The Lord is our wall of fire but the sin nature of man creates breaches and the enemy comes in and takes hold because the center of our lives are divided between the world and God. That’s an ugly reality, isn’t it? But it is so true, truer than we would like to admit. Think about it, even when the conviction of the Lord comes upon us, the sin nature wants to quickly come to our defense and tell us that “we aren’t that bad...look at how good we are compared to…..(you fill in the blank).
Often, when we think of fire, we think of destruction. But the fire of the Lord is not for destruction in the way we may consider it. Let’s look at what Scripture has to stay about fire.
One of God’s names is Esh Oklah or God is a Consuming Fire! “So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you. “For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” (Deuteronomy 4:23-24)
He is also known as El Kanna, a Jealous God! “—for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God—” (Exodus 34:14)
God wants us to be completely dependent upon Him and worship Him only. He knows that we cannot serve two masters, and if we try, we will fall. (Matthew 6:24) God’s jealousy is His intense love for His, to want to protect us and to be in right alignment with Him, glory to God!
We often see God in the scriptures through images of fire, a blazing torch walking between the sacrifices to make a covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15). The burning bush in the desert at Horeb, the mountain of God, where Moses was tending the flocks (Exodus 3). God was the pillar of fire by night to give them light (Exodus 13:21). The Israelites saw God as a consuming fire when He came down on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16-18) As we study each of these manifestations of God, what we see is the divinity of God. God is holy.
As I ponder these testimonies, the verse that comes into my mind is Romans 8:31, “...If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Today, the refining fire is done in us through the Holy Spirit for those who are willing to answer the call. Jesus ends His parable about the marriage feast with these words, which should shake us to our very core. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) Chosen? Yes, chosen. It is quite sad to see how many truly desire that relationship with the Lord that would cause them to experience His holy fire in their lives. Why? Because when we truly want to be holy, there will be pain as we experience the purging of the impurities of our lives.
"The words of the LORD are pure words;
As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times." (Psalm 12:6)
“Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time.” (Daniel 11:35)
“And I will bring the third part through the fire,
Refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are My people,’
And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’” (Zechariah 13:9)
“He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.” (Malachi 3:3) This verse is also applied to us who are grafted in. The Apostle Peter tells us in I Peter 2:5, “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
“I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.” (Revelation 3:18) In other words, be willing to pay the price of the refiner’s fire so that the impurities in our lives be burned away and all that remains is the saint who knows that it is only the life of Christ that is worth living and that will bring us spiritual wholeness.
Many believers will never experience this refining until they stand before the Judgment Seat and by then it is too late to respond. The Apostle Paul describes for us what this will be like on Judgment Day:
“His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Luke 3:17)
“For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (I Corinthians 3:11-15)
As I reflect on God’s love and considering His being a Jealous God, it makes me love Him even more that He loved me so much that He would send His Son to die on a cross that I might be saved. This is so opposite what we know of “jealousy” today! When we think of jealousy it is a “green eyed monster”. It is destructive, it involves anger, wrath, violence!
Loved one, are you beginning to understand the importance of obedience? Of being willing, and desiring, to walk the narrow road? It is not to stop us from having fun, but to protect us from being destroyed! “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
I believe this is going to be a year of purifying the body of Christ. Are you hearing the Lord speak to you, drawing you to His table or, maybe, knocking at the door of your heart? While it may not always be easy in the coming days, it will most definitely be worth it to allow God to be our Lord, not just our Savior, and allow His life to transform us.
Lord Almighty, You alone are great and greatly to be blessed! Thank You for loving me so much and for teaching me Your ways. Thank You for forgiveness when I miss the mark and need to be taught the lesson again. Thank You for Your patience and wisdom as each day lay before me. And thank You for placing the desire in my heart to know You more and more! The best part of my day is the morning hours as I sit and spend time in Your word and You instruct me as to the meaning and walking it out. I thank You for loving me so much that You won’t leave me the same as I was, You invite me to walk with You and to learn to become like You. I love You with all my heart! Amen.