Thursday, August 16, 2012

On Fire!

From my devotional archives:
       August 23, 2009
Recent s'more picture

     Pat and I and our youngest three children recently returned from camping in the Pocono’s.   We went with our dear friends Denis & Lori.  We did all of the typical camping things.  Biking, walking, swimming, early morning kayaking around the lake, big screen movies on a 7 inch TV, soggy sleeping bags dried with an electric box fan, and of course, campfires.  Campfires are cheerful things to set around.  The flickering light, the snap and crackle, the smell of the burning wood, and the heat that warms you in the cool of the evening.  Campfires even provide a great excuse to eat a s'more.
     Most evenings our campfire was started with crumpled paper, kindling, and a few chunks of log, but on our last two evenings, a lot of effort went into creating fire.  We had had a deluge of rain.  The rain fell heavy, hard, and even sideways.  Our wood was wet.
     On Friday evening the men stacked the wood for maximum fire potential and soaked it with lighter fluid for good measure.  The match was lit, the fire caught along the edge of the logs and whooosh!  We had a glorious crackling fire.  We arranged our chairs.  I ran in for marshmallows and chocolate and when I got back our fire was smoke.  Clearly our campfire was nothing but a flash in the pan.  Lori looked at me and muttered something about going inside to read.  I gathered the kids for a movie.
     Saturday evening Denis and Pat were determined that we would have FIRE!  Once again the careful arrangement of wood and kindling.  The dousing with lighter fluid.  Another match, an even bigger Whoosh!  The flames above our fire circle shot ten feet into the air.  We heard the crackle begin, but the flames seemed to be sinking lower and lower.  Then desperation, I mean, inspiration, struck.  Pat yelled, “Get the fan,” and ran off.  Confused, but always the obedient, respectful wife...I put down the chocolates and got out the box fan.  Pat returned like a superhero waving an extension cord.  Pat balanced the fan on one of the children’s chairs, plugged it in and directed the breeze at our languishing fire.  The flames immediately picked back up and it was s’mores all around!  Our fire burned merrily with the continuous wind from the fan blowing on it.
     Did you know that fire is mentioned more than 500 times in the Bible?
     One of my favorite verses is, “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire.” (Deut. 4:24)
    Our God has always had campfires.  There was the burning bush, the brazen altar in the tabernacle, Elijah’s altar, and tongues of fire on the Day of Pentecost.  God places Holy Spirit campfires in the hearts of His people.
       Sometimes our wood is wet and we make more smoke than flame.  At other times we have a strong, crackling fire that others can be warmed by.
      God longs to set you on fire for Him.  He wants to consume us with His fiery presence so we shine for His glory.  John Wesley put it like this, when the fire of God touches your life people will come and see you burn.

     What is the state of the fire in your heart?
     Do you need a fan and an extension cord?

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