Cleansing Fire

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Living out in the country on six acres of land has a lot of brush, branches and debris. Over time it can clutter the land and create an eyesore to be seen. Along with that, it also creates a spot for unwanted critters, such as snakes and opossums, to hide in.

Along with just regular branches that fall, and the brush that dies and we move into the burn pile, we also had tree full size oak trees that had fallen that needed to be burned up. The trees had fallen on our house about a month ago. You can read about that in my post: God’s Protection And Favor.

In the past we have attempted to sell or even give away the oak wood for fireplaces, if someone wanted to come and cut it up and haul it. We never had anyone take us up on it. Probably because we live in central Texas where it is always hot year round (at least hot to a northerner from Wisconsin). So we learned to just move it into a burn pile and burn it.

I had to do it soon before the burn bans start taking effect in this area. Usually about mid-July is when the burn bans start, unless we are in an exceptionally dry year or very wet year. This year has been neither very wet or dry.

The burn that you see in the picture above is just one of two large piles of wood and brush. It also includes some old chairs that were broken beyond repair and not saleable. I cleared some area around both piles of wood to keep the fire from getting out of control. The brush and weeds were cut back to keep it from spreading where it was not desired. I also kept a water hose on and ready near the fire. Every so often I would spray water around the base of the fire to keep the grass from catching on fire and spreading.

As I was burning this pile I was thinking about how burning in that spot is great for the ground around it. For one it removes all of the weeds. It also puts a lot of nutrients back into the ground.

In past years I have seen where a large area of forest had been burned to the ground. Years later, usually ten or more, one will see the ground where the fire had been growing lush and green with a lot of vegetation. I have known a few people, much older than I am, that used to burn their yards every other year for that same reason. It would clean out the unwanted weeds and put much needed nutrients into the ground. The grass always grew much more green than anyone else in the area.

While thinking about these things, God pointed to me that there are fires in our lives at times to do the very same thing. God looks at our lives and sees some unwanted weeds growing in our personal lives. These are weeds of deception, lies, impure thoughts, cheating, jealousy, pride, anger, and the list goes on. They do not belong in the life of a believer.

Situations come up in our lives that are painful and hurt a lot. They may feel like fire burning around you. Although there may be a million different reasons why God is allowing that fire in your life, one of them may be to clean out garbage in your life.

When there is a large fire that is burning, people look to someone else for help and strength to stop it. A fire in your life may be the thing needed to push you back towards God. It may help you focus back on what is really important in your life and get rid of the rest. Or at least not put so much time in the rest.

As you focus back on God and get back into His word and times of prayer, it will give you the needed nutrients to really live a full life after the fire dies out. It will strengthen you for greater works for God.

Going through a fire will also give you a testimony of God’s work in your life and His provision through the tough times. It can light a fire of testimony to be a witness to those in the world.

Just as with the fire that I burned on my property was controlled to keep it from becoming a wild fire, the fires in your life are controlled by God. Satan cannot give you anything more than God allows. There is nothing that God will allow in your life that, with His help and strength, you cannot overcome.

During the times that you are going through the fire, ask God to reveal to you how you can grow closer to Him and how you can use that fire as a witness to others. Do not allow the fire to force you to get out of control and remove God from the picture.

Never forget that God works all things for the good of those who love Him. That fire in your life can be a good thing. It can remove unwanted stuff and get your focus back on what is really important–God.

Isaiah 1:4 Forsaking The Lord

Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Isaiah 1:4

It is easy to stand on the side and see the sins of others, and then blame them for the conditions of a nation. All over the nation there are many Christians who are pointing fingers at the sins of others. They often state that the nation has become a sinful nation because of others.

Although it is true that the nation has become very sinful in many different ways, one cannot just blame others for this occurrence. In reality it is a group effort to cause a whole nation to become sinful and turn away from God. It is a process of individual people slowly turning away from God.

Many believers will say that they have not turned away from God. The question is: how many times has a person turned down being the witness God called him to be?

A nation is made up of people, individual people. It is individuals who cause a nation as a whole to follow God or reject Him. It is individuals who choose to allow sin to occur. It is individuals who refuse to be a witness of who Jesus is.

When a believer chooses to not be a witness for Jesus, he is causing someone else or the nation to continue to live in sin and reject God. Every believer must give every non-believer a chance to know God and choose or reject Him. Often many will keep quiet and make the choice for the other person.

