why are we staring at it like we could do something different?  I know for me, letting go of the past was not an easy thing to do, in fact it took me three years of Jesus time to get through my detox from the past.  I spent several days of my life blaming myself for all of the disaster that had occurred in my life time.  Bad choices.  Mistake judgments.  Wrong answers.  I felt like I was the reason my husband was the way he was.  I thought I caused him to turn to drugs and alcohol to ease his pains and agony with life.  I felt I was the reason I had no true love in my life.  All lies of the enemy.

 

So what is the solution?  Jesus.  Take your past and pretend it’s on the end of a dandelion stem and blow!  Blow all the lies away.  Scatter the past in a million directions and begin to live life to it’s fullest.  Choose to stop staring at the rear view mirror as if things are going to change.  Learn from the past but stop taking it with you. Choose today not to be addicted to your past.  Remember, it’s not going to change.  Choose today to follow after Jesus and be at peace knowing you have walked through fire and survived!

When is the Last Test?

Hebrews 2:18

Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.
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Ever just look up at the sky and simply say, “Really?  This AGAIN?”  You are thinking to yourself, I am POSITIVE I have been through this testing before and I surely passed last time, so why are we going through this same test again.  I guess maybe our idea of passing a certain test and God’s is different.  God purifies us in the fire just like gold until we are “refined” and closer to His image of us.  I don’t know about you, but retesting is such a difficult thing because you know you failed the last one.
This testing happens to me quite often concerning my attitude.  Every time I think I have conquered not getting upset about something, sure enough God sets me up and I fail!  Over and over He tries, but back in the fire I go.  Well, today I feel more confident than ever that I just may have passed the test in one area of my attitude….not 100% positive, however, my reaction to the situation was way more relaxed and controlled then I had been in the past.
God loves us enough to put us back in the fire over and over again until He is confident we have learned to handle any situation which arises in our daily walks.  Why does He do this?  Because He wants us to become just like Jesus and this process will surely make that happen according to His plan. Now, the key is to notice when the testing is occurring so we can remember if we happen to be retested that we need to choose a different way to react.
So, to avoid the same fire over and over again we must learn from each testing process what we can do differently the next time to change our reaction…not that easy I know.  Sometimes I wish I could just close my eyes and see that marvelous “A” written across the top of the page, then I would know for sure if I had passed that time.
How great is our God in His patience with us?  Great enough to keep on testing us until we have it just right.  Long enough to soften our reactions to life and increase our compassion.  I encourage each of us to not hate or dread the test, but instead embrace it as a chance to change…a chance to be more like Jesus.

Wild Fires

Exodus 3:2

The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.
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Fire is hot.  Fire can burn.  Fire can destroy.  Fire can consume.  Fire can take away a home.  Fire can provide heat.  Fire can make you visible.  Fire can make a way.  Fire can clear land.  Fire can help you dry out.  Fire can be a tool.  Fire can help cook a meal.  Fire can be a source of light.  Fire can shape you.  Fire can began a change.
Last night for date night, John and I did oil paintings.  The instructions were to paint a picture of what we thought God was trying to show the other person.  I never thought that my husband would show me a picture with fire in it and it took me by surprise for a moment until I looked at it with a heart that was willing to change.  I gazed at the portrait with a heart open to receive what God wanted me to see.  He wanted to me to see that not all fire is destructive, that sometimes it is necessary for purging.
There are times in our lives when fire is needed.  Often when we are unwilling to give things up, God begins a slow burn in us to show us what needs to change.  As He feeds this fire, it begins to consume all the icky stuff we have hidden in ourselves….all those issues we pushed way down inside of us hoping they would go away.  All those times we were hurt by others.  Every little pain.  Even the guilt we put on ourselves.  Often we are not even ready to deal with these things yet God knows we need to so that He can move us into the next level of living a life of freedom.
So what are wild fires?  Those fires not started by God.  Those fires we think are maybe changing who we are yet they are making us feel worse.  Like that burn that comes when we continually beat ourselves up over things which are out of our control.  Things which makes us angry all the time.  These are not God fires, these are fires set out by Satan to distract us from what God wants to do in our lives.  When we become so busy putting out all of the wild fires we don’t have time to focus on the things God meant for our lives.
Drinking, drugs, partying, depression and wrong relationships are some of these fires.  When we allow these things to consume our lives we get farther and farther away from God and we just burn until we burn out.  When we come to know Jesus and ask Him to reside in us then our hearts are set ablaze with a fire that will never die out.  It is a fire which continually burns out the dead stuff in our hearts and prepares a place for new growth.
The fire that is burning in me right now is one of renewal.  A fire that is purging me of self doubt and making room for a life of freedom in what God has set out for me to do.  I am willing to be consumed in His fire.  I am willing to be changed.  I am willing for new ground to be prepared in my heart.  I am done with the past and the hurts.  Eyes on Jesus and not looking back, with arms in surrender mode, I stand on burning ground knowing full well that I am consumed in fire……a Fire that is bringing me back to Life.