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THE HEAT OF THE FIRE




Elemental Essentials - FIRE


Out of the deepest waters and the hottest fires have come the deepest things that I know about GodElisabeth Elliot

There are many elements of nature that the Bible uses to teach us in a way that we can relate to. A variety of things that we encounter on a daily basis bring life and relevance to His Word in a tangible way.



One of those elements of nature that God uses is fire.

There are many examples of how God uses fire as a teaching tool in the Bible:


  • Testing and Purification - Proverbs 17:3, "The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart." - 1 Corinthians 3:13, "...fire will test the quality of each person’s work" - Malachi 3:1-3, "But who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire"


  • Guidance and Communication - Exodus 3:1-4, "There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush." Exodus 13:21-22, "By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people."


  • Wrath, Judgement and Destruction - Numbers 11:1-3, "Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when He heard them His anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp." - Psalm 89:46, "How long, Lord? Will You hide Yourself forever? How long will Your wrath burn like fire?"


  • Baptism - Luke 3:16, "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 fire.'" - Acts 2:1-4, "They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them."


  • God's Power - Exodus 19:16-19, "Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently." - 1 Kings 18:16-40, 38"Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench."


  • Jesus' Coming - 2 Thessalonians 1:5-7, "God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with His powerful angels." - Revelation 19:11-16, "I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He Himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God." - Luke 12:49-51, "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!"


Out of all the ways that the Word of God uses fire as an illustration,

let's look at PURIFICATION.


Gold melts at just over 1900 degrees Fahrenheit. When you refine gold through fire, the fire itself does not purify the gold. It is the heat that first melts the gold, then the heat draws away the impurities and literally burns them off. The heat separates the gold from anything else that is in the gold and, when melted in a cupel, impurities oxidize and are absorbed if they aren't burned off. Gold cannot burn or darken due to the intense heat, and it cannot be destroyed on a molecular level.

The intense heat serves only to purify or melt -

not to burn or destroy.

While there are other ways to purify gold, purification by fire through a process called "Cupellation" is the only faultless way, as it fully separates gold from its impurities, although it takes much longer.



It's a process.

Purification is a process. There aren't shortcuts to get all of the impurities out. There are 2 other methods to purifying gold and although the two other methods gain a very high percentage of purification, there is nothing like the purification through fire and heat.

The pure and most valuable results come from time and fire.

Time is one of the most expensive of our resources. Fire is not comfortable. Although, through faith, you won't be burned up, the heat is intense, and you will sweat. As the impurities in your life are drawn out, your contentment is agitated, your comfort is ruffled, and your confidence is unsettled.

Is going through the fire worth it?

As the impurities in your life are brought to the surface and as the areas of contamination of your life that are holding back a pure relationship with Christ are slowly absorbed by WHO is holding us during the fire, you will find yourself rising above the flames and you will come out not even smelling like smoke. But you must stay the course. Don't come out of the fire prematurely just because it gets too hot.

Stay.

Allow the work to be done to completion.



In 1 Peter 1:6-7, the genuineness of our faith is considered more valuable than gold. And, in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, we are reminded that, in the end, our foundation will be revealed with fire and the fire will test the quality of each person's work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. How precious and vital is the purity of our foundation and faith.


Without faith, the Bible tells us that we will be consumed by fire.

With faith, we are purified, and we are rescued.


TRUST the Spirit to lead you.

Proverbs 30:21, "Whether you turn to the right of to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"


UNDERSTAND that God knows you're in the fire.

Isaiah 43:2, "When you pass through the waters,

I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers,

they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,

you will not be burned;

the flames will not set you ablaze.


PRESS ON, knowing that the heat will not last forever. One day you will see God and your steadfastness will be rewarded.

1 John 3:2-3, "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure."



Dear friend,

May God continue to strengthen you as you endure this race for Him and His Name. May all that you do be pleasing in His sight. What isn't pleasing in your life, may the Lord give you wisdom to change as you seek to live for Him. Know that you are not alone. Even when it feels like God is far away, He never leaves you. He doesn't sleep. He is always aware of where you are - your heart - and your weariness. He never fails to provide as you trust in Him.


Much love in the journey,

Sarah Jane

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