Lord, Come to my Aid... Light a Fire in my heart!
FIRE.... The word 'fire' often conjures up total fear and indeed fire can cause total destruction and devastation. Such events as the Grenfall Tower fire of June 2017 and the Twin Towers in New York on 09/11 spring to mind. Then there are the huge wildfires that have occurred in California and elsewhere in the world. The results of all these events have meant loss of life for many as well as loss of homes and possessions. Naturally people want answers, in order to prevent further devastation and loss of life.
But FIRE can also have a positive effect in our lives. We delight in seeing a roaring fire on a cold winter's day: it gives us warmth, a glow inside us and hope. Even in the heat of summer, BBQ’s bring friends and families together to share a meal around a fire – the sparkling embers bring us joy, just like the bonfires on Guy Fawkes, together with the fireworks.
So, what about the image of fire associated with God? God often manifested his presence by the use of fire....God’s revelation to Moses in the burning bush where the flames never consumed the bush (Exodus 3:2); God’s presence to the Hebrew people with his protection in the wilderness for 40 years with the pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21) and the image of fire as a sign of God’s glory(Ezekiel 1:4,13). In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is portrayed as fire: John the Baptist said that Jesus would baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt 3:11) and at Pentecost ‘tongues of fire’ appeared above the heads of the apostles.
Yes, fire can destroy, but it cleanses and purifies at the same time. When visiting Yellowstone, a couple of years ago, I could see the results of the dreadful fires in the 1980’s, but now there is natural regeneration of the whole landscape and restoration to new life. When we are excited and overjoyed, we often say that we are ‘on fire’! Jesus loves us to the extent that he wants us to be ‘on fire’, to be purified from the slavery to sin and cleansed by his word and the Good News of the Gospel.
Lord Jesus may the fire of your love consume me and transform my life that I truly desire nothing more than life with you. Fill me with the power and fire of your Holy Spirit that I may always seek to please you and do your will. Amen.
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