Thursday, February 5, 2015

Smoke and Fire

Sometimes, the Lord puts certain themes in my life that repeat themselves over and over for weeks, sometimes months.

Lately, that theme is smoke and fire.

First, there was that song by Needtobreathe called “Multiplied”with the line, “Your love will surely come find us, like blazing wildfires singing your name.

Then, there was the church service in the Dominican Republic where I wrote that the congregation was absolutely on fire for Jesus.

Oh, and then Kinship Christian Radio’s Steve Ware picked “On Fire” by Sanctus Real for the “God Speaking to Me” song. (“Want to feel the power of Jesus’ name, Set me on fire.”)

Then, an elderly lady in my home church said she felt that lately, instead of her going to church, the Church had been coming to her. That glowed brightly in my soul.

Next, I got a copy of the book “The God Who Smokes” by Tim Stoner after a dear sister in Christ brought it to my attention. (It’s not at all what the author’s name and the book’s title makes you think.)

I’m only half-way through reading it, but Stoner writes like those blazing wildfires in the Needtobreathe song.

His premise is that God is most definitely NOT some “divine doting auntie in Heaven full of sweetness and smiles, who sees war and corruption and violence and racism and says, ‘Well, boys will be boys. Would you care for another blessing, dearie?’”

No, Stoner contends that God is completely justified in His anger over our wanton sin, idolatry, and lawlessness. He smokes and burns with an intense and passionate jealousy as a husband for a wife He loves above all else because of His infinite, intense, and passionate love for us.

“He really believes that He is the most worthy, most majestic, magnificent, glorious, stunningly beautiful being in the universe. And He is fixated on the certainty that only He deserves worship—that to Him alone belong honor, glory, and praise forever and ever. With red-rimmed, stinging eyes and burning hair, all we can say is—He is right.” (page 83.)

Stoner concludes each chapter with a Blessing for his readers. This one is from the chapter entitled, “God is an Earthquake.”

May the Mighty Lion of Judah,

The Holy King of heaven,

The Righteous Judge,

who will weigh the nations and everyone in them in perfect scales,

fill you with the true, deep, rich,

utterly delightful and comforting knowledge of Himself.

May you, childlike, kneel;

may you lovingly trust,

even when He shatters your box and singes your hair.

May you, lost in wonder, worship, love, and adore.

May the God who roars and sings

calm you fears and soothe your pain and set you straight.

And, in reverential, trembling awe

may you kiss the Son and with sturdy faith

confidently say:

I am His and He is mine.

Today’s Praise

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV)

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