Fire Power– Dragon Gone Flee
As a small child being raised in a South GA home, one of my first, most prized memories involves a painful, yet breathtaking view from my bay window. Peering out to what moments before had been a dead sea of golden was now a hay field alive, completely consumed by flame and pillars of smoke. I soaked in the beautiful catastrophe with equal parts of raw fear and childlike amazement, and from that moment, my favorite time of the year became the night that was dedicated to re-enacting this extraordinary thing that was literally watching my backyard, in its entirety, get set on fire.
Even if not a sight specifically found in one’s back yard, it still is not uncommon, especially in rural areas, to find one’s self enthralled by what is the burning of a hayfield or forest. Whether that captivation is birthed from wonder or horror, surely varies and is dependent on the individual, but once initial impulses subside I wonder how many actually take a step further to question the fire’s task. Why is something, which normally is considered to be so cruel, suddenly deemed necessary for survival?
Throughout history, uncontrolled fires have maimed the land and stolen the homes of both animals and people— It has the potential to scar, physically and emotionally. However, fire—probably the most common and effective form of disturbance—is a force that, when used in proper context, rejuvenates growth and increases the abundance of biodiversity. It is therefore used by an array of society: farmers, scientists, and environmentalists, alike.
It is imperative for the Christian to realize that we possess the power to speak refining fire that others do not. Just as the earth may be transformed by it—revealing either severe destruction or enhanced beauty—human lives will be transformed by fire as well. And in the same way, as only the truly knowledgeable individuals (farmers, scientists, environmentalists) can use fire to yield beauty while the rest of us will make an uncontrollable mess, only those who possess Christ and are knowledgeable with His sword will know how to ignite lives with spiritual fire.
First, what is the fire? The answer is two-fold and found partly in James 3:
“See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze!
And the tongue is a fire.
[The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members,
contaminating and depraving the whole body
and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature),
being itself ignited by hell…
But the human tongue can be tamed by no man.
It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil,
full of deadly poison.”
We are told that the human tongue is a restless, wicked, evil, untamable fire, capable of inconceivable damage. And if the tongue is a fire, what is its provenance? The heart. (James 4:1, Jeremiah 17:9) Further, our words are the vehicles that—having been jumpstarted by the power source of our heart through the cable of our tongue— transform everything around us.
However, there is another tongue of fire represented in scripture, and that is the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). It is the act of Jesus on the cross that saves us, and it is the infilling of the Holy Spirit that empowers us; we are no longer sons and daughters of darkness—we are now sons and daughters of the light. It is only when our spirit is lit from within by His refining fire that we can bear forth abundantly more fruit—He purifies us by burning away the weeds of evil that once suffocated our hearts. Proverbs 18:21 reads,
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].”
Even if we’ve been saved, free will still gives us the ability to indulge in the power of wickedness, but we mustn’t be surprised then, when we eat the fruit of wickedness. Yet—We now receive the extraordinary privilege of indulging in the power of the Holy Spirit, and as we do, He not only transforms us by His fruit but empowers us to transform others as well (James 3:17-18).
“But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory]
and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere,
For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which exhales] unto God,
[discernible alike] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”
2 Corinthians 2:14-15
Therefore, let us choose to be the fragrance of Christ with our words. In a day where homes are dropping like flies and children are being drug into captivity like never before, the time for an intentional, power-filled church is long overdue. Silence is not an option. Complacency is not an option. Stifling the Holy Spirit is NOT AN OPTION.
“Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.
Come close to God and He will come close to you.
[Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean;
[realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals
with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].
[As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve,
even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief
and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins].
Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord,
and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].”
“He wraps Himself in light as if it were a robe,
spreading out the sky like a canopy
laying the beams of His palace
on the waters above,
making the clouds His chariot,
walking on the wings of the wind,
and making the winds His messengers,
flames of fire His servants…”
The King is coming. So the question is: Will you make a way for Him?