Smoke and Fire

12 09 2011

The black smoked hung in the air like a giant burnt marshmallow. Traffic slowed as the smudge on the horizon grew bigger. Fire trucks sped by, sirens wailed, and blue and red lights flashed their warnings. My heart sank as I realized that another fire was blazing through the drought-devastated landscape.

There is an interesting old adage that proved true today – “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” I didn’t actually see any flames. No inferno raced across my path. I didn’t jump back from the heat, but I knew that there was a fire. The smoke provided evidence of its existence. It pointed to its source, gave testimony to the destruction fire was leaving in its wake, and alerted others to the danger. Smoke points to the truth that somewhere a fire is burning.

“Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.” – I Thessalonians 5:19

Many times throughout the Bible, God uses fire as evidence of His presence and protection. The Israelites walk under a pillar of fire at night as they travel in the wilderness. Fire comes down from heaven, consuming sacrifices, and acknowledging God’s delight in the wholehearted surrender of His people. Tongues of fire rest on the heads of the apostles on Pentecost. The Hebrew writer reminds us that our God is a consuming fire. Paul instructs us not to quench the presence and power of the Spirit in our lives.

If God’s fire is burning in our lives, where is the smoke? What evidence do others see that God is ablaze in you? Can others see His presence in us as clearly as we see the smoke of the wildfires hanging in the air? Our lives should be surrounded by billows of mercy, pillars of peace, great piles of grace, and plumes of joy. The aroma of His fire should perfume the air so that others catch His scent on the wind. People should be able to look across the horizon and know, without a doubt, that a fire is burning in me.

My Jesus Resolution today is to send a smoke signal. Too many times, I want to manage the Spirit’s fire in my life. I want it to burn bright enough to keep me warm and give enough light to chase away my shadows, but I don’t want any smoke. Smoke alerts others to the presence of fire. Smoke tells a story about the way fire is reshaping what it touches. Smoke is evidence that a fire is burning, and I want Jesus to be ablaze in my life.



2 responses

12 09 2011
Oleta Coleman

Beautifully stated and so true! Blessings on you and your special gift!

13 09 2011

Loved this great analogy today. Thanks!

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