Fire Proof Day Six – Fire Connection

Day Six – Fire Connection

They moved on from Succoth and then camped at Etham at the edge of the wilderness. God went ahead of them in a Pillar of Cloud during the day to guide them on the way, and at night in a Pillar of Fire to give them light; thus they could travel both day and night. The Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night never left the people. Exodus 13:20-22

When God led his chosen people away from the Egyptian slaveholders, He protected them by sending a fiery column. This pillar of fire stood between His people and their enemies. As they traveled further toward their destiny in the Promised Land, God continued to send the pillar of fire.

Instead of protecting them from an imminent enemy as it did from the Egyptian army, however, the fire provided three things: 1) it guided them as they traveled through the dark of night, 2) it gave them light to live by, and 3) it reminded the people that He was with them.
God sends His fire to cleanse and purify, and in these verses He sends His fire to connect Himself with His people. The New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit connects us to God’s family. For us today, the fire of the Holy Spirit serves to give wisdom, direction, and light to live by. When we are surrounded by darkness, or can’t find our way out of an unclear situation, the fire of His presence shows us the way out. And the kindled flame of God’s Spirit within is the Presence that reminds us “he will never leave us or forsake us.” If it is dark in some places where you are, ask God to send the fire of wisdom and direction.

Practice worship today by singing aloud to Him, even if it seems you are in a dark place. A common refrain as a result of God’s deliverance in the Old Testament was: “For the Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever.” Worship Him, and He will meet you.

All For Him – Rick


Fire Proof Day Seven – Show & Tell

Day Seven – Show & Tell

Meanwhile keep the fire on the Altar burning; it must not go out. Replenish the wood for the fire every morning, arrange the Whole-Burnt-Offering on it, and burn the fat of the Peace-Offering on top of it all. Keep the fire burning on the Altar continuously. It must not go out. Leviticus 6:12-13

Fire was an ever-present part of the life of the people of God. The temple fire especially was important, as sacrifices of various kinds were burned at the altars. Also, when a battle was won, the gold and silver from the plunder had to pass through these fires to be shown acceptable and clean. Remember that a community’s fire during these days also held a central place that the people rallied around and depended on.

Twice in these verses, God tells His people to never let the fire go out. The temple fire was always to be tended and cleaned, refueled by the different priests, and stoked to full flame each day.
For us today, the fires of sacrifice have already been satisfied. We don’t have to burn “whole-burnt-offerings” or “peace offerings” over and over day after day – Jesus gave Himself completely to save us completely and He has made peace between us and the Father in heaven. There is another fire that we need to maintain and fan to full flame and never allow to go out. It is the fire of disciple- making, and each day we are responsible for passing along the flame of God’s Good News to the next generation of Jesus followers.
Can you see how important your life is in passing along this flame? You and I may keep busy in the work of ministry but, if we don’t pour our lives into others we will not accomplish His most important command – make disciples of all nations.
What was Paul’s practical response (read Philippians 4:9)? Who is the young man or woman you meet with to show and tell him or her how to walk with Jesus?

All For Him – Rick

Fire Proof Day Eight – Faith Fire

Day Eight – Faith Fire

Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?” Luke 24:32

After you read this verse, go back to Luke 24 and read it in context. These two Jesus followers were unique to this story. Who were they? When did they say yes to Jesus as the Messiah for their lives? Did Jesus heal one when he was let down through the roof of a house? Was one a former demoniac who used to cut himself in the graveyard? Did they follow Jesus because John the Baptizer had told them Jesus would baptize them with fire?
One thing is for certain. Their physical eyes had convinced them that who Jesus claimed to be was finished – it was all over at His grave! But as they listened to the risen Messiah explain things once again, the fire of faith connected all the dots for them. They now knew it wasn’t all over – it really was just beginning.
Faith fire comes when we read God’s Word and believe that life can really be like Jesus designed it to be: full of joy, a walk of mercy, spiritual hunger quenched, relationships of unconditional love, a life of high impact and purpose.

Journal your hopes in Christ today.

All For Him – Rick

Fire Proof Day Nine – Fire of Mercy/Fire of Calling

Day Nine – Fire of Mercy and Calling

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips, your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:5-8

Isaiah’s calling started with fire. He recognized his unworthiness and unfitness, and the Lord sent a fire of mercy and forgiveness. Because he had experienced this fire, he was able to say YES to God’s next words. One who has been given a great gift like unconditional love and mercy, truly has something to tell others.
For this time of devotion, I want you to revisit your calling. When did you first sense that, because God had forgiven you, your life would never be the same? When did you know you had to serve Him with all you had inside you? What was it that drew you to use your gifts and passions and talents to make Jesus famous in our day? If you have never written this down, write it in your journal or blog and give this story to someone who has not heard it. Your story is a part of His story, and that’s worth telling!

All For Him – Rick

Fire Proof Day 10 – Fires of Affection

Day Ten – Fires of Affection
Regarding Zion, I can’t keep my mouth shut, regarding Jerusalem, I can’t hold my tongue, Until her righteousness blazes down like the sun and her salvation flames up like a torch. Foreign countries will see your righteousness, and world leaders your glory. You’ll get a brand-new name straight from the mouth of God. You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand, a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God. No more will anyone call you Rejected, and your country will no more be called Ruined. You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight), and your land Beulah (Married), Because God delights in you and your land will be like a wedding celebration. For as a young man marries his virgin bride, so your builder marries you, And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride, so your God is happy with you. Isaiah 62:1-5

Isaiah’s fire from the early days only got hotter and more compelling as he served and walked with God. In this passage, he cannot contain what God has shown him. Righteousness is a deep sun-fire. Salvation flares up like a torch all around the land. The results of such an uncontainable holy fire? Nations will recognize that God is in the land from the lowliest servant to the leaders of the world!
There have been times in history when God’s fire fell in ways that the culture was changed and the nations and rulers took notice. During the early local revivals and the places this fire spread, newspapers would publish daily reports of how the revival was spreading and affecting their culture. Nations and leaders were often transformed during these revivals.
Notice what happens to God’s people in the above verses when this revival fire falls. God changes what we are called – no longer are we called what the Enemy spent years drilling into our minds we were called. God transforms what we are worth – no longer a broken clay pot meant for the trash bin, but a treasured cup and crown designed for royalty. God changes what we are destined for – no longer rejected, separated, good for nothing and joyless. Now we are His delight. We are not just invited to the wedding – we are in the center of His ravishing gaze.
Face it: this kind of love and affection from God the Mighty Creator makes us nervous. I mean, He really has better things to do than meet me and pour out His passionate affection on me. Today, your discipline practice is to read through as much of the Song of Songs as you can stand. Read it as a love song to a lover. More importantly, read it as a love song from the God of all Power, to you. Underline what he feels for you, and read it back to Him as an expression of love from you to Him. The fires of His affection are directed to you and wouldn’t that be a shame to miss out on.

All For Him – Rick