In this way, many believers have turned their backs on God. This is where Isaiah says woe to that nation and its people.

You have to take a look at your own life. How are you doing at being His witness from day-to-day?

Are you willing to tell others about Jesus every time you get the chance?

Or are you keeping silent and not wanting to offend anyone?

One causes sin to continue, while the other is doing God’s will on this earth.

Are you in partnership with this world in causing great sin?

I pray today that you will be God’s witness every chance you get; that you will keep yourself from all sin; that you will tell everyone about Jesus; and that you will not turn your back on God.

Song Of Solomon 5:3 Being Available

I have taken off my robe–must I put it on again? I have washed my feet–must I soil them again? Song Of Solomon 5:3

In this passage, the bride has gone to bed. Her lover has shown up to see her. She does not want to get up, get dressed and go out to see him. She does care for him, but is too tired to want to do anything more. Later in this chapter she decides to get up and go to the door. By the time she gets there, he has left and she can no longer find him.

During the night when one is sleeping, it is easy to want to refuse to get up for anyone, for nearly any reason. Everyone wants to get their own beauty sleep. It takes time and effort to get up and become presentable, just to answer the door in the middle of the night.

The problem with refusing to answer the door, is that one may miss an important opportunity or person. Once that person leaves, he may never return again or it may be a long time for him to return.

God works the same way in a person’s life. There are times God knocks on the door of a person’s heart for a reason in the middle of the night. This is not just for salvation, but for God to want to use the person. He may be waking up the person to have him intercede in prayer for someone in need.

In your own life, God has plans for you. There are times when He wants you to do something when it is not convenient or fun. It could be during the day or during the night.

As you follow Jesus, you must be available during these times. God may have a word for you, or a word for someone else. He may have a miracle in store for you, or, again, for someone else.

If you choose to ignore His call in your life, you may miss out on His move and big plans for you. Do not allow yourself to ignore God when He stirs your heart to do something. You are here to serve Him, not just yourself, so you must always be available to do His will.

Be willing to get up and get dirty for God today.

I pray today that you will hear God’s voice at all times; that you will be willing to serve God at all times; that you will be available to do His work; and that you will not ignore God’s knock in your life.

Song Of Solomon 3:2 Searching For Love

I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him. Ecclesiastes 3:2

Losing or misplacing something of high importance is never a fun thing to deal with. Some things, such as a brush, can be frustrating when a person trying to get ready in the morning and cannot find it. Other things, such as the wallet or keys, are extremely frustrating and can cause a lot of fear. The level of fear goes even higher when the item is lost and the person was not at home when it happened.

People lose things around the house on a regular basis, but usually will find them with a lot of searching. Things lost out of the house are not usually found, no matter how much searching is done.

The more important the item is the harder and longer time a person will take to search for that item. Some things, people just ignore and go on without another thought about it.

In this verse, the bride is searching for her lover and cannot find him. She spends all night looking for him and begins to search up and down the streets. She does not rest until she finds him.

As a believer in Jesus, there may be times when God seems distant or lost to you. You are going through a tough situation and cry out to God. Your prayers seem to hit the ceiling and bounce down back at you. God appears to have left.

Some people at that point give up on God. They begin to reject God because it seems as though He has rejected them.

Jesus said that He would never leave you. God will never forsake you if you trust Him.

The challenge comes in how much are you willing to do to find God again?

Finding God means you will have to get into His word more. You will need to be praying more. You will need to be praising Him more. You will need to spend time with other believers more.

Searching for God may take some time and work, but He can be found. God is found by those who seek Him. Are you seeking Him today?

I pray today that you will find God in your life; that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will forsake all things in order to have God’s presence in your life; and that you will not give up on God when He appears to be absent.

Song Of Solomon 2:4 Eating At His Table

Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. Song of Solomon 2:4

Eating food is one thing that people love to do. Many like to eat more food than they really should eat. Different people like to eat different types of foods, but the common factor is that all like to eat.

Restaurants that are set up buffet style are usually very large and always very busy. They provide a wide variety of foods to eat, and an unlimited amount of food. All this for one price. No one leaves hungry.

In this passage today, the bride is asking that the Lord lead her to his banquet hall. She wants to be able to eat at His table.

