Cleansing Fire (Day 4) – Cleaning & Refining

Day Four – Cleaning and Refining Fire
But John intervened: “I’m baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.” Luke 3:16-17

Try to imagine this picture at the river shore. John, a forceful character if there ever was one (and maybe even a “driver” of sorts), is preaching and baptizing everyday. His message is clear. In brief: The Messiah is just a few steps behind me; the Kingdom of the Messiah is bursting onto the scene; believe the truth, turn from the wrong path, and give God His rightful place as Lord.
No one alive in John’s day had seen or heard someone like John (there had not been a real live prophet in Israel for 400 years.) Could John be “the One?” Is he the Messiah?
John may have been strong, but he knew he couldn’t change anyone from the inside out. It takes God to do that.  Read his words again. The Holy Spirit within you is a cleansing, purifying fire; and He – God, the Holy Spirit – longs to transform you.  He can burn the dross, the waste, the refuse, the stuff that has no value in our lives because it devalues you and me; and He can refine you so you’ll be more of who God created you to be. Give the cleansing fire room to work, since it is God’s method of creating space in our lives for His Spirit to work in and through us.
One writer compares our lives to a house, with different rooms and doors that are either open or shut to God’s presence. Each room represents a part of our lives, and each room either has a “Welcome” sign for Jesus or a “Do Not Enter” sign hung on the knob.  This has been the first of two “fasting days” in our fifteen days. Take extra time out of your day to spend with Him in His Word and in Prayer. Picture the elements of your life as a house. Is your den (spare time room) or your kitchen (friendships) cleaned up and straightened? How is each closet of your mind? What about your game room or movie room? Has God been speaking to you about a room that needs His touch, His cleansing and loving touch?  Take that room to Him and let His light reveal what needs to be transformed and cleaned up, and allow His cleansing fire clean it. Choose a friend to tell how He is transforming this room in your life. It may be that, during the retreat, He was very clear about a room that needs “Welcome” hung on the door. He waits for the door to open.

All For Him – Rick

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