“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV
After a fire sweeps through an area, transforming everything in its path through the destructive power of flame, what is left often is unrecognizable. The former is gone. Only dust and ashes remain. Burnt out skeletons of old buildings remain as the only placeholders to serve as reminders of the life and activity that once filled this place.
Fire destroys what it consumes. Fire displays brilliant light and sheds immeasurable warmth in the process. Our God is a consuming fire. As we come to Him, He sanctifies us by burning away all the impurities and sinful ways in our lives.
When the fire’s gone out, when all you see is some smoldering wisps of smoke over the landscape of flakey white ashes drifting around piles of blackened, unrecognizable rubble, you wonder, “What good could have come of this?”
All of this destruction, the complete removal of all worldly things, how is this working to our advantage? It’s the deliverance from distraction that we didn’t know we needed.
How will life rise from the ashes? What form will it take? Know this. It will not be like it was before. Quit hoping for yesterday. Wait with hope for the Lord.
The wind of the Holy Spirit is blowing. It will fan into flame those embers hidden in the rubble. The true Church is arising out of the ashes of institutionalized religion. The institutions they created to wield power and influence may be crumbling, but the Church will never die. The Church is alive in Christ.
Our faith is in Jesus, not our institutions. Our trust is in God, not created things nor ourselves. Our teacher is the Holy Spirit, not the teachings of mere mortals. Our home is in Heaven, not this temporary place. Wake up to what God called you to. Answer the call. Fulfill your calling in Christ.
The heat is on. And it’s going to keep getting hotter. Those who are in Christ will be purified through the flames. Those who reject Christ’s free gift of salvation will be tortured by that very same fire. They refuse to release their grip on the things that slow them down. They love the darkness more than the light and gladly suffer and die for it.
The awakened believer is the empowered believer. We are no longer subject to Satan’s domain. He is now under our feet. We don’t watch the world and try to react. We keep our eyes fixed on the One who holds all things in His hands. We let Him guide us as we walk a transformative path in the world, drawing people to Christ by our lifestyles and our words.
Don’t expect a return to normal. Ever. Simply accept the state of the world as it is, make your peace with that, and then keep following Jesus. It’s imperative.
Why did God create us? To waste our lives on pleasure and vanity? Or to do His will as we walk and talk with Him?
The Church is Christ’s Body. It does what He does. It says what He says. Jesus is the Head. We are the Body. The Holy Spirit fills the Church completely with the Spirit of Christ. The Church is alive. The Church is eternal. We, individually, are simply expressions of God’s love in that interconnected Body. We’re like cells. We do our little part to the best of our ability. Then we wear out and are replaced.
Trusting God is the beginning of peace. God is reigniting His Church. Do you feel the wind? Do you sense the heat? Can you smell the smoke of transformation in the air? Don’t worry about how it’s all going to work out. That’s God’s job and He’s got a firm handle on everything. Just trust Him. It’ll do your heart good.
Father in Heaven, thank You for saving us out of this wicked and perverted generation. Thank You for opening our eyes to the sinful state of the world we live in and to our only appropriate response to it. Lord, we repent. We repent for living like the world. We repent for taking our values from the worldly system. We repent of wasting our lives on foolishness and selfish ambition. Lord, we repent. We stop our foolishness and turn to You for healing, salvation and deliverance. You alone are God. You alone are worthy to be praised. You alone have the wisdom to say what is right. We declare that Your Word is True. We return to You this day, Christ Our King, in humble submission as our God and our Lord. Lord, rule over us! In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.