God is a Consuming Fire

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Through the years I’ve witnessed first hand how absolutely destructive fire can be. And let me say, it isn’t pretty. Because of this, and probably for other unknown reasons, I’ve been reluctant to embrace the thought that God is a consuming fire.

The first time I read the words stating God is a consuming fire in Hebrews, I shuddered.

The first time I watched Third Day’s rather apocalyptic video, Consuming Fire, it frightened me.

Yes. I sang Refiner’s Fire at church along with everyone else. Sure, I wanted to be holy, set apart for God’s use. Didn’t we all?

courtesy pixabayI longed to be a clean vessel God could use, but there was that fire thing again.

Couldn’t I just be scrubbed clean with soap, or something?

Did it HAVE to be fire?

This morning as I listened to Meredith Andrews’ song, “Burn Away” it hit me.

Looking back I see where God took his refining fire to my heart multiple times. I’ve been in the crucible and held over his consuming fire more times than I care to remember. But remember I must.

And you want to know why we must remember the times God’s consuming fire burned courtesy pixbayaway the things in our lives that are not of him; that kept us from being all he designed us to be? Because it is in those times of trial and testing we are purified to become vessels he can use.

So, instead of shrinking from the flames and being fearful, I have a new perspective. If God’s refining fire is what it takes to make me more like Jesus, then burn away.

How about you?

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Since we have a Kingdom nothing can destroy, let us please God by serving him with thankful hearts and with holy fear and awe. For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Heat It Up

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Among the many wonderful things about the YMCA at Estes Park, Colorado where the Colorado Christian Writers Conference is held are the fireplaces in the Assembly Hall between Ruesch Auditorium and Long’s Peak Lodge. I love love love them.

The first year we were at the Y after the fireplaces were installed, it snowed about six inches overnight. It continued snowing throughout the week. Beautiful!

The blaze which ignited within those stone structures each day and night was indeed a glorious, welcomed sight.

This year, however, although it did rain and hail there was no snow. To see the unlit fireplaces was disappointing. Especially when I knew what they could do.

Instead of the cheery, welcoming blaze I’d grown used to, the fireplaces were cold and dark.

It may seem a bit bizarre to talk about fires and fireplaces the first week of  June for those of us seeing temperatures in the 90s, but I’m thinking…how many times are we like those unlit fireplaces?

The expectation is we’ll be burning bright for Jesus. Instead we are cold, dreary and disappointing.

That is, until our spark is lit and we roar to life.

Then BOOM.

We’re on fire. Alight and blazing for the LORD. The way we were created to be.

So what keeps us from staying lit, I wonder? Is it a lack of fuel? Lack of courage? Lack of desire or preparation?

After spending time in the Colorado Rockies amid God’s glorious grandeur, I realize I am guilty of letting my flame grow dim far too many times.

Does that ever happen to you?

My desire is to be on fire for Jesus and accomplish the great things he wants me to accomplish, but too many times I allow circumstances to get in the way and dim the flames.

I want God to set my soul on fire.

Blazing.

Restored.

Renewed.

I don’t want to be a disappointing cold fireplace.

What about you? How’s your fire burning?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 1 Corinthians 3:13 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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If you were alive in the 70s, possibly you sang the song, “It Only Takes a Spark“. Great song, although a bit plodding. Brings back lots of memories, but that’s not the song I’ve chosen to leave you with today. I’m featuring a song that’s a bit more upbeat with an equally good message.

One of my articles will appear on Inspire a Fire today. Please stop by and read it.

Controlled Burns

SQ_GABy Sandy Kirby Quandt

My parents lived on acreage in the south Georgia pines and frequently had controlled, or prescribed, burns. Sitting in the middle of all that pine sap and straw fire was a real threat. Especially during times of drought. The day we moved my mother to town, years after my father died, ashes from a fire just the other side of the swamp fell like snowflakes to the ground. Surgical masks became a necessity as we breathed the heavy, smoke-filled air.

bing images

During a prescribed burn the previous fall, firebreaks to control runaway flames were dug along the edges of the pine forest surrounding the house.

Because I didn’t grow up in this area of the world, it took me a while to fully understand the purpose of deliberately setting the woods on fire.

 

Smokey the Bear always said to prevent fires, not start them.

So I educated myself on the matter.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of southeast Georgia:

  • Prescribed or controlled burns remove dead vegetation (keeping the underbrush from becoming a massive fire bomb, I would presume) and returns nutrients to the soil, helping to prepare a seedbed for plant germination.
  • Fire helps to reduce disease and insect infestations and naturally prunes vegetation.
  • Fires burn away the woody shrubs that grow around trees that, if allowed to grow, could provide snakes and other predators easy access to the woodpecker nests.
  • Southeastern pine trees, such as pond and sand pine, require heat from a fire for seed release.

So, I’m thinking…any spiritual application here? I believe so.

Point #1…we need God’s refining fire to burn away the deadwood we carry around inside bing imagesto keep us from exploding and spewing flames on those around us. Removing the dead, useless things will give room for new spiritual growth.

Point #2…allowing God to prune us and shape us to his design will keep those pesky insects of pride, idolatry, laziness, gossip…fill in your own personal insect…from boring holes into us and causing our spirit to become diseased.

Point #3…sometimes we allow evil to surround us where predators can hide, waiting for a weak moment when we let our guard down, and then they attack without warning.

Point #4…okay, I’m not real fond of this one…well, I’m not real fond of snakes, or insects, bing imageeither…sometimes heat has to be applied before the seeds of our spiritual growth can be released.

There you have it.

Lessons learned from controlled burns, and the Refiner’s Fire, designed to burn away everything that displeases God so we can be clean vessels to be used by him.

Leave your comments below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Wash me inside and out from my wrong-doing and make me clean from my sin. Psalm 51:2 (NLV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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