Spontaneous Combustion

I am married to a pyromaniac. He nearly burned his bed and bedroom down when he was ten.  He has told me stories of his childhood fire antics that could have sent him to juvenile detention until his 18th birthday.

We together, produced a child that inherited his fire loving genes. Ginny will spend the better part of a night near the campfire. She pokes and plays and I have to walk away so that I do not fear her falling in the fire.

I guess in all of us, there is a captivation with fire. It is mysterious.  Ask any fireman. It has a life of its own. Breathing in oxygen and growing, going where it wants and consuming anything in its path.  No wonder the Holy Script describes the things of God as a “consuming fire”. One of the mysteries of his creation he puts on display to awe us.

This morning as I read I Thessalonians 5:19, “Do not put out the fire of the Spirit.”  I stop and let my mind invision myself, engulfed by the fire of the Holy Spirit. Maybe just like the burning bush, flames leaping and consuming, yet I am living and walking, breathing and talking. Fully aware of this unimaginable power source inside of me.

I stop and realize the immensity of the warning, “Careful believer, you have the power to diminish the fury of these flames”.  With a complaining spirit, with discontent or a jealous heart, showers come and the fire is put out. All that is left is the smoke and smut of what once was a force to be reckoned with.

Thoughts of unbelief cause the mighty roar of a  bonfire, driving out the chill of a winter night, into the harmless flicker of a birthday candle.  The endless pursuit of Christ, the aching hunger for more of Him, the relentless fight for belief, for purity, that is the hot coals that burn in the cold dark night urging the Spirit in us on.

Oh God, Let Your Word be tinder for the fire of the Holy Spirit, as I breathe in your Word, I fan the flames.  As I lay down the flesh and run towards your heart, the kindling ignites and the flames now small and flickering begin to explode. Spontaneous combustion.  An all-consuming fire. Burn bright in me Jesus.

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