What nature of God should consume as fire a child He so beloves? What is this Holy fire that over-takes a bush, without destroying it and spreading is wrath with it’s surrounding neighbors? Is it possible that inside of me, lays a landscape of tree and brush that builds idols and calls my worship to the created itself; that must be such that the fires of jealousy begin to burn it from the One who made it and me? If so, how do I begin to walk into the flames of His desire to purify me? Ahhh, how we avoid pain! Forgetting so often that it lays within a corrupted and broken part, the relief we seek is not so much the healing of the wound as the ridding of the effect of it (pain). Cause and effect. What so causes us to ignore the greatest feature of our salvation (cleansing)? I love the thought that God sees me as I am complete, growing into this completeness or capable of such that He sees. Each stage of my growth a celestial celebration. Yet, how can I stop this urge to run from how I see myself as ineffective, delinquent in His eyes? I have days, that my feet have put on their running shoes as I move towards His presence, it seems, quite apart from my awareness. I look down and wonder, “how did that happen?”
This house-buying/moving process has been a lesson of burning away the destructible I knew not lay within me. As you know, as my absence of post may indicate, the recovery time from the burns is long. Though not without it unshakeable foundations laid upon the waste of smoldering ruins. Spring rains, and gentle breezes have produced new flowers that could not have grown without the fiery blazes He blew inside to wake me. Most days all I was able to do was will myself to lay still while the flames overtook me. The urge to run and escape, fight or flight, so cemented in my habits and reactions, almost too much to train. My willing heart, a thing only He can move, was His grace. I know something of Yeshua’s (Jesus’) fortitude to walk, though heavy with pain, towards the flame of the Cross. His voice ringing in my ears, “Do as I did, do.”
Before the house-hunting escapade, I thought I was ready to do away with possession and things. Indeed, I was more ready than before, as the desire was the flickering flame to begin the first fire of purity. All great things start small. Our Savior was a seed, embryo, fetus, babe; before He was a man. A mountain was a bubbling cauldron of lava before it became a breathtaking appendage of earth. There is a striking balance now seen, between really receiving the blessed things He gives us, without guilt or wondering if it’s right, and feeling deserving. ..wanting more. Another balance or clearing of perspective; that the wanting of more after a bestowing of blessing in things here on earth, turned inward to see the true desire is the wanting more of Him, not the things.
The startling thought, though still, is that nothing resulting in the process guarantees my fingers shall not hold tightly things again. It’s a controlled burn, all things God does inside, this side of eternity. I think perhaps this is what makes His ways so undesirous to people. We like a ‘start and finish’ kind of life. No dragging out of things. We weary easy of all things that go on for an extended amount of time. If the wind blows for days on end, we pray for stillness. Upon granting that, the sweltering heat with no breeze then compels us to pray for the wind again. Rain upon rain without ceasing drenches the spirit and begs for dry wind. Flooding the senses with moist and mildewy perspectives. Left to us, our ordered climates are always to our comfort, not at all to the growth and strength building, stretching, He has willed for us. The earth must expand and contact, remember it’s in labor; but also that all things that are alive must breathe! So, too, are we who call ourselves the Forgiven Children of a Consuming God. The only cure we know this side of heaven, is the antidote called – waking. The Spirit comes inside to wake us everyday to the Kingdom of heaven, which would rise within us, if we will but let go of the world we see. Grace not only pours out love and faith on the undeserving, it stirs the flames of that which will purge us of all that would fuel a destructive soul. It’s hard, and painful and requires a Holy endurance that can only be found in the fiery presence of God.
One day a finish shall reign, an end to the process of purification. Oh! What what a day that will be! Or…mayhap – not? Perhaps the only difference will be that we will no longer resist it, it will no longer be considered a “pain”. Oh that God is answering my prayer that my comfort won’t call the shots to my living anymore!
I leave you with some ***quotes from George MacDonald*** in his sermon called Consuming Fire. What perspective our Lord bequeathed to him! So great a heritage we have! Where knowledge brings true growth -Life! And that knowledge moves our feet into action. Obeying the laws of God as joy.
***Nothing but the burning love of God can rid sin out of anywhere. It is the law of nature – that is, the law of God – that all that is destructible shall be destroyed. When that which is immortal buries itself in destructible – when it receives all it’s messages from without, through the surrounding region of self, and none from within, from the eternal doors opening inward into God’s presence – it cannot, through immortal still, know it’s own immortality. The destructible must be burned out of it, or begin to be burned out of it, before it can partake of eternal life.
God is against sin: insofar as, and while, they and sin are one, He is against them – against their desires, their aims, their fears and their hopes. And thus He is altogether and always for them.
God thinks and feels against vileness and selfishness, of the unrest of inassuageable repulsion with which He regards such conditions. God thus revealed Himself in such anger so the thoughtless people, fearing somewhat to do as they would, might leave a little room for that grace to grow in them, which would at length make them see that evil, and not fire, is the fearful thing.
A chimney above a huge house indicates the greatness of the building below, as the volcanoes of the world tell us how much fire is necessary to keep the old earth warm. For it is not the sun itself that warms the planet. The earth is like the human heart. The great glowing fire below us is God in the heart of the earth, and the great sun is God in the sky, keeping it warm on the other side. Our gladness and pleasure, our trouble when we do wrong, our love for all about us, that is God inside us. All the beautiful things and loveable people, all the lessons we get from life, and whatever comes to us, is God on the outside.***
– George MacDonald
The God of Shalom (peace – completeness) brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Yeshua, by the blood of an eternal covenant. May God equip you with every good thing you need to do His will; and may He do in us whatever pleases Him, through Yeshua the Messiah. To Him be the glory forever and ever, amen!
– Hebrews 13:20-21
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