The Lord is the king. Every king eats very well and only the very best food. To eat there means one will not be eating macaroni and cheese, but prime steaks and lobster. It will only be the best.

As Jesus walked on this earth, He ate at His Father’s banquet table. He was provided more than enough food to sustain Him and satisfy Him. This food was to do the will of His Father. He found great satisfaction in doing what the Father wanted Him to do.

As a believer in Jesus, you are the bride of Christ. You should have a desire to eat at His table. The banquet table that Jesus eats at, is the Father’s table. Doing what God wants you to do will provide you with satisfaction and fulfillment.

In order to know what God wants you to do, you must take time to read the Bible. Take in what He says and devour it. Make it a part of your life. As you begin to know God and what He wants through His Word, you will know what to do in your life. Then you can begin to do those things and find the satisfaction that you need.

The only way this can happen is if you allow God to lead you to His banquet table. Taste of the Lord and find out that He is good. The food that He has for you is the best that there is. Remember that He is The King and only has the best food available.

I pray today that you will know the food God has for you; that you will hunger for His Word; that God will strengthen you to do His will; and that you will do whatever God asks of you.

Song Of Solomon 1:15 You Are Beautiful

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. Song Of Solomon 1:15

Love scenes are portrayed in many books and movies in many different ways. The description of love between two people can be described in many ways, depending on the culture of the people involved.

One of the things that is common for a man to say about a woman he loves is that she is beautiful. A young man in love with a woman cannot stop telling her how beautiful she is. When first falling in love with someone, a person does not see any faults in the person. All they see is love and beauty.

It is only when a person gets closer to another person, do they often see faults and problems in the person. Many people will at that point walk away, realizing the person is not as good as they thought. People get married quickly, then a few short years later get divorced because one spouse was not as beautiful as was originally thought.

Solomon tells a story of the love between a man and a woman. It is a deeply felt love and the process of it growing more and more.

This love can be seen between God and every person. God sees you as a beautiful person. Not necessarily a beautiful person right now, but who you are and can be in Jesus. Before you are forgiven of your sins, you are seen as a person dressed in filthy rags that is dirty. There is little beauty to be seen at that point.

Once you come to Jesus, however, and are forgiven of your sins, you are clothed with His beauty and righteousness. God’s love for you has always been there. If He did not love you, then why did He send His only son to die on the cross for you?

People often look at themselves as only filthy dirt and unworthy of any love. God sees you as His bride, that is lovely and beautiful.

Allow yourself to be cleaned up by the forgiveness that Jesus provides. Accept the love God has for you. He is looking at you and saying that you are beautiful. Do you believe that in your own life today?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus provides you; that you will know how beautiful God is; and that you will love God as He loves you.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 The Duty Of Every Person

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Solomon started out this book stating that everything is meaningless. As one reads through it, he shows how worthless everything is in this life. People are born, they live for a while and they die. There does not appear to be any meaning in this life for what a person goes through.

As he finishes the book, he points out that everything has been considered and he came up with a conclusion. That conclusion is that the whole purpose of every person on this earth is to fear God and obey Him.

Having this viewpoint in a person’s life, puts God as the One who is in absolute control of everything and knows what is best for everyone. In the end this will be seen when God brings every deed into judgment. This is not just the deeds that are physically seen, but those that are hidden behind closed doors, or are hidden inside the thoughts of the mind.

This judgment will also include all deeds, both the good ones and the sinful ones. God is not just one-sided, He looks at everything, the whole person.

Some people may now say that keeping His commandments is difficult. On the surface this appears to be true, but if you really look at it, there are only two commandments to really keep. Those commandments are: love God, and love your neighbor.

If you are showing true love to God and your neighbor, you will not do anything to harm either one in any way. This includes harmful thoughts in the quiet of your mind, along with the physical actions many do.

Many people are searching for a purpose in this world. You may be searching for your purpose in this world. Now you know what it is: love God and love your neighbors.

Show your love to God and your neighbors by telling them about Jesus and what Jesus has done and will do for them. Be the witness of Jesus to this world today. That is what Jesus did and wants you to do today.

I pray today that you will know God’s purpose for your life; that you will see the opportunities to be His witness; that you will love God; and that you will show God’s love to everyone else.