Fire Proof Day 11 – Fires of Calling

Day Eleven – Fires of Calling
Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the west end of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God, Horeb. The angel of God appeared to him in flames of fire blazing out of the middle of a bush. He looked. The bush was blazing away but it didn’t burn up. Exodus 3:1-2

Moses was a committed shepherd, and had been for decades under the wife’s dad’s family business. There was likely a lot of time to think in the backcountry while watching the sheep graze. For Moses, those thoughts may have included remembering how he was raised: in the palace, surrounded by the riches of Pharaoh’s own family, bound for royalty. Instead, he was in the wilderness, smelling like sheep, and bound for serving his father-in-law. He was learning the humble lessons of the desert.
I suspect that an occasional brush fire in the wilderness was normal, but this one was different.  The fire blazed bright, the bush was totally inundated with fire,  yet not really consumed, and God got his attention. And Moses’ agenda was replaced by God’s agenda.
For some followers of God, it takes a lot to get our attention. Moses had his “burning bush,” Paul had his “Damascus Road.” We each most likely experience a “turning point” moment when God speaks and redirects us. It may not be as dramatic as Paul’s or Moses’, but it scares and excites us at the same time, nevertheless.
The Bible tells us that we are to “live by faith, and not by sight.” What does this mean in relation to what Moses experienced?  He certainly saw God’s presence in the bush. He heard a definite voice calling him. All in a moment. Then he lived by faith that God would do what He said He would. (Granted: he did see some awesome evidence of God’s making good on His promise and calling!)

Where has God met you recently and clearly? What has God said to you in your Quiet Time or through Scripture? Who has He put, in an undeniable way, on your mind to serve or share with? In the context of our Life’s Calling, He often calls us to specific tasks to meet specific needs or to make specific issues your own. Write some notes on what God has on His agenda for you to do. Now, it is up to you to “live by faith” based on what God has said.
Note: Tomorrow, Day Twelve is a “Fast Day.” If you are already practicing regular fasting, keep it up as it keeps you close in to Him. If this is new to you, choose to skip breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner tomorrow. Give Him the extra time with extra Bible reading, study, prayer, and worship. Make notes on your day in your journal.

All For Him – Rick

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Fire Proof Day Twelve – The Wrong Kind of Fire

Day Twelve – The Wrong Kind of Fire

That same day Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, took their censers, put hot coals and incense in them, and offered “strange” fire to God—something God had not commanded. Fire blazed out from God and consumed them—they died in God’s presence. After the death of Aaron’s two sons—they died when they came before God with strange fire—God spoke to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron not to enter into the Holy of Holies, barging inside the curtain that’s before the Atonement-Cover on the Chest whenever he feels like it, lest he die, because I am present in the Cloud over the Atonement-Cover. Leviticus 10:1-2, 16:1-2

Some passages simply stretch our understanding of who God really is! For instance, why was Cain’s veggie offering unacceptable, yet Abel’s sacrifice pleased God? Grain offerings were clearly a part of the acceptable Old Testament practice according to later verses. And what about the two guys who tried to steady the Ark of the Covenant as they traveled along the road, and God took their lives? We almost want to cry out, God can you explain some of these things a little more clearly?

Aaron’s two sons (and by implication, Aaron) had been loose with the worship commands. In Aaron’s case, he had become too casual in his relationship with the Lord. In his sons’ case, they had not just been casual, but had chosen to come to God by a completely different path from the way God had given His people. They brought incense from a common fire (fires of offering always start with the fire God gave them from heaven at the altar), they took the place of the high priest in offering it (one man alone and chosen was to provide the incense sacrifice), and they ventured into the Holiest of Places (the curtain to the Ark’s place was closed to all but one.)

The lesson is clear: we come to God by the Way God provides. But look at the last part of verse 16 for one more “How could that be?” verse. The God of All Power, I Am That I Am, Creator of the Universe and Beyond, yes God… is in the cloud over the atonement-cover. Think about this: He is not distant, but He has drawn near. He is not silent, but He has spoken. He is bigger than the universe, but He is fully present in a cloud in the Tent of Meeting. And most importantly, He chooses to meet us at the Cover of Atonement (Mercy Seat is its name in another translation.) The New Testament identifies this Mercy Seat with the fully accomplished work of mercy by Jesus on the Cross.

