Do You Smell Smoke

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Fire! How many of you are encountering deep soul-searching situations at the moment? It seems as if daily one more log is thrown into the blaze throwing embers and flames in every direction. Every day, I hear others asking others to intercede in prayer for them. One family is being evicted and having trouble finding another home. Another sister’s husband is out of work facing major surgery. She watches her husband live in terrible pain and worries about the incoming bills and no income. Others struggle against depression, or chronic addictions. Several have been betrayed by the very ones that should have guarded and protect them. And the list goes on and on.

Fire is one of the most destructive forces on earth. It has the ability to destroy all it touches and at the same time, if used properly can bring about good. A farmer will use fire to burn off a field after the grain has been harvested. Controlled burns are used to clear out the underbrush in woodland. Yet, without proper control a controlled fire can quickly become destructive and deadly.

The Lord has used fire in the life of His children from the very beginning. It may be used for correction or for directions. He will use fire to confirm His call or to prevent the enemy from attacking His children. Moses is a perfect example of the confirmation – Moses was a fugitive hiding in Midian after Pharaoh sought to kill him. Then one day he came upon a strange sight – a burning bush. It was at this moment that he learned of the call on his life. The fugitive became the deliverer. God’s fire brought a major change in Moses’ life.

Yet just a short time later, this vast group of people following Moses is fleeing from the Egyptian army. Imagine their wonder as they watch the Lord part the Red Sea while keeping their enemy at bay through a cloud. His hand was upon the Israelites and no one was going to interfere with His divine plans. One verse reveals the Lord watching through fire and cloud. Exodus 14:24 Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians. At the end of the day, their enemy had been destroyed.

Many of you are walking in the Refiner’s fire. You struggle to understand why and yet too often there is no answer as to the reason you are enduring so much heartache and hardships. But this much is true, just as He watched over the children of Israel, He is watching over you now. Each step brings you closer to purity. Each ‘uncontrolled’ fire can be controlled by the very One who saved your soul. Yes, it is hard! Yes, it is painful! But the outcome of the process will allow you the walk even close in your relationship with the Lord.

If you are struggling in the fires today take comfort in His love. Know He is watching over you. You may never understand why, but in spite of that – realize that you can trust the One who died to save your soul. He is with you even now. In the midst of the flame He is walking with you. Trust Him.

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