Words for the Vineyard - Fire


1) the phenomenon of combustion manifested in light, flame, and heat
 2) burning passion

Fire is so complex. It can be seen as a positive or negative depending on its context. It can be dangerous and destructive if it gets out of control around dry areas and it can be necessary for life, purification and restoration. Fires warm the body from the harsh conditions and give light to help humanity travel through darkness. It was a symbol of the Lord's presence with the Israelites as they were navigating the journey away from slavery and learning how live as the people of God. They were physically dependent on Him for their shelter and their livelihoods. Fire is a word that describes passion and excitement. Have you ever heard the phrase "That person has a real fire in his belly about_____"  Well, you would have heard that if you're over the age of maybe 35 I would imagine but anyway, trust me, people said it! Fire is a specific description of our God. In Hebrews 12, it states "for our God is a consuming fire". Fire is essential for our life long journey of following Christ.

When the Gospel hits a heart with the understanding of truth and revelation of who Jesus is, what He's done and who we are in Him, we are lit on fire!  A new joy is birthed in our innermost being by His Spirit coming alive in us. We have a holy fire in our bellies! Do you remember being brand new? Have you ever seen a new born again baby believer? They can be extreme! Do you know anyone that seems fire-y, zealous for the things of God, passionate about His presence? Maybe you are a burning one right now or you have been one. Fire has usually two responses.... It is draws people in, it's contagious and lights other people's torches up or it is rejected because of the confrontation or conviction that we aren't "like that". So then the thoughts start to roll in..."Real Christians should  _________" "If you really loved Jesus you would be more like that person"  "That person is burning now but that wont last, wait until real life catches up to them." "That person claps too loud and acts like a fool, they get on my nerves."

Some of that is from the enemy and some of that is coming from a place of us being challenged by another's passion and freedom. It's ok. I know those feelings and thoughts too. You aren't alone on either side. We have to get real with what's going on in us or nothing will ever change.  I heard a sentence last week that was so good I want to share it with you. "Authenticity is the gateway to transformation. God can only transform the real you. Not the version that you pretend to be."  Whoa! Let's get to the point, sir!  There is nothing wrong with looking at the reality of the situation and where we really are currently. No shame, no condemnation. That's the gateway or the starting point to letting God burn off the excess, kindle the spark, fan the flames, throw new logs on the embers. That's all He is asking. For us to realize that where ever we are currently, He knows and He wants to come alongside and stir it up again for our sake and the sake of the world around us.

God is calling us to live in continual fire. To live as His burning ones. His lights of the world. Lamps burning brightly for all to see the God we serve. To illuminate what's been hidden in darkness. It will be hard to do that when we feel like all we are is a burned out signal of smoke from fires of old. Notice how that scripture said our God IS a consuming fire. Not WAS.. He IS. So let's tend the fires of our hearts like only we can. Let's stir one another up when the lights get dim. Let's fix our eyes on the One who's eyes are like fire and face is as bright as the sun. If we become what we behold, behold His radiance and be transformed wherever you are today. In what ever measure increases your fire. He is the light that is never conquered by darkness and that's exactly what you and I have access to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 365 days a year. We have access, let's acknowledge our need and do the things we know to do.

This week:
  • Do internal inventory with Jesus. Ask Holy Spirit to show you what your flame looks like for Him right now? He only reveals what He desires to heal so NO NEGATIVE SELF TALK - (Don't talk about my friend like that. :) 
  • Ask Holy Spirit to baptize you again. We must be continually filled with Him. .  
  • Make an offering to the Lord. Repent of sins that keep you from that passion and first love reality. Repent of judgment against those who are at a different place than you. 
  • Out loud, bless and pray for those you know are burning brightly for the Lord. Maybe even send them an encouraging message. 
  • Look for someone burning that you can get close to. Invite them to lunch or coffee. Get close to the fire and catch it. 
  • If you're burning, look for those that may be waning in the conditions of the atmosphere. Wind, waves, floods, persecution.... Be an encourager! Looking down on others is not of the mind of Christ. This life is hard so let's come alongside in love and not shame. Holy fires burn off and purify our hearts. Do all things with great love! 
You don't have to advertise a fire. 
Come Sunday, ready to light your fire and share Him with others around you. There's something holy and supernatural that happens when the body of Christ comes together in worship. A foretaste of heaven on earth. We were created for it. Draw near, brothers and sister!

Revelation 7:9-12
 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice:“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.

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