ALL THROUGH THE FIRES
By Dan Luehrs
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you" (Isaiah 43:2).
I thank God for the truth of His word, but I despise the lies of men. There are those among us that would say we do not have to go through the fires. God will allow us to run from the fire if we choose. But, in truth, we will be running away from Him. If our desire is to get close to God, we must go through the fires in order to get to Him. "For our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29). Do you really want to get close to Him? I tell you, the closer you get to Him, through the experiences of His Holy Spirit and the revelation of His word, the greater the fires will burn in your life. Fire only consumes fuel, when the fuel is gone the fire dies out. "For lack of wood the fire goes out" (Proverbs 26:20).
"… His throne was ablaze with flames,
Its wheels were a burning fire.
"A river of fire was flowing
And coming out from before Him …"
The clearest illustration I have to give understanding of this verse is of a volcano erupting; blowing its top, with fire spewing in the air and a river of fire flowing downward. Would you dare approach it? I think not! If a volcano is only His creation, then what must He be like?
"And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently" (Exodus 19:17-18).
to the eyes of the sons of
Notice, "His glory was like a consuming fire." We must have the fear of God in us if we dare draw closer to Him. Many people talk about the glory of the Lord being so wonderful, and it is. But when we realize that His Glory is the fire that consumes unholy traits in us, we must be careful how we draw close to Him with sin in our life. As I said, fire only consumes fuel and we are that fuel, when we have sin in our life. Some sins are so ingrained in us through habit that it can take many years for the fires of God to burn them out. Let me explain it this way. As a log is put on a fire, the outside of the log burns very quickly. It's core however, keeps burning because it is bound so tight. And so it is with us. The core of the sin takes time to be consumed. The fires will burn in us until there is no more pain or attraction to that former sin. To live for self is the main fuel that must be consumed!
Selfishness is ingrained in us from birth. This is what is in us: "Me, mine, my way, and no!" It is interesting to note that the fires of raising our own children take away our own self-centeredness from us. This is why parenting can be so challenging; it is a fire that consumes us. The same is true of marriage and any relationship that we have.
Our lives are ordered by God to burn self out! When we come to the realization of the fact that God is in control, and it is He that is setting these fires and maintaining them to cleanse us, we will have matured greatly. "Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right" (1 Peter 4:19). Did you know that it is God's will for you to suffer? Many would say, "But, but, I thought…" It makes no difference what we think. God is not interested in our opinion, and the sooner we see this, the sooner we will get through the fires. For they can only burn until the fuel is gone. "After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you" (1 Peter 5:10). We must embrace the fires, not run from them. How do we do this? By acknowledging the fact that we are in fire; by giving God permission to do whatever He needs to do and yet counting it all joy! "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation" (1 Peter 4:12-13).
about escaping the fires of hell, and this we do by obeying Jesus Christ. (See
that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is
perishable, even though tested by fire,
may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7). Notice how this
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness" (2 Peter 3:10-11).
Please hear me, these verses are not talking about the natural heavens and earth being destroyed. This is talking about all the works of the wicked flesh and evil spirit's being destroyed by great stress and pressure that is coming upon the earth at the revelation of Jesus Christ. "For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch." "But for you who fear My name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. "And you will tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day, which I am preparing," says the LORD of hosts" (Malachi 4:1-3).
Do you hear what Malachi is saying? To those who fear His name, it will be a day of great freedom! For those who are prepared for His coming have nothing to fear. The fires will be great grace, (strength) to live by. "Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:13). Fire is power. Firepower is the strength that runs almost everything: Your car must have gas to make fire in the motor to turn the wheels; electricity to run your home is fire; light is fire. Where would we be without the sun?
Will you be prepared for the day of His revealing in fire?