Today is another “fasting day” and you may choose to skip one, two or three meals. Take extra time today outside of your Quiet Time to read up on the Mercy Seat. (Hebrews is a good place to look.) What was it? Why is this important to God’s people? What happened there? Where does it show up in the New Testament? Think about His mercy. Thank Him for the mercy He has shown you personally. Let this day cause you to be aware of His awesome, consuming, beyond understanding, super abundant merciful presence when you worship Him.

All For Him – Rick

Fire Proof Day 13 – Fire Altars, & Fire Alters

Day Thirteen – Fire Altars & Fire Alters
Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ. Colossians 3:9-11

Today, read Colossians 3:9-11 in context with the rest of the chapter. Everyday brings a fresh set of choices. God has given His followers a lifestyle that has both clear boundaries and plenty of room to grow and roam and experience life. The “don’t’s” of our faith-life are all there to make life and relationships work right.  The “do’s” are there to replace man-made restrictions to freedom in Christ. The dividing labels listed in our verses today keep people apart, demean and belittle others, and tell them they are excluded and will never measure up.

In fact, the central point of the Gospel is that none of us measure up when we use God’s standard. We all are people of grace, needing His and each other’s forgiveness and space to grow.
God’s plan redefines how we measure one another. It is no longer the label, the heritage, the “bloodline” of our families, our education, our jobs, or the name of our church.  It is the simple truth that we are forgiven by the God who provided the Savior and Forgiver.  That causes us to give plenty of room for those who aren’t quite like us, or worship like us, or dress like us… or, well, you get the picture.
Read Colossians 3:1-17 again. But this time, read it in first person. Use your name; use, I and me; and use the word “choose” when the verse indicates a choice to be made. Everyday brings a fresh set of choices.

All For Him – Rick

Fire Proof Day 14 – Glory Fires

Day Fourteen – Glory Fires
When Solomon finished praying, a bolt of lightning out of heaven struck the Whole-Burnt-Offering and sacrifices and the Glory of God filled The Temple. The Glory was so dense that the priests couldn’t get in—God so filled The Temple that there was no room for the priests! When all Israel saw the fire fall from heaven and the Glory of God fill The Temple, they fell on their knees, bowed their heads, and worshiped, thanking God:Yes-God is good! His love never quits! 2 Chronicles 7:1-3


Has God’s fire begun to burn more brightly in your heart through our devotions on fire? Has it rekindled and brought a renewed warmth and light to your life? Has your time in God’s Word brought fresh fire to your time with Him and His truth?
Solomon, upon the dedication of the temple he built for God in Jerusalem, prayed and worshiped the Lord. Read the previous chapter in 2 Chronicles to see what he prayed. Today, especially look at the results of his prayer.  God answered his prayer far beyond his imagination, in a way that brought great glory and fame to the Lord’s name in Jerusalem.
For today, read these verses in the context of the surrounding verses, and then journal the three step study. What do these verses say (see the facts)? What did these verses mean to Solomon and the people (see the meanings)? What do these verses mean to us today (see the relevance)? Invite God in His incredible greatness into your experience today!

All For Him – Rick

Fire Proof Day 15 – Close to the Fire

Day Fifteen – Close to the Fire
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is “a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28

The same God who came near in the Old Testament Place of Holiness is near you today.  We don’t always feel Him; we don’t always blaze for Him. But His promise is true and secure.  He is not “an indifferent bystander.”
God has an end in sight for each of us – to be made holy, complete, and “like Him” in all ways. We are “in process” and that process is at times a cleansing process, at other times a connecting process, and at still other times a consuming process.
He says that He will complete that process, that work He has begun in you and me. And the awesome truth is this: He sees us as a finished product.  He sees the beginning and before, and He sees the ending and beyond. He looks on us with the sight of omniscience.
We see with faith. But we can trust that He is not finished with each of us. He will complete it.  That gives us hope for ourselves, and grace toward each other. Our Fifteen Day Fire Proof Devotional experiment comes to a close with this entry. As you conclude this devotion series, write down what you believe He is burning in your heart. What has He been speaking to you about doing, changing, adopting, re-imagining, or laying at His feet as a sacrifice. Then, put in your calendar system (whatever you use to manage your days) a reminder to look back at this devotion in three, six, or twelve months. You will be surprised at the work God is doing in you!

All For Him – Rick