Flames, rising and falling, swirling and twirling, perform a mesmerizing dance, but the beauty of God’s fire surpasses all others. Spiritual fire performs divine purpose. Holy fire consumes, leaving no trace of the former content, while in other ways increases, fortifies, strengthens, revives, and restores.
On a cool evening, one family circled a campfire on a sandy beach overlooking a small lake. They cooked hot dogs and roasted marshmallows over the open flames. With laughter, they sang songs, shared stories, and fortified generational bonds. There they lingered long after the moon rose, and stars cloistered against the darkened skies. Before retreating to their warm cabin beds, they carefully covering the fire’s last golden embers with sand.
The next morning, another family arrived on the beach. All four doors simultaneously swung open as a rush of shoeless children raced excitedly toward the water. Their towels flapped cheerfully behind them in the warm summer breeze. Time halted with the ear-piercing screams of the youngest, as we all watched, horrified. She froze mid-stride. Then instinctively, she dropped her hands to the ground while trying to lift her feet. My father knew immediately what had happened. He grabbed her writhing body, dipping her burnt hands and feet in the cool lake before rushing her to the nearest hospital a half-hour away.
The same fire that brought delight to one family, meant weeks of torturous burn treatments for ours.
Fire! Both beautiful and painful! Simultaneously taking and giving!
And so it is in the beauty of God’s fire through painful trials — this union of removing what no longer belongs to secure what must eternally remain.
A Prophetic Word
I feel stirring in my heart a prophetic word — an unction of the Holy Spirit. I see with spiritual eyes both a flame burning and a newness rising. For those willing to endure the flame of God’s purging fire, there is coming victorious freedom and release.
The invitation to surrender completely to His flames extends to every one of us. However, I feel it will be men, both young and old, who will respond and rise with strength during this season. There is a generation of flaming ones, unstoppable in the Spirit, who are coming through the flames of adversity and trials. They believed they were being utterly destroyed, but God has been purging and purifying them for greatness and triumph.
These flaming ones will see and do awesome things through the power of God — divinely prepared, ignited with passion, and released into this generation.
“See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.”
Former generations have robbed God of the glory due His name. In pride, they set themselves on false pedestals and built crumbling edifices of their own doing.
“No more!” God says. “I will not yield my glory to another.”
Through the beauty of God’s fire, He is shifting leadership from positions of authority. We see faint shadows of it already, but God is bringing forth a divine rearranging. Only those who willingly surrender to the flames of refining will rise, bringing God glory and reflecting His face.
“This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.'”
Silver and gold are “tested” in the refiner’s fire.
‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1: 2-4
A refiner heats the metal until the impurities, or dross, rise to the surface. Then he skims it off. Over and over, he repeats the process — heating and removing. Each time, he “tests” the purity of the molten metal by looking into the surface. Only when he clearly sees his own reflection in the metal does he know it is pure.
Throughout Scripture, God uses the illustration of a refiner’s fire to explain His process in removing the contaminates from our lives. He refuses to quit until He clearly sees His own reflection in us.
Everyone goes through trials and adversity. Will we not only allow but welcome them, yielding to the beauty of God’s fire, working out His greater good, bringing us to maturity, and purifying our faith? Or will we resist refusing to suffer pain, while pacifying ourselves with the soothing ointments of pleasure and self-gratification?
” . . . I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities.”
The prophetic word invites us all to become His flaming ones — those who find a place of rest in the beauty of God’s fire. Not once! Not twice! But continually choosing to live within the flame of His Presence.
May God never speak a similar warning to us as He did to the Laodicean Church.
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Paul encouraged both Gentile and Jewish believers in Rome with these words:
“Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.”
Romans 12:11 AMP
Flaming ones, those aglow and burning with the Spirit, best reflect His image. When tested, those filled with zeal and eagerly serving the Lord prove faithful and pure.
As much as I cringe at the thought of being purged by fire, I long for the flame of His Holy Presence to remove everything that mars Christ from clearly being seen in and through my life.
God commanded the priests of the Old Testament to never allow the fire on the altar to go out (Leviticus 6:13). God still commands us, His New Testament priests, to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, in true worship.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sister, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship.”
The embodiment of worship extends beyond singing congregational songs on Sunday mornings or any other day of the week. Worship means giving ourselves daily to Him, sacrificially for Him, and holy unto Him. In true worship, we step willingly and knowingly into the beauty of God’s fire, becoming living torches of His Presence.
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.'”
Isaiah referred to Jesus, saying,
“The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame . . .”
Within this image, God places us!
Us in Christ and He in us — together burning! As a perpetual act of worship, we combine our small flames with THE consuming fire and THE fiery flame. Little flames within His great flame and small fires amidst His glorious fire, creating ever-increasing, globally impacting intensity!
John the Baptist preceded Jesus, baptizing with water — a baptism of repentance. He spoke of another baptism and another Baptizer,
“John answered them all, ‘I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
This Holy Spirit baptism of fire is available to everyone, of all nationalities and creeds, who desires it. God is faithful! He offers great joy, freedom, and power to those who will abandon themselves to His purposes.
But will I surrender and submit to God’s plan and become a flaming one? Will you?