"..the godless are at their wit's end: 'Who among us can survive this firestorm? Who of us can get out of this purge with our lives?' The answer's simple: Live right, speak the truth, despise exploitation, refuse bribes, reject violence, avoid evil amusements. This is how you raise your standard of living! A safe and stable way to live. A nourishing, satisfying way to live" (Isa. 33:14-16, mess).
How could people like us even deal with something like the fire of God—how could we survive it? We really want to tactfully influence people to get right with ..and to get close to the Lord, but if we don't live right, we can totally short-circuit what God wants to do. His fiery love should motivate and control us! I often think about motivated Mo standing before the burning bush in the desert before he went back to Egypt. I think about the three Hebrew children who were loyal in the fiery furnace--they emerged without any bondage. I think about their character more than their talents or gifts. What do you think of?
How can people like you and me live long-term real close to the Holy Lord of Heaven? You know, I do my best to avoid sinning, but once in a while I still blow it attitudinally or in some other way. And I just hate that. I desire to be holy like the Lord and stay red hot for Jesus. Man, I need His help every single day—every moment. I'd rather be quick to judge myself, to confess and to forsake all wrong doing than end up being judged by the One I love most. There's something so good about running to God to tell on myself.
How do we make it down here with the fire of God?
We get in Christ ..on His terms instead of ours.. and then we regularly draw upon His enabling power. We do it all according to His Word! Jeremiah walked in obedience and he really pleased the Lord. And I find it interesting how God described his holy Word to Jeremiah, "Is not My word like a fire?' says the Lord" (Jer. 23:29).
We live like strangers in a strange Land. We dwell in the middle of an unholy society here, were perversion and filth is lauded and showcased on prime time. Who among us can stand up under the thorough purification process of God so we will end up being effective witnesses?
I ask you, "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?" Answer? Here you go, "He who walks righteously and speaks what is right" (niv).
Do you consistently speak what is right? How do you walk? Do you ever gossip, fly off the handle and use expletives ..or lie? Hey buds, I'm not here to heap a guilt-trip upon, or to condemn anyone because I radically need His help too.
As we fish for souls, who among us can remain unchanged through the fire of God? Well, that is the question that Mister Isaiah in the Old Testament asked ..and then He goes on and pens-down the answer. He even laid out a brief list of the traits for the kind of people who can stand up strong through a crisis. Take some time to meditate upon, to pray about, and to freestyle think through Isaiah's description here as I have tried to do…
Integrity – The fisher's must live right. His or her life, along with motives and words must match.
Justice – The fisher rejects flakey wishy-washyness and taking bribes for they constantly yield to the Word of God. They aren't into striking and doing violence either. He or she exploits no one for dishonest gain no matter the provocation or peer pressure.
Deep Convictions – The fisher's inner values and Holy Spirit filled conscience tell him or her clearly what not to say or do (the negative).. and what to say or do as they live a no-compromise life (the positive)! They aren't given to foul and blasphemous entertainment even if good humor or acting is mixed in. They just don't allow themselves time for evil amusements of any type because their thought-life matters.
Positive focus – The fisher refuses to dwell on the destructive issues of others for they are true Christians and into sowing aggressively to the Spirit instead of to the flesh. They are Bible loyal without being nit picky about other's weaknesses.
Purity – The fisher proactively disciplines their mind to remain pure, their thoughts to remain clean and their communication to be appropriate at all times. They love to bless the Lord first! They enjoy talking to Jesus and about Him as they edify believers and also minister to unbelievers ..until they turn.
Secure - The fisher is fully committed. He or she lives for the applause of One instead of for the praise of others. They are stable in their Christian identity, upright in their standing and in love with their Source of strength.
When it comes to God's fire and going through His holy purging, listen, having Godly character is so very important! It's far more important than having great charisma-gifts, an affable personality, or American-Idol type of talent etc. Ask the Lord for this along with firm metal-like Holy Spirit backbone! He is the most wholly loyal and He can make you loyal too.
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